UMD Seeking Competitors for Physics Olympiad

umd swenson
April 18, 2016

Saturday, April 23, is the third annual Duluth Physics Olympiad. 

physics problemNews Release — For info contact Lori Melton,, 218-726-8830.

On Saturday, April 23rd, high school and college students with physics knowledge are invited to participate in the third annual Duluth Physics Olympiad. UMD is hosting the event and prizes will be awarded to the winners. The competition will allow for individual and team work to solve brain teasers in two divisions – theoretical and experimental physics.

One of the organizers is Vitaly Vanchurin, an assistant professor in UMD’s Physics & Astronomy Department. “The problems are actually fun and interesting and not like those on a test,” said Vitaly. “We want to intellectually challenge people and interest them in pursuing physics, too.”

Physics Olympiad events are held around the world, but this is a unique competition for our region. Vanchurin said he is not aware of any other schools in the area offering this opportunity to students. The contest will run from noon to 3:00 pm in UMD’s Marshall W. Alworth Hall, room 195. Competitors will have three hours to complete both divisions before turning in their answers to the judges.

Examples of the types of brain teasers that will be presented to competitors can be found on-line. There is no cost to participate and the event is open to high school and college students. Pre-registration is appreciated if you are part of a group that plans to attend. To register and for more information, contact Vanchurin at

The Department of Physics and Astronomy is part of UMD’s Swenson College of Science and Engineering. The college has about 3,100 undergraduates and 220 graduate students and is home to ten academic departments, as well as the Large Lakes Observatory, the UMD Air Force ROTC program, and the Iron Range Engineering program. SCSE connects students with hands-on research opportunities through its collaboration with multiple research institutions and area businesses. To learn more, visit: