This past weekend six Harker students participated in the ninth United States Invitational Young Physicists Tournament held at the Woodberry Forest School in Woodberry Forest, Va., and finished first, ahead of eight other teams from three continents.
The competition is the culmination of yearlong research into four problems spanning many aspects of classical physics including mechanics, fluid dynamics, experimental measurement, optics, wave behavior, magnetism, electrical circuits, etc.
The problems for the 2015 tournament were: 1) measure the Avogadro constant as precisely and accurately as possible; 2) build, analyze and optimize a Gauss rifle; 3) investigate and analyze the problem of the parametric resonance of a mass oscillating on the end of a spring; and 4) investigate and analyze the problem of the “teapot effect,” in which water clings to the underside of a surface as the water flows across the surface.
The tournament this year was the largest in its short history, with nine schools from three continents competing, including two schools from China, one school from Tunisia, and six schools from the United States.
The team from The Harker School came out on top, earning their third victory at the competition in the past five years. The members of the team were Vivek Bharadwaj, grade 11; Nitya Mani, grade 12; Elina Sendonaris, grade 11; Manan Shah, grade 10; Tong Wu, grade 11; and Jessica Zhu, grade 11. These students were supported by Alice Wu and Naman Jindal, both grade 11, in their research efforts leading up to the tournament. Dr. Mark Brada helped prepare the team and accompanied them on the trip.