University of Bayreuth, Press Release No. 027/2022 - 07 March 2022
German Physics Championship: Silver medal for students from SFZ at the University of Bayreuth
The three best teams stood out with similarly outstanding performances. That is why the decision was very close, as the President of the German Physical Society (DPG), Dr Lutz Schröter, and Head of the German Physics Championship, Florian Ostermeier from Ulm, emphasised at the award ceremony. The three winning teams were awarded science books. In addition, they will take part in an exclusive two-day guided tour of CERN in Geneva at the invitation of DPG. CERN boasts the world's largest particle accelerator facility.
"The German Physics Championship GYPT is similar to an international science conference. The students present their research results in English. Afterwards, they have to face numerous critical questions – both from competing teams and from the top-class jury," reports Prof. Dr. Walter Zimmermann, Coordinator of the High School Students Research Centre at the University of Bayreuth, which is part of TechnologieAllianzOberfranken (TAO).
The next goal of the top German students is to participate in the physics world championships, IYPT, the International Young Physicists' Tournament. This competition will take place from 15 to 24 July 2022 in Timisoara, Romania. The five-member national team from Germany will be put together at the beginning of April following a workshop in Ulm. The ten participants will include this year's two GYPT prize winners, Tarek Becic from Frankenwald Gymnasium in Kronach and Florian Moßner from Augustinus Gymnasium in Weiden. "It is likely that at least one of them will be nominated for the national physics team. Bayreuth’s is the only pupil research centre in Germany from which members of the German national team have been nominated in uninterrupted succession since 2014," says Zimmermann, adding: "Winning a silver medal this year is yet again confirmation of our top-class support for young researchers and the good study atmosphere at the High School Students Research Centre of Bayreuth. This success would not have been possible without the great commitment of our 'competition coaches'. Berin Becic, Frederik Gareis, Sebastian Friedl, and Simeon Völkel, who were previously successful themselves in national and international physics competitions, did an excellent job in preparing and motivating this year's SFZ team members."
"By far the most important reason for GYPT participation is the pupils' desire to meet, exchange ideas, and compete with other young people who are equally enthusiastic about research. This basic attitude is a very good basis for our future generation of researchers, and cannot be encouraged enough. Future research success in our country will depend precisely on this ambitious young generation," Zimmermann emphasises. In this context, the Bayreuth physicist and SFZ coordinator also refers to the high-quality, internationally-minded support for talent provided by the German Physical Society and the Wilhelm and Else Heraeus Foundation.
GYPT is, in fact, one of the pupil competitions particularly recommended by the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the States in the Federal Republic of Germany (KMK). Pupils in upper secondary school receive seminar accreditation for successful participation in GYPT.
The research project of the Bayreuth silver-winning team
The Bayreuth silver-winning team investigated the dynamics of two balls connected with a rubber band. The rubber band is twisted tightly, then the balls are placed on a flat wooden plate. The twisted rubber band sets the two balls into a circular rolling motion, or more precisely, the torsional energy stored in the rubber band is converted into kinetic energy in the balls until the rubber band has untwisted. The balls then continue to roll and twist the rubber band in the opposite direction. The two award-winning young SFZ physicists investigated precisely these motion dynamics using modern computer-aided techniques, and described them with a theoretical model. Florian Moßner presented this project to the jury, after which Tarek Becic critically examined and discussed the presentation by the Berlin project team. For this team achievement, both were awarded the silver medal.