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International Young Physicists Tournament Committee for Problem Selection 2014 Interim Committee Report John Balcombe Samuel

Byland Ilya Martchenko *

* to whom correspondence should be addressed: ilya.martchenko@iypt.org

July 8, 2013

Contents General information: pp. 2-5 Statistical analysis of the votes: pp. 6-8 Proposed selection of Problems for the IYPT 2014: pp. 9-10 Possible substitutes: p. 11 Working sheets: pp. 12-62

Report prepared by: Ilya Martchenko Verified by: Samuel Byland, John Balcombe

General information
1. Tasks and criteria
1.1. Tasks The key task of the Committee is to prepare a reasonable set of problems with improved wording, to reflect the need of having all fields of physics represented. The Committee is directed by the EC to collect, rank, verify, and propose a selection of problems before the IOC meeting in close cooperation with the EC, IOC, and invited experts. The Committee specifically aims at improving the quality of the problems by evaluating relevant facts and information over a sufficient time span. We have closely followed the strategy used by the Committee in the year 2012. 1.2. Binding criteria for the selection 1.2.1. No repeated, dangerous, trivial or solved problems. 1.2.2. Relevance, consistency, feasibility from the IYPT perspective, and reasonable novelty. 1.2.3. Balanced coverage of various areas of physics.

2. Collecting and pre-screening of the proposals


2.1. The call to all IOC members was sent on November 15, 2012 with the deadline set to February 28, 2013. This deadline was chosen to allow more time for the vote and subsequent discussion, and coordinated with the EC during the meeting in Taipei. 2.2. In the call, we asked each contributor to fill a special form available at iypt.org/Problems. The requested information was the contact details of the problem author, the source of the problem (e.g. a particular journal article, a personal observation, etc.), and two checkboxes: the feasibility of the proposal and whether the proposal has never been an IYPT problem in the past. We are satisfied with the decision to collect such additional information via the checkboxes. There are less repeats submitted and there is more information about the feasibility of each proposal. 2.3. The submission form is left open and all further proposals are being received for the IYPT 2015. As of July 7, 2013 we received 7 proposals for the IYPT 2015. 2.4. Altogether, 99 proposals were received for the IYPT 2014. Each proposal was given index from ID 2014-01 to ID 2014-99 in alphabetical order. Upon a request, the Committee is ready to disclose all necessary details, including the countries not submitting problems and authorship of each proposal. 2.5. Before taking any further step, we removed 7 problems identical to some problems we previously had at the IYPT; removed 2 more problems as too much abstract and not verifiable; removed 2 other problems as controversial and involving experiments on humans and animals; and removed 1 problem because it was already voted for in 2012 (and we thus have it on the record with the score of 2.77 points.) This decision was attentively discussed within the Committee and the EC and relayed to the IOC prior to the vote. 2.6. There were several independent proposals that focused on the same phenomena and effects. Those proposals were merged together in the same manner we did in 2012. We kept all supplementary information intact. 2

2.7. We have received a complaint about the suggested removal of the proposal ID 2014-60 as a full duplicate of a problem from the IYPT 1998. Following the discussion, the proposal was merged with another similar duplicate submitted in the year 2012 (ID 2013-86) and allowed for the vote. In order to establish more uniform and coherent criteria for the future, following the discussion within the EC and the Committee, we established the criteria for quick rejection on March 11, 2013: Repeated problems
Definition: the problem B is called a repeat of the existing IYPT problem A, if a reasonable solution to the problem A would be also considered quite a reasonable solution to the problem B by teams and jurors. This applies to any IYPT problems from the IYPT 1988 to present. Rationale: by removing repeated problems, we prevent situations when teams discover the similar problems from the past IYPTs already solved. Some IMOs have access to the past solutions made by their national teams, in certain cases over a span of 25 years. All teams have access to the IYPT books, journals, webpages and the IYPT Archive that encompass in total ca. 1000 exemplary solutions (for nearly each problem since 1998 and for many problems before 1998.) It is an undesired situation that an existing solution may pass as a new solution without having to invoke any amendments. Furthermore, the IYPT problems are used by an audience much broader than its own entrants; by not repeating problems we promote the global reputation of the IYPT. Example 1: we do not consider that No. 4 Cymbal (IYPT 2008) and No. 7 Hearing light (IYPT 2013) are the repeats. Although both problems deal with photoacoustic excitation, such a similarity is not straightforward. Little to no theoretical models and experiments performed with the Cymbal may be presented in a solution to the Hearing light. Example 2: we do consider that No. 9 Jet-spread (IYPT 1997) and No. 4 Hydraulic jump (IYPT 2005) are the repeats. Although the texts of the two problems are somewhat different, the two problems focus on the same effect, describe the same phenomenon and pose nearly the same questions.

Dangerous problems
Definition: the problem is called dangerous, if an inexperienced or irresponsible entrant can get harmed if ignoring minimum safety measures. Examples: over pressurized glassware, excessively high electric currants, potentially harmful projectiles with uncontrolled trajectory, inhaled gases, substantial amounts of corrosive substances, industrial lasers with a power above 10 mW that may cause retinal injuries.

3. Ranking the proposals via a vote


3.1. On March 14, we invited all IOC members to give a rating to the proposals and evaluate each of them. We distributed the original forms provided by the contributors (with names, emails and countries deliberately hidden), and invited the voters to consider the following suggestions:
To have a more informed judgement about the proposals, please refer to the commentaries and explanations in the original forms from the contributors. I am attaching this pdf file to the email (with all personal details deliberately hidden to improve our peer review.) A short wording of a problem is often tricky, and it can pose a challenge to evaluate the feasibility and relevance of a problem. We hope that the metadata will help us to understand if the expected effects are meeting the IYPT needs, reproducible for the entrants, yet intriguing and thought-provoking. A problem about a fully abstract conjecture or about a well known textbook demonstration is probably not well suited for the IYPT. When evaluating the proposals, please use all spectrum of marks from 1 to 5 but stay centered around the average mark of 3. To improve statistical significance of the results, we kindly ask you to roughly distribute your marks normally. An average and ordinary problem deserves a most probable mark of 3. The mark 5 goes to a few most brilliant problems on the

list that you would happily see at the IYPT. Similarly, use the mark 1 only for a few exceptionally inconsistent problems. With these uniform criteria we would better separate problems and reduce the statistical uncertainty of the ranking.

3.2. At the same time, we invited IOC members, EC members, and problem contributors to examine all proposals in depth, propose amendments and request additional checks.
We ask you not to hesitate, at all times, to make commentaries, report your concerns, share further details and otherwise improve awareness about each proposal we have. Each of your concerns and comments is valuable, and we kindly ask you to report such concerns in advance so that a deeper verification can be done.

3.3. We used a protected web interface to collect the votes. Due to the time constraints, no customized system was developed, and we used a web system powered by limesurvey.org. With such a system we could automatically get advanced statistics on the results, without having to invoke multiple separate Excel sheets. 3.4. By April 12, we received the complete votes from 28 voters. The following documents were then prepared and distributed in the Committee and in the EC: * Raw data used for the statistical analysis (.xls) * Automatically generated statistics on all votes (.pdf) * The leading proposals sorted descending by the score, and graphs, descriptions, and up-to-date supporting information (.pdf)

4. Discussion and selection of the short list


4.1. We stayed focused on the following key criteria: ranking, coverage of various branches of physics, feasibility, relevance, reviews, originality, safety. We discussed various aspects of the problems between April 13 and early July. During this time, we requested authors for necessary clarifications, sought commentaries from experts, shared our remarks and concerns, and performed experimental checks. We did not remove the leftover proposals submitted in 2012 and they had equitable chances in the present selection. We believe that if a problem was not accepted in a year N because e.g. too many problems came from one area of physics, it must be a valid candidate in the year N+1 and afterwards (given it has a sufficiently high ranking.) 4.2. The top proposals had an especially high ranking and were of a very strong interest for the IOC members. We did not doubt their presence on the final list unless we would find that they are not entirely feasible. There was an extended discussion about the feasibility of 4 proposals, and two of them were decided to be put on hold. 4.3. We took care to allow problems from various areas of physics onto the final list. To ensure this balance we gave an equitable preference to the best problems on electromagnetism, heat and thermodynamics, optics etc. and avoided an excessive number of problems from one specific area. 4.4. To do so, we descended down the ranking and attentively chose those proposals that (a) would cover various areas of physics in a reasonable balance, (b) would however have highest possible ranking among their direct competitors, (c) had no objective concerns about safety, relevance and other strong criteria, (d) would be supported by independent credible sources about their feasibility and similar important qualities. The Committee went through a few iterations to arrive at a stable shortlist that would fully satisfy all Committee members. We checked the list by analyzing various qualities and features of the proposals 4

and considering replacements that would allow the entire list staying balanced. 4.5. We applied the same criteria to select 4 possible substitutes from various areas of physics. 4.6. In one of the last steps, we put the problems in random order using random.org/lists. However, we put Invent yourself as No. 1 and Chocolate hysteresis as No. 17 in order to pursue two informal traditions concerning the problem set. Invent yourself is the most open-ended task in the set (and placed first) where the least number of conditions or parameters were specified or fixed. The problem No. 17 features humorous narrations and could involve especially simple and entertaining experiments. By acclamation, we invited Evgeny Yunosov to decide on another traditional feature of the IYPT problems, the epigraph. 4.7. We finally improved wording and style of the selected texts, double-checked the copyright status of text fragments, and made proofreading with the authors, when it was necessary. We did not deem necessary to add supplementary figures.

Statistical analysis of the votes


1. Ranking of the proposals

Figure 1. The distribution parameters for the grades given to each proposal, sorted descending. Circles represent the arithmetic mean of the marks given to each proposal. Black error bars represent the standard deviation across the population of marks i for a specific proposal. Red error bars represent the biased standard deviation of the sample / n which may estimate the statistical uncertainty to determine the mean from a finite data set of n=28 observations. The red bars may roughly represent therefore the utmost resolution we may achieve when distinguishing between average grades for neighbor proposals. In average, / n =0.23.

2. Ranking of the proposals for the IYPT 2014 and for IYPT 2013: comparison

Figure 2. The distribution parameters for the grades in the two years. There is a remarkable reproducibility of the results, including a slight inflection from a linear descent observed for the several strongest and weakest proposals.

3. Test of human bias: number in the list

Figure 3. The distribution parameters for the grades given to each proposal as a function of the proposal number in the list. The test is performed to understand if the ranking is influenced by such factors as human fatigue of seeing many proposals at once, or tending to under- or overestimate the proposals in the middle, in the beginning or in the end of the list. (The proposals were sorted alphabetically.) The green line shows a linear fit across the mean grades as a function of proposal number. The data is not showing a convincing trend. The apparent slight decrease of expected grades (from ca. 2.9 for first proposals to ca. 2.6 for the last proposals) is roughly within the inherent statistical uncertainty / n to determine the arithmetic mean for any proposal (cf. gray error bars.) However, such a trend is now more pronounced than in the previous year. We committee would consider employing an online system that would offer individual, random order of the proposals for each voter. Such a system should also export commentaries from the authors in an individual form for each voter.

Proposed selection of problems (July 8, 2013)

When throwing pebbles into water, watch the ripples; otherwise throwing the pebbles becomes a futile pastime. Kozma Prutkov

1. Invent yourself
It is known that some electrical circuits exhibit chaotic behavior. Build a simple circuit with such a property, and investigate its behavior. Electricity, chaos theory

2. Hologram
It is argued that a hologram can be hand made by scratching a piece of plastic with a set of dividers or similar. Produce a hologram with the letters IYPT and investigate how it works. Optics

3. Twisted rope
Hold a rope and twist one end of it. At some point the rope will form a helix or a loop. Investigate and explain the phenomenon. Mechanics

4. Ball sound
When two hard steel balls, or similar, are brought gently into contact with each other, an unusual chirping sound may be produced. Investigate and explain the nature of the sound. Acoustics, mechanics

5. Loaded hoop
Fasten a small weight to the inside of a hoop and set the hoop in motion by rolling it with your hand. Investigate the hoops motion. Mechanics

6. Bubble crystal
A large number of very small, identical air bubbles float on the surface of a soapy liquid. The bubbles will arrange themselves into a regular pattern similar to a crystalline lattice. Propose a method of obtaining bubbles of equal size and investigate the formation of such a bubble crystal. Capillary phenomena, Fluid dynamics

7. Pot-in-pot refrigerator
The pot-in-pot refrigerator is a device that keeps food cool using the principle of evaporative cooling. It consists of a pot placed inside a bigger pot with the space between the filled with a wet porous material, e.g. sand. How might one achieve the best cooling effect? Heat and mass transfer, thermodynamics

8. Freezing droplets
Place a water droplet on a plate cooled down to around -20 C. As it freezes, the shape of the droplet will change to a cone with a sharp top. Investigate this effect. Heat and mass transfer, fluid dynamics

9. Water balloons
Some students are ineffective in water balloon fights as the balloons they throw rebound without bursting. Investigate the motion, deformation, and rebound of a balloon filled with fluid. Under what circumstances does the balloon burst?

Mechanics, fluid dynamics

10. Coefficient of diffusion


Using a microscope, observe the Brownian motion of a particle of the order of micrometre in size. Investigate how the coefficient of diffusion depends on the size and shape of the particle. Thermodynamics, soft matter physics

11. Candle Power Plant


Design a device that converts the heat of a candle flame into electrical energy. Investigate how different aspects of the device affect its efficiency. Heat and mass transfer, thermodynamics, electricity, fluid dynamics

12. Cold balloon


As air escapes from an inflated rubber balloon, it becomes cold to the touch. Investigate the parameters that affect this cooling. What is the temperature in various parts of the balloon as a function of relevant parameters? Thermodynamics, heat and mass transfer, fluid dynamics

13. Rotating saddle


A ball is placed in the middle of a rotating saddle. Investigate and explain the conditions at which the dynamics of the balls remains stable. Mechanics

14. Rubber motor


A twisted rubber band stores energy and can be used to power a model aircraft for example. Investigate the properties of such an energy source and how its power output changes with time. Mechanics, thermodynamics

15. Oil stars


If a thick layer of a viscous fluid (e.g. silicon oil) is vibrated vertically in a circular reservoir, symmetrical standing waves can be observed. How many lines of symmetry are there in such wave patterns? Investigate and explain the shape and behaviour of the patterns. Fluid dynamics

16. Magnetic brakes


When a strong magnet falls down a non-ferromagnetic metal tube, it will experience a retarding force. Investigate the phenomenon. Magnetism, mechanics

17. Chocolate hysteresis


Chocolate appears to be a solid material at room temperature but melts when heated up to body temperature. When cooled down again, it often stays melted even at room temperature. Investigate the temperature range over which chocolate can exist in both melted and solid states and its dependence on relevant parameters. Soft matter physics, material science

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Proposed possible substitutes (July 8, 2013)


i. Substitute for Optics, Heat and mass transfer
Radiative cooling By using parabolic mirrors solar energy can be focused onto a collector. Due to absorption, the collector gets hot. Use the same method in order to cool down an object. Construct such a device and determine on what parameters the minimum possible temperature of the object depends. ii. Substitute for Magnetism Magnetic pickup Make your own pickup by placing a bar magnet through a coil of wire. When placed next to a vibrating steel string, an induced voltage can be measured across the ends of the coil. Investigate the characteristics of such a device. iii. Substitute for Mechanics Slinky Investigate the motion of a slinky going down stairs. What are relevant parameters for sustained motion? iv. Substitute for Fluid Dynamics Ink and water If a drop of ink falls into water, it produces a fascinating flow first resembling a ring and then a necklace of smaller jets that produce new rings. Investigate the phenomenon.

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Working sheets (ranked original proposals, discussion)


ID 2014-30 3.64 Heat and mass transfer, fluid dynamics

Freezing droplets
Place a water droplet on a plate cooled down to -20 C. When freezing, the shape of the droplet will change to a cone with a sharp top. Investigate this effect.

Figures:

(only as an illustration)

Origins:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9VIRtyKSNVI Enriquez et al. Freezing singularities in water drops. Phys. Fluids 24, 091102 (2012) http://arxiv.org/abs/1110.3698 http://stilton.tnw.utwente.nl/people/snoeijer/Papers/2012/EnriquezPOF12.pdf http://math.gmu.ed

Commentaries:
The phenomenon was very recently (2012) highlighted by Enriquez et al., but quantitative measurements are limited in the literature. An early report of the effect is D. M. Anderson et al. (1996.) The problem is recommended for the IYPT given the novelty and relevance of the phenomenon; a realistic possibility for the students to acquire state-of-the-art results; excellent simplicity of conducting experiments at home; and possibility to collect and interpret the data at various depth levels. Furthermore, the effect is believed to be extremely visual and though-provoking.

New?
Yes

Feasible?
Yes
Commentary (V. K.): Difficult but interesting Commentary (E. Yu.): ! Commentary (S. B.): OK Commentary (I. M.): Will try to arrange an experimental check. Commentary (A. Sh.): The physics is beautiful and suitable. The equipment is enough simple. The effect seems reproducible. Independent experimental check: The effect can be reproduced (see photo attached.) A naked eye sees the motion of the interface of ice and water towards the top. However, I dont quite understand what can be done further in the problem. A theory should be developed. When such a theory is ready, the task is solved. This topic now seems not so rich for me, but initially I though it is much more promising. Commentary (I. M.): I tend to say that there is still lots of parameters to investigate, so it would not be quick and easy to consider the task solved Commentary (S. B.): It works perfectly well (just tried it myself). I like this problem. Commentary (J. L.): Experiment worked just on the first try! Commentary (J. B.): suggested edits, Place a water droplet on a plate cooled down to around -20 C. As it freezes, the shape of the droplet will change to a cone with a sharp top. Investigate this effect. Commentary (Ch.-Ch. T.): good one, however it is very similar to a paper published in AJP last year Suggested decision: accept with the wording proposed by J. B.

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ID 2014-07 3.54 Heat and mass transfer, thermodynamics, electricity, fluid dynamics

Candle Power Plant


Design an apparatus which converts the heat of a candle flame into electrical power. Maximize the efficiency.

Figures:
--

Origins:
The problem should give not only theoretical investigation but also a technical solution.

