Is there a need for another contest? We think, yes, for two main reasons: firstly, there is a need for contests promoting creative thinking in problem solving, and, secondly, there is no tradition of European Physics Olympiads yet.

Due to increasingly large number of participants, the format of big physics contests such as IPhO is becoming more and more similar to the university exams where the thinking of students and the path of solution is guided by numerous subquestions testing merely the knowledge of students. By contrast, we propose a format with short problem descriptions, leaving all the creative decisions on choosing right solution paths to the students. This is more similar to actual research situations.

In addition to the International Physics Olympiad (started in 1967) there exist traditions of regional competitions such as Asian Physics Olympiad (since 2000) and Ibero-American Physics Olympiad (since 1991). However, there is no European competition yet. We aim to establish the tradition of European Physics Olympiads by hosting the first event.

Academic Committee

The Academic Committee consists of 7 to 9 permanent members. The organizing country can nominate an additional member. The founding members of the Academic Committee are listed below. The detailed rules regarding nomination and election of the members of the Academic Committee will be discussed with the team leaders during the Olympiad.

Participation rules and fees

Each country can send up to 5 students and one leader; observers and/or visitors are also welcome. The participation fee for the students and the team leader is 250 EUR per person. The participation fee per additional observer is 350 EUR.

There is no discussion of the problem texts, it is the responsibility of the international academic committee of the Olympiad to guarantee the quality of the problems. Academic committee is also responsible for the grading of the problems (if necessary, they can appoint additional markers). The problem texts will be short, so the leaders are expected to be able to complete the translation of both theoretical and experimental problems within an hour. IPhO-style moderation of the marks is substituted by appellation: it will be the responsibility of students to appeal any unjust grading (leaders can be present during the appellation and if needed, translate the communication).

During theoretical round (5 hours), there will be three problems, one of which will be very difficult, one moderately difficult, and one relatively less demanding. Full solution of each problem gives 10 points, grading granularity is one point. Partial credit is given for each idea or formula which is used in a full solution. During experimental examination (5 hours), there will be one or two tasks; the total number of points for the experimental examination is 20 points, granularity is also 1 point. The award thresholds in points will be determined after appellation as such smallest numbers that at least 8% of participants will receive a gold medal, at least 25% - a gold or silver medal, 50% - a gold, silver or bronze medal.

Update: Who can participate? Similarly to IPhO, the competition is designed for high school students. IPhO is also open to "Students who have finished their school examinations in the year of the competition /.../ as long as they have not commenced their university studies. The age of the contestants should not exceed twenty years on June 30th of the year of the competition." Educational system varies from country to country, and in some cases the boundary between a high school and a university becomes vague. Therefore we would like to specify that we consider a school where students have more than one third of lectures (in average per year) on topics related either to physics or mathematics to be equivalent to a university. However, we do not want this regulation to become a reason why one or another team would not be able to attend the competition. Therefore, please contact us if there are students in your team who come from schools which do not satisfy this criterion but you feel that those students have not been taught University-level physics courses (we may revise the criterion or find a different solution).

Sample problems for preparation

To get a feeling of the style and type of theoretical problems to be expected at the Olympiad, students are encouraged to look at the archive of Physics Cup 2012 and problems in the recently published book 200 More Puzzling Physics Problems (note that the free preview includes all the problem texts).

Update: an excellent way of preparing for the EuPhO is to take part in the Physics Cup 2017.

EuPhO problems will be put on the topics of IPhO Syllabus.

Event schedule

The Olympiad takes place from 20 May to 24 May 2017 in Tartu and Tallinn, Estonia.

May 20MorningArrivals to Tallinn airport & Transport to Tartu
EveningOpening ceremony
May 21MorningTranslation of the experimental tasks
AfternoonExperimental examinationFree time
May 22MorningTranslation of the theoretical tasks
AfternoonTheoretical examinationFree time
EveningEnd-of-examination party
May 23MorningTransport to Tallinn
AfternoonExcursions in Tallinn Old Town
May 24MorningClosing ceremony


We are hosting 91 students from 20 countries: Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, Latvia, Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Tajikistan, Turkey.

Problems and Results

Official experimental problem and solution of EuPhO 2017.

Translations of experimental problem:

Official theory problems and solutions of EuPhO 2017.

Translations of theory problem:

New: the table of results of medalists


Great speakers

We have invited several inspiring lecturers addressing the topic of possible academic career choices and discussing the links of physics education and relevant entrepreneurial skills. The videos of the lecures have been made available online.

You are welcome to watch the videos of these exciting lectures and discussions:

  • academic career day:
    • 00:00:48 - 00:52:51, Matt Taylor on Rosetta mission of European Space Agency
    • 00:52:51 - 01:50:59, Erik Tamre on geophysics and Olympiad experiences (bonus: three theatrical vignettes)
    • 01:51:01 - 02:49:53, Kaupo Voormansik on satellite imaging (bonus: how to tell the time of the year from satellite images)
  • entrepreneurial career day:
    • 00:05 - 24:00, Allan Martinson on developing delivery robots
    • 24:13 - 42:14, Mait Müntel from nuclear physics to building a language learning company
    • 42:26 - 63:08, Ana Godinho on CERN and oppurtunities for students at CERN
    • 63:18 - 85:52, Merike Vilberg on career opportunities at Swedbank
    • 86:06 - 120:28, panel discussion with Merike Vilberg, Mait Müntel, Kristjan Korjus, moderated by Aigar Vaigu.


