The International Physicists’ Tournament was born in Ukraine in 2009 as a continuation of a long tradition of physics competitions in USSR. Switzerland started to compete for the first time in 2011, during the third edition, where two teams from EPFL were invited to the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology. One team made it to the final, ending 3rd, and the other team reached the 6th place
In 2012, four teams from EPFL competed to gain the right to represent Switzerland during the international competition, once again held in the Moscow Institude of Physics and Technology. The team from EPFL ended 2nd ex-aequo.
Following these strong performances, and having enjoyed the competition, Swiss participants from the previous editions decided to organize the international competition at EPFL for two years. In 2013, the IPT and was won by the local EPFL team, highlighting the strong and complete formation offered to the swiss students. In 2014 however, the Swiss team failed to reiterate the performance from the previous year and finished with a modest 9th place. In 2015, the tournament moved to Warsaw University, and Switzerland was represented by students from the University of Fribourg, who ended with the 9th place.
In 2016, the tournament was held in Paris. That year, two teams from University of Fribourg and EPFL participated in a Swiss National Selection. The EPFL team won, with the support of the EPFL physics section that integrated the preparation of the IPT in their bachelor degree. In the international competition, they finished at the 8th place amongst 15 participating teams.
In 2017, the International Physicists’ Tournament took place in Gothenburg where Switzerland, again represented by a team from EPFL, finished on the 14th place. However the following year the team from EPFL managed to make up for it by landing the first place at the 2018 edition of the IPT in Moscow.
Following their victory, the Swiss participants took again interest in hosting the next year’s tournament and are honored to welcome again teams of young physicists from all over the world at EPFL for the International Physicists’ Tournament 2019.
Over the years, more and more students, teachers and institutions are aware of the tournament and acknowledge its benefits on the students’ formation.
The IPT gathers students from all over the world who challenge their competences, improve their skills in science and technology and establish professional contacts. IPT is an extraordinary platform for revealing the true problem solvers that technology oriented enterprises and start-ups are looking to hire. A good education results not only in technical knowledge, but also creativity, the ability to discuss ideas and to work as a team. At the IPT, the young people experience all the phases of research: intensive literature searches, conversations with experts from research institutes and industry, development of theoretical models, computer simulations and testing by means of experimentation.
Prof. Jean-Philippe Ansermet, Director of the Physics Section of EPFL