Commentaries: New?
Unknown

Feasible?
Yes
Commentary (V. K.): I remember something similar three or four years ago. But allows for good work. Commentary (I. M.): Nothing similar, with an exception for such problems as 8. Energy converter (1999): A body of mass 1 kg falls from a height of 1 m. Convert as much as possible of the released potential energy into electrical energy and use that to charge a capacitor of 100 F. Similarity is remote. Commentary (E. Yu.): +/Commentary (M. P.): +/Commentary (S. B.): -/+; the problem is standard. Commentary (A. Sh.): At a first sight, appears as a fully technical task about a heat engine. Apparently, most solutions would focus on building a small plant with a turbine and an electric generator. Could have been an Invent yourself Commentary (S. B.): I like the problem as such, but I wouldn't ask students to maximize the efficiency. In my opinion the problem with similar tasks in recent years was that the discussion (and also some jurors' grading) concentrated too much on the highest possible value, ignoring all the good physics that possibly had been done. In the case of a heat engine this could mean that teams with access to the best possible materials and/or tools would have an advantage over teams with only basic setup. I therefore suggest to change the last part of the task into "Investigate how different parts of your apparatus affect its efficiency". Commentary (I. M.): suggested edits, Design a device that converts the heat of a candle flame into electrical power. Investigate how different parts of the device affect its efficiency. Commentary (J. B.): suggested edits, Design a device that converts the heat of a candle flame into electrical energy. Investigate how different aspects of the device affect its efficiency. Commentary (M. P.): I would include some hint of optimization. With current phrasing students could examine a very lousy device, just to make the analysis simple. What about asking for maximum efficiency at least within a given concept (Peltier vs. Carnot etc.)? Commentary (S. B.): As for the suggestion to (re-) include the optimisation task, I basically agree that it would make the problems less vague. On the other hand I'm quite afraid of jurors putting too much focus on this aspect in their grading. [] In most cases, these optimisation were more about engineering and not so much about physics. I could agree with a wording (and/or appropriate instructions to jury members) that makes clear that the physical reasons behind the optimisation are much more important than the actual outcome. Commentary (Ch.-Ch. T): I do agree with Martin, it is kind of vague for me. It has chemical reactions involved too. Suggested decision: accept with the wording. Design a device that converts the heat of a candle flame into electrical energy. Investigate how different aspects of the device affect its efficiency.

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ID 2014-37 3.54 Optics

Hologram
It is argued that a real hologram can be hand made by scratching a piece of plastic with a set of dividers (a compass.) Produce a hologram with the letters IYPT and investigate how the hologram works.

Figures:

Origins:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XUy8lELWhJg https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0uko9oixijg http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Specular_holography W. Plummer & L. Gardner, Applied Optics, V.31 No.31, Nov. 1992, pp. 6585-6588,A mechanically generated hologram? http://amasci.com/amateur/holohint.html#6

Commentaries:
The easy-to make scratch hologram is proposed as a nearly ideal problem for the IYPT. Feasible and involving both simple experiments and advanced wave optics, it can be investigated and explained at different depth levels. The phenomenon is believed to be thoughprovoking and reflecting the spirit of self-made fascinating science toys. Yes, the hologram is working and easy to produce, cf. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0uko9oixijg.

New?
Yes

Feasible?
Yes
Commentary (E. Yu.): ! Commentary (S. B.): OK Commentary (A. Sh.): A very successful problem. The simple and unexpected effect is attractive. The geometry behind is attractive too. Commentary (S. B.): No objections here. Commentary (J. B.): suggested edits, It is argued that a hologram can be hand made by scratching a piece of plastic with a set of dividers or similar. Produce a hologram with the letters IYPT and investigate how it works. Commentary (S. B.): suggested edits, It is possible to make a real hologram by scratching a piece of plastic with a set of compasses (dividers). Produce a hologram with the letters IYPT and investigate how the hologram works. Commentary (I. M.): I would tend to keep the word argued because it can be argued that this is not a real hologram (i.e. incoherent light hologram etc.) Commentary (Ch.-Ch. T.): good, however, similar to problem 1, there are some references and published papers. Suggested decision: accept with the wording proposed by J. B.

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ID 2014-70 3.46 Mechanics, thermodynamics

Rubber motor
Some classes of aircraft models are powered by the stored energy of a twisted rubber band. Investigate the properties of such a motor, the energy stored in it and how its power depends on time.

Figures:
----

Origins:
Practice of aircraft models.

Commentaries: New?
Yes

Feasible?
Yes
Commentary (I. M.): Remotely reminiscent of No. 5. Rubber heat machine (2001): Investigate the conversion of energy in the process of deformation of rubber. Construct a heat machine, which uses rubber as the working element and demonstrate how it works. Commentary (E. Yu.): + Commentary (S. B.): OK Commentary (I. M.): Should the focus in the problem go on the motor itself or on assembling a flying aircraft? This ambiguity needs to be promptly resolved. Answer from the author: I think, the problem is about the rubber motor itself. Of course, a team, if they want, can to test their ideas about the motor with an aircraft model. But, on my opinion, it is not necessary. The problem is rich and interesting in its simple condition. Question to the author: please comment on the similarity with the problem from 2001. How to reduce such a similarity? Answer from the author: The problem deals with a mechanical transformation of energy: rubber deformation, including nonlinear one, the shapes of twisted rubber band, the torque as a function of the number of turns. The old variant was about conversion of the heat energy into the mechanical energy, as it has place in classical heat machines. Commentary (S. B.): As I understand the problem the task is basically to investigate the twisted rubber band. Should the propeller also be included (e.g. the thrust it produces)? Answer from the author: if they like, the students can also make experiments with a propeller. Commentary (I. M.): suggested edits, Twisted rubber band stores energy. Such an energy can be used to power an aircraft model, for example. Investigate the properties of such a motor, the energy stored in it, and how its power depends on time. Commentary (J. B.): suggested edits, A twisted rubber band stores energy and can be used to power a model aircraft for example. Investigate the properties of such an energy source and how its power output depends on time. Commentary (M. P.): What about asking them to maximize power/total output/efficiency? Commentary (S. B.): As for the suggestion to (re-) include the optimisation task, I basically agree that it would make the problems less vague. On the other hand I'm quite afraid of jurors putting too much focus on this aspect in their grading. [] In most cases, these optimisation were more about engineering and not so much about physics. I could agree with a wording (and/or appropriate instructions to jury members) that makes clear that the physical reasons behind the optimisation are much more important than the actual outcome. Commentary (S. B.): suggested edits, A twisted rubber band stores energy. This energy can be used to power devices such as an aircraft model. Investigate the properties of such a rubber band motor and how its power depends on time. Comemntary (Ch.-Ch. T.): there is a temperature effect of rubber band, that will be also a big factor for the energy store in the it. If the temperature need to be considered, it is better to put the word temperature somewhere. Commentary (I. M.): I would put changes with time to address also the hysteresis, ageing etc. Concerning the remark about the temperature, I am afraid that we would shift the focus too closely to the IYPT 2001 problem: students will start to heat the rubber and of course observe a different complex behavior. We should thus not directly provoke experiments with hair dryers. Suggested decision: accept with the wording, A twisted rubber band stores energy and can be used to power a model aircraft for example. Investigate the properties of such an energy source and how its power output changes with time.

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ID 2014-16 3.43 Thermodynamics, heat and mass transfer, fluid dynamics

Cold balloon
Stick a sticky tape over an inflated balloon and pierce a hole through it. The air escapes from the balloon and one would notice that the deflated balloon becomes cold to touch. Investigate the parameters that affect this cooling. What is the temperature of the balloon as a function of its inflated volume?

Figures:
--

Origins: The cooling of an inflated balloon is due to two effects. The first is the adiabatic expansion of the gas within the

balloon and the second is the cooling of rubber when it contracts [1]. The former is due to the work done by the gas in expansion which draws heat from the surroundings, and the later is because of the increase in entropy of a contracted rubber (stretched rubber has lower entropy). The increase in entropy of the system implies that heat is drawn from the surroundings as well. [1] "Rise of temperature of fast stretching synthetics and natural rubbers" Ind. Eng. Chem. 1942, 34 (11), pp 1340-1342

Commentaries: This is mainly a thermodynamical problem which should not be difficult to analyze. The student should

isolate the two effects and study each independently. The main difficulty is how to design an experiment to measure the temperature rapidly and accurately. Thermocouples can be attached to the balloons and the size of the balloons can be monitored via high speed cameras.

New? Unknown

Feasible? Yes

Commentary (E. Yu.): ! Commentary (M. P.): + Commentary (S. B.): OK Commentary (S. P.): A thermocouple measures *its own* temperature, so we should be careful. Commentary (A. Sh.): The thermodynamics of the effect is not complex, but one would need to consider heat exchange with the environment. Will require resourcefulness to measure the temperature. Questions to the author: Could you please give us any physical evidence that the temperature change in the balloon will be significant enough to be measured by the students? Do you have any quantitative data or personal observations? Are you confident that the students will be able to find a proper method to detect a temperature change? Answers from the author: I don't have quantitative results to show the cooling, but the change in temperature is significant enough to be felt by human touch. (For instance if you quickly deflate a balloon and place it on your lips you can feel the cooling). Assuming that the human body (being a very poor thermometer) can detect changes of down to 1-2degrees (I assume this based on the fact that I can tell when my daughter has fever i.e 36 degrees to 38degrees), I believe this should at least be measurable using a thermocouple (which has a relatively fast response time <1sec) and good sensitivity (+-1degree) stuck to the balloon (http://www.smartsensors.com/spectherm.pdf). Alternatively an Infra-red thermometer can be used (http://www.fluke.com/fluke/usen/electricaltesters/thermometers/fluke-62-max-plus.htm?PID=74272) (which has a response time <500msec and accuracy up to +-1.5degrees). The infra-red thermometer can be calibrated (to account for the emissitivity of the balloon) and measurements could be repeated to reduce the random errors. In addition black tape (or better a black balloon) can also be used to enhance the emissitivity. The interesting problem would be for the students to determine how much of the cooling effect comes from the adiabatic cooling of gases escaping from the balloon and how much comes from the cooling effect due the rubber in the balloon contracting (due to the increase of entropy on contraction). This could be done by studying the temperature change due to stretching of balloons (the reverse of contraction). Similarly the temperature change of pressurized gas escaping from a container can also be studied. The change of temperature due to adiabatic expansion is theoretically straight forward. It would also depend on the type of gases used. A helium filled balloon ought to cool down differently from a nitrogen filled balloon. Commentary (S. B.): As mentioned by others it might be very difficult to measure the temperature of the air in the balloon (heat capacitance of entrapped air and temperature sensor are same order of magnitude). Are there any ideas how students could get reasonable experimental data?