Photos: please share your photos with all other participants on our Google Photos page (Click 'Join' and 'Add to album').

Professional photos taken at the opening ceremony.


The event was organized by Youth Academy of University of Tartu.
The project manager of EuPhO 2017 is Madis Ollikainein, madisollikainen [at] gmail.com.
The website is maintained by Mihkel Kree, mihkel.kree [at] gmail.com.

Pressiteade: Tartu ülikool korraldab esimese Euroopa füüsikaolümpiaadi

20.-24. mail toimub Tartu ülikooli teaduskooli vedamisel esimene Euroopa füüsikaolümpiaad EuPhO2017. Tegemist on üleeuroopalise koolinoortele suunatud rahvusvahelise ainevõistlusega, millel on potentsiaali muutuda korrapäraselt toimuvaks suursündmuseks.

Idee Euroopa füüsikaolümpiaadi traditsiooni loomisest hakkas Euroopa riikide rahvusvahelise füüsikaolümpiaadi võrgustikus levima juba aastal 2000, mil Indoneesias korraldati esimene Aasia füüsikaolümpiaad (Lõuna-Ameerikas on analoogne võistlus toimunud juba alates 1991. aastast). Esialgne plaan hakkas realiseeruma 2007. aastal, kuid ülemaailmse majandussurutise taustal jäi korraldamine pooleli. Eesti füüsikaolümpiaadi korraldajad võtsid 2016. aastal arutelu uuesti üles ja 2017. aasta mais toimubki Eestis esimene Euroopa füüsikaolümpiaad EuPhO 2017, kus osaleb 95 õpilast ja 37 õpetajat ning vaatlejat 23 erinevast riigist (lisaks 19 Euroopa riigile osaleb veel ka 4 külalisriiki Lõuna-Ameerikast ja Aasiast: Brasiilia, Singapur, Tajikistan, Aserbaidžaan).

"Oleme saanud Euroopa füüsikute ja olümpiaadiinimeste kogukonnalt palju tunnustavaid sõnu selle algatuse eest korraldada esimene Euroopa füüsikaolümpiaad. Lisaks sellele, et saame noortele pakkuda rõõmu füüsikalise mõtlemise arendamisel ja probleemide lahendamisel, avaneb noortel suurepärane võimalus luua omavahelisi kontakte üle Euroopa ja saada osa inspireerivatest loengutest karjääripäevadel," sõnab võistluse korraldaja TÜ teaduskooli direktor Mihkel Kree.

Igast osalevast riigist on võistlema oodatud kuni viieliikmeline õpilaste võistkond koos ühe juhendajaga, lisaks võib delegatsiooniga kaasa tulla ka vaatlejaid. Võistlus on õpilastele individuaalne. Eesti võistkonnas astuvad võistlustulle Taavet Kalda (Tallinna reaalkooli 12. klass), Kaarel Hänni (Tallinna reaalkooli 12. klass), Richard Luhtaru (Hugo Treffneri gümnaasiumi 10. klass), Konstantin Dukatš (Narva keeltelütseumi 9. klass) ja Kaarel Kivisalu (Tallinna reaalkooli 9. klass).

Olümpiaadi ülesannete lahendamine toimub Tartu ülikooli Physicumis kahel päeval, kummalgi viis tundi korraga. Kahel võistluspäeval lahendavad võistlejad nii teoreetilisi kui ka eksperimentaalseid ülesandeid. Ülesannete komplekteerimise, hindamisjuhendi moodustamise ning lahenduste kontrollimise eest vastutab Euroopa füüsikaolümpiaadi žürii. „Ülesanded on koostatud nii, et nende põhiline raskuspunkt seisneks töötava lahendusskeemi leidmises, mitte selle rakendamises. Selline rõhuasetus modelleerib hästi nii akadeemilises sfääris kui ka erasektoris tegutseva elukutselise füüsiku tööd,“ kirjeldab EuPhO2017 projektijuht Madis Ollikainen.

Lisaks ülesannete lahendamisele toimuvad EuPhO raames kaks huviloengute seeriat: üks akadeemilises võtmes ja teine ettevõtlusega seotud. Mõlema karjääripäeva raames tutvustatakse olümpiaadil osalejatele erinevaid väljavaateid tulevikus oma füüsika oskuste rakendamiseks. Esmaspäeval 22. mail toimub Tartu ülikooli Physicumis akadeemilise suunitlusega karjääripäev, kus peavad on tegemistest huviloenguid Matt Taylor (Euroopa kosmoseagentuur), Kaupo Voormansik (Tartu observatooriumi radarkaugseire töörühma juht) ja Erik Tamre (mitmete rahvusvaheliste olümpiaadidel osaleja ja Harvardi ülikooli vilistlane). Ettevõtlusteemaline karjääripäev toimub teisipäeval 23. mail Tallinnas Mektorys ning seal esinevad Allan Martinson (Starship Technologies COO), Merike Vilberg (Swedbank) ja Mait Müntel (ettevõtte Lingvist asutaja).

EuPhO2017 toimumisele aitavad kaasa Eesti füüsika seltsi, Tartu ülikool, Tallinna tehnikaülikool, hasartmängumaksu nõukogu, Swedbank, Tartu linn, Euroopa füüsikaühing.

Lisainfo: Madis Ollikainen, EuPhO2017 projektijuht

Event Location

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