Published: 12 March 2019

Physics students compete in PLANCKS challenge

For the first time, a team of Surrey physics students have put themselves forward for the annual PLANCKS competition: a global event in which student teams from around the world compete in a series of fiendish theoretical physics challenges.

Alexia Beale, Maruf Ali and Luke Alstrom – all second year physics undergraduates – took part in the preliminary round of PLANCKS (Physics League Across Numerous Countries for Kick-ass Students), and achieved ninth place in a hotly fought competition.

The Surrey team showed a great demonstration of skills during the four-hour competition which included a range of challenges in areas such as fluid dynamics, quantum physics, mechanics, Poisson statistics and Brownian motion.

Alexia Beale said: “"We really enjoyed the event, which included some interesting guest lectures as well as the competition. We worked well as a team, enjoying completing the varied set of questions. We were pleased that we came in the top half of the leaderboard and only a few points behind the leaders.”

Dr Caroline Shenton-Taylor, Lecturer in Applied Physics, said: “With only four points separating the top nine, the Surrey Physoc team delivered an excellent performance at the event. I’m very proud of them for taking the initiative to enter the competition and represent Surrey Physics. Hopefully it was a fun experience and one for the diary for 2020!”


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