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Independent experimental check: I could not run a test with good tempreature sensors. So I tried just to make the simplest observations. I took a tube (diameter = 2 cm) and closed one end with a polymer membrane. Then I inflated the balloon and connected it to the other end of the tube, and then perforated the membrane to slowly deflate the balloon. The escaping air should be cooling down as it is adiabatically expanded. But it is immediately mixed with the ambient air, cancelling the effect. For the air inside the balloon the effect is apparently isothermal because the heat exchange must be quick through the thin wall of the balloon. The authors say about the air cooling inside. I don't think that such cooling is measurable. I also tried to stick a scotch tape and perforate the balloon with a needle. The balloon bursted. Summary: I wouldn't take this problem. If there are temperature changes. they are not significant, and the participants from usual school, with no access to sensitive equipment, will simply detect no change. In my opinion, the physical effects should be detectable in the very first tests. Commentary on the experimental check (A. Sh.): When we inflate the rubber balloon with a mouth, inside it remarkably increases the humidity of air. Then this moisture is deposited on the inside walls of the balloon. It is this moisture that can lead to a small decrease of the temperature sensed by touch. Slow deflation through the needle hole have a duration about few minutes. And the establishment of thermal equilibrium for such thin shells (as we remember from the last-year problem Flying Lantern) is a thing of noticeably shorter spans of time. Commentary (P. U.): I think the cheap infrared sensors will be precise enough. I was myself planning to buy one or two. We only have to check that its accuracy is no less than 0.1 degrees and that it measures in a good range of wavelengths. Commentary (S. B.): Yesterday I did some quick and dirty tests with a balloon and an infrared thermometer. I found that the temperature decrease as displayed on the thermometer was about 2 C, with a steep decrease in the final part of deflation. I would like to perform some more tests on Monday in order to find out if the measurements are reproducible. I think the main question is if the surface temperature is a good measure for the average temperature in the balloon. Commentary (I. M.): Well, I think that this is not so important. Now we know that the effect of cooling is *existing* (cf. lips of the author) and *measurable* with cheap equipment (cf. your experiment.) Even if the surface temperature is not equal to the temperature inside, or even if an IR measurement will not be precise enough, then the problem will be simply more complex and more challenging (but still feasible and allowing for simple observations.) The good opponents would then have good opportunities to discuss the measurements by the reporter and point out to errors. Also, it is important to check that that the text of the problem is correct. Now it simply says "the deflated balloon becomes cold to touch" (not: "the air inside cools down", or not: "the rubber cools down".) I think this is accurate wording. In my opinion we can now accept the problem :) Commentary (S. B.): In fact I did some more quick experiments with the balloon. I put a simple valve to the balloon's "mouthpiece" and fixed it with a clamp. The IR thermometer was pointing the the mouthpiece to make sure that the distance to the balloon skin was constant. When I filled the balloon with air from my lungs, the temperature rose by about 6 C. I then waited until it had cooled down to room temperature and let the air flow out of the valve, which took about 10 s. During that time the temperature decreased by about 1 C. The effect is definitely reproducible, even with a simple IR thermometer. I'm very much in favour of this problem! Commentary (I. M.): suggested edits, Stick an adhesive tape over an inflated balloon and pierce a hole through it. The air escapes from the balloon and one would notice that the deflated balloon becomes cold to touch. Investigate the parameters that affect this cooling. What is the temperature in various parts of the balloon as a function of relevant parameters? Commentary (J. B.): suggested edits, Stick a piece of adhesive tape on an inflated balloon and pierce a hole through it. As air escapes from the balloon, it becomes cold to the touch. Investigate the parameters that affect this cooling. What is the temperature in various parts of the balloon as a function of relevant parameters? Commentary (S. B.): suggested edits, When the air escapes from an inflated balloon, the balloon skin becomes cold to the touch. Investigate the parameters that affect this cooling. How does the temperature in different parts of the balloon depend on relevant parameters?

Suggested decision: accept with the wording, As air escapes from an inflated rubber balloon, it becomes cold to the touch. Investigate the parameters that affect this cooling. What is the temperature in various parts of the balloon as a function of relevant parameters?

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ID 2014-47-48-95 3.39 Magnetism, mechanics

Magnetic brakes
When a strong magnet is released to fall in a non-ferromagnetic metal tube, the magnet will experience a decelerating force. What are the parameters affecting this force? Investigate the phenomenon and achieve the greatest time of the fall.

Figures:
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Origins:
ID 2014-47: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=mS0Y5nTfoqc ID 2014-48: This problem is based on the linear eddy current brakes, a technology already implemented in modern high speed brakes. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linear_eddy_current_brake#Linear_eddy_current_brake

Commentaries:
ID 2014-47: A strong magnetic interaction between ferromagnetic and non-ferromagnetic materials is the main feature of this problem. Relevant parameters in the set up such as the size and strength of the magnetic field of the magnet, the number of magnets, tube size can be changed in a wide range in the experiment. ID 2014-48: The moving magnets near a conductor induces eddy currents in the conductor due to the changing magnetic flux cutting the conductors, these currents in turns creates an induced magnetic field which opposes the motion of the magnets. The students can study the strength of the deceleration as a function of magnetic field strengths and electrical conductivity.
Decision (03.03.2013): merged from the proposals ID 2014-47, ID 2014-48, and ID 2014-95. Original text of ID 2014-47: Low gravity. Place a strong magnet in non-ferromagnetic metal tube and drop it, and the magnet will fall significantly slow down. Explain the phenomenon and achieve the greatest time of the fall. Original text of ID 2014-48: Magnetic brakes. When a moving magnet is placed near a conductor, it experiences a decelerating force. What are the parameters affecting this force? How is this dependent on the conductor and the magnetic field strength? Original text of ID 2014-95: Where curve will bear. Aluminum disc, whose plane is vertical, is falling between the poles of magnets. Observe and describe trajectory of aluminum disk, its dependent on the characteristic parameters of the system (such as the magnetic field, the distance between the magnets and the height from which aluminum disc falls, etc.)? Commentary (J. B.): This has been proposed many times and has never been accepted. The magnet rolling down a sloping plate (Rolling Magnets, 2006) was a much better problem and is maybe too similar. Commentary (V. K.): Not new for us. Commentary (I. M.): Here the magnet falls inside the tube, so I would say the similarity is not very strong. Commentary (E. Yu.): ! Commentary (M. P.): +/-; but I agree with Johns remark Commentary (S. B.): -/+ Commentary (A. Sh.): The effect is good and allows for a good study. Commentary (S. B.): I would cancel the part about achieving the greatest time of the fall since this is mainly a question of having the best materials. Commentary (I. M.): was proposed for the IYPT 2006: 123. Falling magnet If a cylindrical rare-earth magnet, or similar strong magnet, is dropped down a vertical copper or other non-ferrous metal tube, it descends at a surprisingly slow and steady speed. What factors determine its velocity of descent? And for the IYPT 2008: Resistivity. Investigate the motion of a small magnet falling through a metal tube. Using your results, develop a device allowing you to measure the resistivity of the metal. Commentary (I. M.): suggested edits, When a strong magnet is released to fall in a non-ferromagnetic metal tube, the magnet will experience a decelerating force. What are the parameters affecting this force? Investigate the phenomenon. Commentary (J. B.): suggested edits, When a strong magnet falls down a non-ferromagnetic metal tube, it will experience a retarding force. Investigate the phenomenon. Suggested decision: accept with the wording proposed by J. B.

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ID 2014-64 3.36 Optics, heat and mass transfer

Radiative cooling
By using parabolic mirrors solar energy can be focussed on a collector. Due to absorption the collector gets hot. Use the same method in order to cool down an object. Construct such a device and determine on what parameters the minimum possible temperature of the object depends. What is your minimum?

Figures:
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Origins:
An article about this phenomenon was published in a magazin of the Dutch Physical Society (Nederlands tijdschrift door Natuurkunde) June 2012, page 192. See for instance also: http://people.csail.mit.edu/jaffer/cool/Aperture/

Commentaries:
The students are expected to construct the device and try to measure the cooling effect.

