Above l to r: John Balcombe, Steve Adams, Seb James (King's), Clive Lam, Georgios Topaloglou (King's), James Brent, Arthur Kung, (local guide from Taiwan), Charles Burson-Thomas (King's)
In late July, three of Shrewsbury's Sixth Form physicists set off for Yuan Ze University, a few kilometres outside Taipei city in Taiwan. They had been selected along with two boys from The King's School Canterbury to represent the UK at the 26th International Young Physicists' Tournament – the world’s foremost annual physics competition, commonly known as the ‘Physics World Cup’.
Shrewsbury’s success in this competition has been extraordinary – over the last ten years, the School’s team has been judged to be the strongest team in the UK no fewer than seven times. In previous years Salopians have travelled to Sweden, Switzerland, Slovakia, South Korea, China and Germany.
After a couple of days acclimatising to the high temperature and humidity in Taiwan, the boys started to find their feet in the tournament itself, which tested not only their in-depth knowledge of advanced physics but also their presentation skills. Up against some fearsome opposition, the UK team did not do as well as they had hoped. But it was a richly cultural experience that they will remember for a long time.
The eventual winners from Singapore, who were incredibly strong, will host the competition in 2017. Well ahead of that, next summer Shrewsbury School has the honour of hosting the 27th IYPT on behalf of the United Kingdom.
Below: John Balcombe (as Chairman of the Organising Committee of IYPT 2014) receiving the IYPT flag from Professor Chih-Ta Chia of Taiwan National Normal University (Chairman of IYPT 2013) and Mr Alan Allinson, President of IYPT