New? Yes Feasible? Yes


Commentary (E. Yu.): !; can be specified that a very cold object (liquid nitrogen) is placed into the focus of the second reflector Commentary (M. P.): +/Commentary (I. M.): I think the problem is very promising (not sure if rephrasing is needed and what would be the best.) Commentary (A. Sh.): The effect is good and didactic. But the task leads to quire demanding technical solutions that are difficult to implement: a elliptically shaped mirror, evacuated air, liquid nitrogen etc. Probably we should fix the minimum limit of temperature of the heat sink? Commentary (S. B.): Has anyone tried this with a setup that can be realised at a typical high school? I'm not sure whether this can be successfully done without access to advanced equipment. The last question is unnecessary. Students are expected to report their temperature decrease anyway. Questions to the author: Would it be possible to ask you to comment on these remarks? Could you please comment on the opinion that the problem may be too demanding for the students? In particular, it would be really wonderful if you could comment if students may reach good results without smooth curved mirrors, liquid nitrogen and other pieces of equipment that may be quite demanding for the inexperienced teams. Would you suggest to expect that the heat is radiated into the environment or rather consumed by the heat sinks (liquid nitrogen etc.) Depending on this, it would probably be necessary to edit the text. Answers from the author: I got the idea after reading an article about this in the Journal of the Dutch Physics Society: 'Nederlands Tijdschrift door Natuurkunde', 2012, June, page 192. Seen the remarks I think that the referees didn't get it. The purpose is to cool an object placed in the focus of the parabolic mirror. When radiation from a source (at infinity and along the major axis) is received by the mirror, the object in the focus is heated. The inverse is true while the mirror points in a direction where there is no source. When the temperature of an object is constant, there is an energy balance. With the help of the mirror there is no balance anymore: the influx is lower than the out flux and the object cools down. So there is no liquid nitrogen needed! Who got that idea? The students have to think about how to optimize the out flux of radiation and how to minims the influx of all kinds of energy. That does not seem too hard to me. Commentary (S. B.): I'm still hesitant. It is one thing to state that there should be an effect (to be honest the explanation doesn't really convince me), but another to be sure whether the effect is measurable under conditions and with equipment available to our students. I agree with the reviewer of Cold balloon that the physical effect should be detectable in the very first tests, which doesn't seem to be clear in this case. Without any clear evidence, I wouldn't include this problem in the first selection. Commentary (I. M.): Article that the author mentions: http://www.beam-up.nl/pdf%20documentatie/artikel %20NTvN.pdf (ouph :-) it took me 20 min to find the article, I was about to write to the editor of the journal :-)) In principle, students can buy small pieces of mirrors (one month ago we urgently needed such mirrors in Turkey

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at the IYNT and there was no trouble to get them in supermarket, the size was ca. 6x8 cm; also there are many options like http://www.ebay.com/itm/SMALL-CUT-MIRROR-PIECES-200-pieces-/370253281425, 200 pieces for 16 USD.) And with such mirrors they can put together a good approximation of a parabolic surface. Commentary (I. M.): Infrared reflector can be made from aluminum foil, for example? I think so. Commentary (I. M.): http://pak-science-club.blogspot.se/2012/05/parabolic-solar-cooker-construction.html http://www.instructables.com/id/Make-a-quotcompoundquot-parabolic-solar-cooker/ (how to make a decent parabolic mirror for the IR range... so on this side the task is feasible) Commentary (S. B.): I'm not really convinced by "Radiative cooling". I had found the first article mentioned by the author, which is a theoretical simulation of a situation that is much more restricted than becomes clear from the wording of the problem. Unfortunately my Dutch is too bad to be able to understand the second article. I don't think it would be a problem to build a decent parabolic mirror. What I'm still missing is some evidence that there is a measurable effect for a realistic setup. Without this I wouldn't include this problem. Commentary (I. M.): Estimates and references; theres no need to use a mirror if we radiate into the night sky, http://www.asterism.org/tutorials/tut37%20Radiative%20Cooling.pdf http://www.ide.titech.ac.jp/~icuc7/extended_abstracts/pdf/375930-1-090512223019-004.pdf http://www.astronomy.ohio-state.edu/~dhw/A825/notes8.pdf http://www.hko.gov.hk/education/edu01met/wxphe/radiationcooling/radcoolinge.htm http://www.docstoc.com/docs/22437703/MEASUREMENT-OF-NIGHT-SKY-EMISSIVITY-INDETERMINING-RADIANT-COOLING http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/Hbase/thermo/cootime.html Allen, R.G., Walter, I. A., Elliot, R. L.,Howell, T.A., Itenfisu,D.,Jensen, M. E., Snyder, R. L., 2005, Reference Evapotranspiration Equation.American Society of Civil Engineers. Eriksonn, T. S.,Granquist C,G., 1982, Radiative cooling computed for model atmospheres. Applied Optics Vol.21No. 23. Goforth, M. A., Gilcrest, G. W., Sirianni, J. D. 2002, Cloud Effects on Thermal Downwelling Sky Radiance. SPIEVol. 4710. Hamberg, I., Svensson, J. S. E. M., Eriksson, T. S.,Granquist, C.G.,Arrenius, P.,Norin, F. 1987, Radiative cooling and frostformation on surfaces with differentthermal emittance:theoretical analysis and practical experience. Applied Optics Vol. 26 No. 11. http://www.physics.ucc.ie/staff/Didfyz%20paper.pdf Commentary (I. M.): Can we re-formulate the problem to keep the idea of energy transfer via radiation (cooling?) but keep the parameters under more control? Commentary (J. B.): Suggested edits, By using parabolic mirrors solar energy can be focused onto a collector. Due to absorption, the collector gets hot. Use the same method in order to cool down an object. Construct such a device and determine on what parameters the minimum possible temperature of the object depends.

Suggested decision: take as a possible substitute for the IYPT 2014, but first make sure students would be able to resolve convection-based and radiation-based heat losses.

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ID 2014-62 3.32 Heat and mass transfer, thermodynamics

Pot-in-pot Refrigerator
Pot-in-pot refrigerator is a device which keeps food cool using the principle of evaporative cooling. This device consists of a pot placed inside a bigger pot. The space between the pots is then filled with wet porous material, perhaps a type of sand. The liquid soaked in the sand will evaporate and draw heat from the inner pot, allowing the food stored inside the inner pot to cool. How do the environmental conditions and the amount of water soaked in the sand affect the rate of cooling? What is the optimum geometries of the pots? How should the inner pot be placed? What type of liquid and porous material should be used for better cooling?
Figures:
Images are easily found at : https://www.google.com/search?q=pot%20in%20pot%20refrigerator&aq=f&um=1&ie=UTF8&hl=en&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&ei=Y8sqUe6sGomiiAfko4GYCw&biw=1366&bih=624&sei=DswqUYzBaaiiAe474CgAw

Origins:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pot-in-pot_refrigerator This device keeps being rediscovered again and again with different designs by different persons. However the one used in this problem was invented by Mohammed Bah Abba who was awarded the Rolex Award

Commentaries:
Some comments about the problem: -The problem is simple(the solution is complicated), interesting, and open ended. Which are basically the requirements for IYPT problems. -The materials and devices required to do the relevant experiments are easily found with low or no prices in daily life. Porous medium: various type of sand, napkins, clothes, etc. Devices: thermometer, hygrometer -Articles directly related to pot-in-pot refrigerator are easily found but they do not give in depth analysis of the physics behind it. -There are so many variables to consider, heat capacity, conductivity, compactness, adhesion, cohesion, etc The participants are expected to: 1. Theoretical -Learn, explore, and model evaporation process in porous media. -Model the heat transfer mechanism from the inner pot to the porous media, and the heat transfer within the porous medium. Which also means modelling the flow of liquid inside the porous medium. -etc. 2. Experimental -Determine which parameters/properties are significant, and which parameters properties aren't.(because there are so many variables to consider) -Find some creative way to "see" inside the porous medium -etc.

New? Yes Feasible? Yes Commentary (V. K.): The problem is beautiful, but the questions are somewhat irrelevant. Commentary (I. M.): Too similar to Radiative cooling to be included together. Commentary (E. Yu.): + Commentary (M. P.): + Commentary (S. B.): OK Commentary (I. M.): We should probably try a major rephrasing of the problem, to shift the focus away of another refrigerator. Just temperature change due to evaporation? This is really important. Commentary (A. Sh.): One more thermodynamics task? If so, this one is better than ID 2014-64 because technically simpler. And the physics appears enough reach at various levels. Commentary (S. B.): Nice problem, but I would reduce the number of questions to make it more open-ended. I agree with the comment that this one is more appropriate than "Radiative cooling" for IYPT because it's easier to set up. Commentary (I. M.): suggested edits, Pot-in-pot refrigerator is a device which keeps food cool using the principle of evaporative cooling. It consists of a pot placed inside a bigger pot. The space between the pots is then filled with a wet porous material, e.g. sand. How to achieve a better cooling? Commentary (J. B.): suggested edits, The pot-in-pot refrigerator is a device that keeps food cool using the principle of evaporative cooling. It consists of a pot placed inside a bigger pot with the space between the filled with a wet porous material, e.g. sand. How might one achieve the best cooling effect? Commentary (S. B.): suggested edits, A pot-in-pot refrigerator is a device which keeps food cold by means of evaporative cooling. It consists of a pot placed inside a bigger pot with the space between the pots filled with a wet powers material (e.g. sand). Investigate the cooling effect of such a device. Sugegsted decision: accept with the wording proposed by J. B.

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ID 2013-16 3.31 Mechanics, fluid dynamics


Title of the problem Suggested phrasing Shaking vessel Place and fix a vessel partially filled with water on a stiff vertical spring, which is fixed on the floor. Describe the motion of the vessel and its dependence on the amount of water in the vessel. Own invention, based on an unsuccessful experiment performed during cleaning a vivarium.

Source (full citation of any paper, book or webpage used) Physical background of the problem

Vessel with the spring form a nearly harmonic oscillator. The same holds for small amplitudes for the water in the vessel, however generally with different frequency and always shifted in phase. As such they would form a system of coupled oscillators. The water oscillator however cannot be always driven it falls down easily into chaotic motion. The idea is to perform experiments and to see clear distinction between two kinds of behaviors coupled oscillators and a spring oscillator strongly damped by the chaotic movement of water. Qualitative theoretical explanation shall be possible on the IYPT level, as well as quantitative for the coupled oscillator movement for all levels of the competition.

Expected contribution of students (theory / experiment / both)

Commentary (S. B., 2012): I don't quite understand the "nearly harmonic oscillation" of the water in the container. Is it moving from one side to the other (horizontally)? Is the spring's motion constrained to the vertical direction? Commentary (I. M., 2013): A very interesting problem, but still too similar to Bouncing ball (fluid motion in a closed cavity.) Commentary (E. Yu.): + Commentary (M. P.): +/-; but I agree with Ilyas remark Commentary (S. B.): +/Commentary (A. Sh.): Too similar to bouncing ball (2013) Suggested decision: put on hold till a future selection; currently too similar to other tasks about liquid sloshing.

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ID 2014-46 3.29 Mechanics

Loaded Hoop
Fasten a small weight to the inside of a hoop and set the hoop in motion by rolling it with your hand. Investigate the hoops motion.

Figures:
http://link.aip.org/mm/AJPIAS/1.3697837/v4.avi

Origins:
from: Am. J. Phys. 80, 594 (2012)

Commentaries:
Depending on the ratio of the hoop's to the attached weight's mass and the initial conditions, a number of interesting phenomena can be observed, e.g. that the hoop takes off the ground. The students should analyse different types of motion and give a theoretical explanation for their observations.

New?
Yes

Feasible?
Yes, Hopefully Commentary (I. M.): Should it be rolling on a horizontal surface? Commentary (E. Yu.): ! Commentary (M. P.): + Commentary (S. B.): OK Commentary (A. Sh.): The problem does not look enough rich in physical contents. Over two minutes, I produced a computer simulation and looked what happens at various coefficients of friction, ratios of masses, and initial speeds of the hoop. I would take it for a three-day event, but I think not for a year-long IYPT. Commentary (S. B.): No objections. Should we include "horizontal surface"? Commentary (I. M.): Probably not, because rolling on an inclined surface is also very relevant. We can accept with the present wording. Commentary (J. B. & S. B.): suggested edits, hoops motion. Commentary (Ch.-Ch. T.): the motion set by hand, so will it possible move forward but rotate backward? Is this one of the possible cases that need to be investigated? Or this is against the original design of the problem? Suggested decision: accept with the present wording, typo corrected.

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ID 2014-14 3.25 Thermodynamics, soft matter physics

Coefficient of diffusion
A micrometer sized particle in a fluid will undergo a random walk. Observe such a particle under a microscope and measure its coefficient of diffusion. How the coefficient is related to the size of the particle?

Figures:
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Origins:
Own suggestion but relevant concepts are known. Brownian motion, random walk, Stokes drag coefficients etc. Relevant references: Brown. Phil. Mag. 4, 161-173 (1828); Einstein Ann. Phys. 17, 549560 (1905.) Perrin (1908) etc.

Commentaries:
The problem combines an interesting technical side (looking at a Brownian particle with a cheap USB microscope) and very important physical background. The IYPT participants will get conversant in thermodynamics, stochastic dynamics and motion of "nanoswimmers". The problem is interesting and accessible at various levels (from a simple observation up to motion tracking and linking translational and rotational thermal motion of a visible (an)isotropic (nano)particle to its size and shape.)

New?
Yes

Feasible?
Yes
Commentary (V. K.): Sivukhins textbook. Brownian motion, rather than diffusion. The properties of liquid are important! Commentary (I. M.): Motion of a Brownian particle is called diffusion, all terminology is correct. Commentary (I. M.): How to produce such a small particle? Commentary (E. Yu.): !; could look into the classical experiments and the problem is very educational Commentary (M. P.): + Commentary (I. M.): but also fresh because modern science looks a lot at the dynamics of nanoparticles Commentary (S. B.): OK. One can also recall of Einsteins work etc. Commentary (A. Sh.): Classical Brownian motion, nothing new. A microscope with a USB port is needed, and not every team has it. I can buy it, but not every school team can afford it. I would reject this problem. Commentary (I. M.): I disagree that buying a cheap USB microscope for 20 to 40 Euros would be a financial obstacle. If it would, there are manuals on how to build it with an old microscope and a 5 Euro webcam. Commentary (S. B.): I like it. Commentary (I. M.): I would make a tiny edit concerning an anisotropic diffusion (e.g. if the particle is a long rod, not a sphere.) Commentary (I. M.): coming back to my earlier question, yes, such particles can be milk fat droplets (when diluted, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ernnQJwaKTs), smoke particles, etc. Commentary (I. M.): suggested edits, A micrometer sized particle in a fluid will undergo Brownian motion. Observe such a particle under a microscope and measure its coefficient of diffusion. How the coefficient is related to the size and shape of the particle? Commentary (J. B.): suggested edits, A particle of the order of micrometre in size in a fluid such as water will exhibit Brownian motion. Observe such a particle under a microscope and measure its coefficient of diffusion. How is the latter related to the size and shape of the particle? Commentary (S. B.): suggested edits, Using a microscope observe the Brownian motion of a micrometer-sized particle in a fluid. Investigate how the coefficient of diffusion depends on the size and shape of the particle. Commentary (I. M.): I would not draw attention to water. Suggested decision: accept with the wording, Using a microscope, observe the Brownian motion of a particle of the order of micrometre in size. Investigate how the coefficient of diffusion depends on the size and shape of the particle.

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ID 2014-25 3.25 Electricity

Electrical contact between two metallic balls


Two steel, well polished, clean balls (for example taken from bearing) of diameter greater than 1 cm, which both, contain solid electrical contacts are touched together. Analyze how resistivity of such point contact system depends on additional external force which press balls one to another.

Figures:
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Origins:
Background - mechanical identation, nanoidentation - in nano scale

Commentaries: New?
Yes

Feasible?
Yes, Hopefully Commentary (I. M.): Any evidence for the effect? Is it measurable? Commentary (V. K.): This one is better than No. 1 Ball Sound, while both are similar. When working on Ball sound, electrical methods would anyway be used. Commentary (E. Yu.): -; they will only measure a step function Commentary (M. P.): +/Commentary (S. B.): I also have concerns Commentary (A. Sh.): The problem is clear and interesting. But I am not sure the experiments would be reproducible. The title should be shorter too. Suggested decision: put on hold till a future selection; make further checks about feasibility.

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ID 2014-69 3.25 Mechanics

Rotating saddle ball trap


A ball is placed in the middle of a rotating saddle. At proper conditions the ball is held in its center. Investigate and explain the conditions at which the dynamics of the ball remains stable.

Figures:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XTJznUkAmIY

Origins:
The physics behind refers to dynamical trapping or dynamical stabilization. Similar applications occur in ion traps where the confinement is achieved with a combination of oscillating and statical electrical fields. In the mechanical version studied here

Commentaries:
The problem is an analogue to a paul trap used to trap ions. However, here the finite size of the trapped particle is not negligible. This underlying technique was recently honoured with nobel prizes in physics for Wolfgang Paul in 1989, and David Wineland in 2012.

New?
Yes

Feasible?
Yes, Hopefully Commentary (E. Yu.): + Commentary (M. P.): + Commentary (S. B.): + Commentary (A. Sh.): A very didactic problem. Good mechanics, something to play with. Commentary (S. B.): Interesting and realistic problem Commentary (J. B.): suggested edits, A ball, when placed in the middle of a rotating saddle, will under appropriate conditions, remain at its centre. Investigate and explain the conditions at which the dynamics of the ball remains stable. Commentary (S. B.): suggested edits, A ball is placed in the middle of a rotating saddle. Investigate and explain the conditions for which the ball remains in a stable position. Commentary (I. M.): I would tend to say that the dynamics should be stable in the first place, not the physical position. What if the ball never returns to its original location and has a complex orbit? Commentary (I. M.): I suggest to shorten the title to Rotating saddle. Suggested decision: accept with wording, A ball is placed in the middle of a rotating saddle. Investigate and explain the conditions at which the dynamics of the balls remains stable.

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ID 2014-01 3.21 Acoustics, mechanics

Ball Sound
When two hard steel balls, or similar, are brought gently into contact with each other, an unusual chirping sound may be produced. Investigate and explain the nature of the sound.

Figures:
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Origins:
Own problem - have observed it many times. Toy ferrite magnets are sold that produce a similar sound e.g. http://www.supermagnete.ch/eng/ZWO-1

Commentaries:
Sound can be recorded and analysed and related to hardness of surface, nature of impact etc.

New?
Yes

Feasible?
Yes Commentary (E. Yu.): -/+ Commentary (M. P.): -/+ Commentary (S. B.): + Commentary (I. M.): well need to ask the author for more information about the effect Commentary (A. Sh.): The effect is well reproducible. But the research does not seem simple. I looked at the spectrum and it does not offer much for further thoughts. It is not clear what the teams would do next. I would reject this problem. Commentary (S. B.): It's ok. Not many variations (different diameters, ?)

Suggested decision: accept with the present wording.

28

ID 2014-10 3.18 Soft matter physics, material science

Chocolate hysteresis
Usually, chocolate is a solid material at room temperature, but melts when heated up to a temperature of a human body. Even after it has been cooled down again (in the very unlikely event it has not been eaten), it often stays melted at room temperature. Study the extent of temperature where chocolate can exist in both melted and solid state and its dependence on relevant parameters.

Figures:
---

Origins:
Own idea with a few experiemnts performed during a hot holliday :-).

Commentaries:

This problem has rather experimental nature. Chocolate as amorphous material has no strict boundary between melted and solid state, but this can be defined by effective viscosity cutting the phase region. Simple experiments show that the temperature extent can reach up to 10C and is easy to measure (the change of viscosity is steep and is clearly dependent on fact whether the chocolate is heated or cooled. The exact values naturally depend on the chocolate ingredients, mainly on whether solely cocoa butter or also some other oils are used. It is not easy to build up any quantitative theory, but qualitatively the hysteresis can be explained by the fact that the solid state is not solid in fact, but it is rather a liquid state with very high viscosity and the viscosity depends on formation of clusters of fat molecules. New? Unknown Feasible? Yes Commentary (V. K.): The problem is tasty. Commentary (M. P.): + Commentary (E. Yu.): ! Commentary (S. B.): Commentary (I. M.): materials science or food science; quantitative explanation difficult but students will learn about rheology and phase transitions in soft matter Commentary (A. Sh.): when first experiments are done, what to do next? I do not see good opportunities to dig further into the problem. Commentary (I. M.): I would tend to say theres quite a lot to measure (but not quite a lot to describe conceptually and theoretically) Commentary (S. B.): Students will love that one, but I'm not so sure about physical depth. Commentary (I. M.): suggested edits, Chocolate appears as solid material at room temperature, but melts when heated up to a temperature of a human body. When cooled down again, it often stays melted at room temperature. Study the temperature range where chocolate can exist in both melted and solid state and its dependence on relevant parameters. Commentary (J. B.): suggested edits, Chocolate is a solid material at room temperature but melts when heated up to body temperature. When cooled down again, it often stays melted even at room temperature. Investigate the temperature range over which chocolate can exist in both melted and solid states and its dependence on relevant parameters. Commentary (I. M.): to avoid questions about the physical accuracy, I would not write chocolate is solid because it is rather a super-cooled liquid/a glass. Suggested decision: accept with the wording, Chocolate appears to be a solid material at room temperature but melts when heated up to body temperature. When cooled down again, it often stays melted even at room temperature. Investigate the temperature range over which chocolate can exist in both melted and solid states and its dependence on relevant parameters.; and accept as the problem No. 17 (the most entertaining problem.)

29

ID 2014-42 3.18 Electricity, chaos theory

Invent yourself
It is known that several electrical circuits present chaotic behavior. Propose the simplest electrical circuit with this property and investigate its properties.

Figures:
---

Origins:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chua%27s_circuit

Commentaries:
Circuits such as "Chua's circuit" can be used to observe chaos in electric circuits. This is a easy way to investigate how system interacts when its parameters are changed.

New?
Yes

Feasible?
Yes
Decision (11.03.2013): provisional title for the vote suggested as Chaotic Circuits as the decision about naming one problem Invent Yourself will be taken later. Commentary (M. P.): probably reformulate; diodes need to be used? Commentary (S. B.): + Commentary (A. Sh.): Chaos in electric systems is a very good topic. I would replace this problem with a description of a specific device or at least with naming a specific element to be used here. Commentary (I. M.): will need to contact the author for clarifications. Commentary from the author: I would like to thank for all the comments. In order for a system to exhibit chaotic behavior non-linear elements, have to be used. Some sources state that Chua's circuit is the simplest possible chaotic circuit. I am not sure what definition of simplicity is used. Therefore I would not include the name of the circuit in the task and leave this for the precipitants to examine. I changed the statement of the task a bit, listing elements to be used. Maybe such formulation of the task would be better: "It is known that several electrical circuits present chaotic behavior. Using resistors, capacitors, inductors and least as possible of other electrical elements, build a simple circuit with such property and investigate its behavior." Commentary (S. B.): I would change "the simplest electric circuit" into "a simple electric circuit". There's nothing really new about this investigation so I'm not sure whether this is a good IYPT problem. Commentary (I. M.): suggested edits, It is known that some electrical circuits present chaotic behavior. Using resistors, capacitors, inductors and least as possible of other electrical elements, build a simple circuit with such a property, and investigate its behavior." Commentary (J. B.): suggested edits, It is known that some electrical circuits exhibit chaotic behaviour. Using resistors, capacitors, inductors and a minimal number of additional components, build a simple circuit with such a property and investigate its behaviour. Commentary (S. B.): suggested edits, It is known that some electrical circuits show chaotic behaviour. Build a simple circuit with this property and investigate its behaviour. Commentary (I. M.): okay, we have two contesting opinions here, whether we should be open-ended or more specific. My suggestion, given the fact that the author submitted the problem in the Invent Yourself category, is to stay open-ended.

Suggested decision: accept with the wording, "It is known that some electrical circuits exhibit chaotic behavior. Build a simple circuit with such a property, and investigate its behavior."; and accept as the problem No. 1 Invent yourself

30

ID 2014-55 3.18 Fluid dynamics

Oil stars
If a layer of oil (for example silicon oil) is vibrated vertical, several patterns can be observe. Investigate and explain structure of those patterns.

Figures:
http://prl.aps.org/covers/110/9

Origins:
Jean Rajchenbach, Didier Clamond, and Alphonse Leroux, Phys. Rev. Lett. 110, 094502 (2013) http://prl.aps.org/covers/110/9

Commentaries:
I just read about this and it seems to be a very good task for IYPT. Here is an abstract from publication: We report a new type of standing gravity wave of large amplitude, having alternatively the shape of a star and of a polygon. This wave is observed by means of a laboratory experiment by vertically vibrating a tank. The symmetry of the star (i.e., the number of branches) is independent of the container form and size, and can be changed according to the amplitude and frequency of the vibration. We show that a nonlinear resonant coupling between three gravity waves can be envisaged to trigger the observed symmetry breaking, although more complex interactions certainly take place in the final periodic state. New? Yes Feasible? Hopefully

Commentary (E. Yu.): + Commentary (M. P.): need to check with the author but can be +; are we sure the students would not be doing the same work as leading university groups and (inherently) staying at a much humbler level? Commentary (S. B.): + Commentary (A. Sh.): A very interesting phenomenon. I would love to study it. Commentary (S. B.): I gave that one a short try, but didn't manage to observe the type of patterns described in the task. What are appropriate values (thickness of layer, frequency, amplitude, etc.)? Can this be done with standard school equipment? Commentary from the author: I performed some basic experiments with fluid (glycerin, kitchen oil) in the vibrating vessel. I found it easy to observe some surface waves and oscillations. Unfortunately I wasn't able to give a try with silicon oil. In order to obtain oil stars one probably needs to tune the system. Answer to S.B.: The biggest experimental problem in this task is to obtain stable vertical vibrations of given amplitude and frequency. The same problem student's had to face while studying the task "Faraday Heaping" of IYPT 2011. Several teams used a loud speaker, to achieve that. Answer to M.P.: In my opinion several IYPT task are way beyond "High School level", and are of interest of scientists. I may even be able to give example of IYPT taks, that few years after being the problem for the tournament, was studied by university group and became a publication in Nature. On the other hand we can never say that students will do the same work, as we are not sure what university groups are doing right now. Therefor students work may be a contribution to modern studies. I send you a video of a phenomenon I observed. If it is necessary for the purpose of the task, it may be shown as a form of a proof that phenomenon occurs, and what it looks like. Btw. Looking on this movie You may notice that structures see to have hexagonal shape. Sorry for the quality, the uncompressed version has 100Mb Commentary (I. M.): the video uploaded to http://archive.iypt.org/oil_stars_Sequence_01_2.3gp Commentary (S. B.): From what I can see in the oil star video, the problem is not at all what I had been expecting. From the wording of the problem ("a layer of oil") I had been looking for a star-shaped static pattern instead of the standing waves appearing in the video. This may still be an interesting problem, but the wording is definitely misleading. Commentary (I. M.): We will need to replace "silicon oil" with "viscous fluid" if we accept the problem. Feedback from Jean Rajchenbach requested, no answer received. 31

Discussion with the author aimed at checking the feasibility of the effect. Commentary (S. B.): Although I haven't found the time and the equipment to try "Oil stars" in the way apparently intended by the author, I think it's possible to include it in the shortlist. The videos provided by the author are evidence that there is at least something to observe, although I didn't see any stars Commentary from the author: I made some experiments with silicon oil. It works well, as silicon oil has high surf. tension. Of course farther investigation is needed. But I think the video I send shows some interesting aspects. My goal next year will be the video from article (in attachment). My videos you find on google docs. https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B222NlXiDLvGTXlzNmZJQWtmTjA/edit https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B222NlXiDLvGdmx3T1c0a1FpU3M/edit Commentary (I. M.): suggested edits, "If a layer of viscous fluid (e.g. silicon oil) is vibrated vertically, symmetrical standing waves can be observed. Investigate and explain the shape and behavior of these standing waves." Commentary (J. B.): suggested edits, If a layer of viscous fluid (e.g. silicon oil) is vibrated vertically, symmetrical standing waves can be observed. Investigate and explain the shape and behaviour of these standing waves. Commentary (S. B.): suggested edits, If a thick layer of a viscous fluid (e.g. silicon oil) is vibrated vertically, symmetrical standing waves can be observed. Investigate and explain the shape and behaviour of these standing waves. Question to the author: The next question is: whether the shape of the reservoir is essential? I would tend to say that you see triangular patterns in one video because you have a round circular beaker. If it would be rectangular, you would have other patterns, not polygonal. Is it correct? If yes, we definitely need to edit the text if we speak about the "symmetrical" patterns. Answer from the author: I would limit the case to circular beaker. Commentary (I. M.): In coordination with the author the wording is suggested as, If a thick layer of a viscous fluid (e.g. silicon oil) is vibrated vertically in a circular reservoir, symmetrical standing waves can be observed. How many lines of symmetry are there in such wave patterns? Investigate and explain the shape and behaviour of the patterns. Suggested decision: accept with the wording proposed by I. M.

32

ID 2014-89 3.14 Heat and mass transfer, mechanics

Toy boat
Using a smooth, thin wooden bar make a model of the toy-ship (like on the picture). Put a heating element (spiral) in the slit so it can heat water surface layer. Place an energy source of the deck. Investigate how the speed qualities depends on the difference of temperature of water near-by the heat element and other volume.

Figures: Origins:
---

Commentaries:
---

New?
Unknown

Feasible?
Hopefully
Commentary (I. M.): Any evidence the boat will move? Commentary (E. Yu.): + Commentary (M. P.): above or inside water? Commentary (I. M.): need to ask for further information. Commentary (A. Sh.): I failed to reproduce the effect. I would reject the problem. Question to the author: Should the heating element be above of inside the water? Could you provide any information about the anticipated speed of the boat and whether an AA battery (?) will be sufficient? We need this information to be certain that the boat would move ahead. Answer from the author: The spiral should be submerged so that the temperature influence on the surface tension is manifested. This will require calculations, research and tests. The same is the case to select the power supply. All depends on what spiral and what configuration of the spiral the teams will choose. Its most important in the problem to make the ship move. There is no question about the duration of the motion. If they find a compromise, it will be great. The task has many layers. Question to the author: In order to be confident, have you seen such a boat moving? The reason for our question is because the problem seems very interesting, but it is unclear if the boat will be able to move (at least, theoretically.) That is crucial; if no team can produce a moving boat, its troublesome to accept the problem. Answer from the author: 10 or 12 years ago my students had a project work on local changes of surface tension. Also due to temperature. One method to influence was to look at the motion of a body placed in a liquid with a gradient of sigma. The results were reproducible. I do not deny that the work is demanding and delicate. The students moved away all around the world, but the effect came to my mind recently. One needs to test and search. I remember such an effect mentioned in Perelmans book. Or in Kvant. Difficult to say. I satisfied my curiosity, made a research and let the topic aside. Independent experimental check: I made the boat. Since I could not find the nichrome wire, I tried to heat the screw driver over a candle and then place it into the cavity in the boat. There is no effect even at the temperatures when the water starts to effervesce. In a more classic experiment, when a drop of detergent is placed into the cavity, the same boat moves ahead very fast. I have concerns in the reproducibility of the effect. Probably it would exist at some circumstances, but if most teams fail to observe it in their tests, it would not be good. I would invite the author to make a test and send a video. We would then try to reproduce the effect. If it works, we would edit the task. If not, I would not suggest accepting the problem.

Suggested decision: put on indefinite hold unless evidence for the feasibility is found.

33

ID 2014-26 3.11 Fluid dynamics, acoustics

Escaping the antinode


Establish a standing wave of a relatively high frequency on a surface of a tank about a cm depth, filled with liquid (e.g. water). Under certain conditions (magnitude, frequency and liquide deplth combination) small droplets will start jumping out of the water surfacettr. Explain the phenomenon, study relevant parameters and find the critical conditions under which the jumping droplets are observed.

Figures:
--

Origins:
observation during a demonsration of an active noise reduction system on IYPT 2012.

Commentaries: New?
Unknown

Feasible?
Yes Commentary (V. K.): Was used either in Korea or in China. But is fresh and well formulated. Commentary (I. M.): Was not used in 2007 or 2009. Only similarity is with No. 12. Kundts Tube (2004): In a Kundts Tube type of experiment the standing waves produced can be made visible using a fine powder. A closer look at the experiment reveals that the regions of powder have a sub-structure. Investigate its nature. Commentary (E. Yu.): +/Commentary (M. P.): -; not a linear effect, I am afraid the solution will be in playing around 3 parameters Commentary (S. B.): Commentary (A. Sh.): There are some similarities with the problem Bouncing ball because the nonlinear standing waves can lead to splashes. Suggested decision: put on hold till a future selection.

34

ID 2013-03 3.08 Mechanics


Title of the problem Suggested phrasing Source (full citation of any paper, book or webpage used) Twisted Rope Consider a rope hold horizontally on its two ends. Twist one of its ends. At some point rope will form a helix or a loop. Investigate and explain the phenomenon. Once I read an interesting article on this topic, but I cannot find it at the time. Here are articles connected with this phenomenon: J. Michael T. Thompson Single-molecule magnetic tweezer tests on DNA: bounds on topoisomerase relaxation Proc. R. Soc. Lond. 464 (2008) 2811 A. Goriely M. Tabor Nonlinear dynamics of filaments. IV Spontaneous looping of twisted elastic rods Proc. R. Soc. Lond. 454 (1998) 3183 When rope is twisted, energy due to internal strain is building up. At some point it is energetically preferable for rope to form a loop, than remain twisted. Problem involves basic continuum medium physics. Student should investigate, why initially straight horizontal twisted rope changes it shape. Student should answer questions: - What shapes can be obtained in this process. - On what parameters dose phenomenon depend: (length of rope, distance between ends of rope angle of twist, diameter of the rope, history of the rope) - Is there hysteretic in the system? It would be greater is student would achieve a phase diagram presenting what shapes can a rope obtain for given distance between ends of a rope and angle of twist. This phenomenon can be analyzed by looking on the total energy of the system. Such analysis, or similar, should be carried out, and conclusions should be carried out. This is a very common, and easy to observe phenomenon. However it is not easy to explain its cause.

Physical background of the problem Expected contribution of students (theory / experiment / both)

Further explanations or comments

Commentary (I. M., 2012): substitute for Mechanics? Commentary (S. B., 2012): Sounds promising. Only basic equipment required. Authors commentary (2012): As I look for literature on this topic I find that this phenomenon is important in understanding the behavior of DNA chains. It is interesting that problems of micro-scale can be investigated, and analyzed using macro-scale systems such as rope or elastic rod. Here you can find a movie connected with the phenomenon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k4fbPUGKurI&feature=related Commentary (I. M.): A promising problem. Omitted in 2012 because of an excessive number of mechanical problems. Commentary (E. Yu.): + Commentary (M. P.): + Commentary (S. B.): + Commentary (A. Sh.): Weakly related to the Rubber motor which appears to be richer in physics. Commentary (S. B.): No objections Commentary (I. M.): suggested edits, Hold a rope and twist one of its ends. At some point the rope will form a helix or a loop. Investigate and explain the phenomenon. Commentary (J. B.): suggested edits, Hold a rope and twist one end of it. At some point the rope will form a helix or a loop. Investigate and explain the phenomenon.

Suggested decision: accept with the wording proposed by J. B.

35

ID 2013-04 3.08 Chaos theory, electromagnetism, mechanics


Title of the problem Suggested phrasing Magnetic pendulum Consider a pendulum with a magnet attached to its end. Place it over base containing magnets, and move it out of its equilibrium position. When is it possible to determine the final position of such pendulum? Here is a video well presenting this phenomenon: http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=Qe5Enm96MFQ Such pendulum exhibits chaotic behavior. Final position of the pendulum depends strongly on initial conditions, and in general one is not able to precisely predict pendulums motion and final position. However for some initial conditions (for example small displacement from equilibrium) one is able to predict final position. Solution of the problem would require knowledge of classical mechanics, magnetostatics, and little of electrodynamics. Mayor forces that act on the pendulum are gravitational and once from magnetic interaction. Dumping due to air friction and eddy currents also occurs. Students contribution that I would expects is: Theoretical: - Equations describing pendulums motion. - As those equations are hard to solve, a numerical simulation to solve them. - Chaotic systems are often investigated using methods such as: Lyapunov exponent, Poincar map, Fourier analysis. This also allows comparing theory with experiment. Experimental: - Student should build such pendulum - Investigate how it behaves depending on initial conditions, mass of pendulum and its length, strength of the magnets, number of magnets and their position and orientation. Problem allows students to learn a lot about chaotic systems. Experimental setup is easy to build and no advance apparatus is required to perform measurements.

Source (full citation of any paper, book or webpage used) Physical background of the problem Expected contribution of students (theory / experiment / both)

Further explanations or comments

Commentary (S. B., 2012): Well known and thoroughly studied phenomenon. I doubt that students can come up with interesting new ideas. I recommend not to include this problem because of its lack of originality. Authors commentary, 2012: I agree with the comment that the phenomenon is well studied. However it is common that also well studied phenomena are the tasks for IYPT. In my opinion this still is a great and interesting problem. (On the other hand If I would have a choice I would rather select problem *Twisted rope*. It seems far more interesting and less trivial. As I look for literature on this topic I find that this phenomenon is important in understanding the behavior of DNA chains. It is interesting that problems of micro-scale can be investigated, and analyzed using macro-scale systems such as rope or elastic rod.) Commentary (I. M., 2012): Substitute for Chaos theory, electromagnetism, mechanics? Commentary (E. Yu.): -/+ Commentary (M. P.): Commentary (S. B.): Commentary (A. Sh.): In my opinion, would contain too many computer simulations and not enough physics.

Suggested decision: put on hold till a future selection.

36

ID 2014-03 3.07 Mechanics, fluid dynamics

Bouncing Balloons
Investigate the bouncing motion of a balloon filled with fluid. What is the maximum drop height to rebound height ratio you can achieve?

Figures:
--

Origins:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=VlUNevsIgE4

Commentaries:
Happy for phrasing to be adapted, multiple levels of physics, - as a minimum I would expect a simple energy equation with gravitational, kinetic and elastic (approximated) to predict height - more advanced students could do more with elastic energy in relation to the changing shape of the balloon surface - really impressive solutions would look at the cool ripples and surface effects

New?
Unknown

Feasible?
Yes
Commentary (J. B.): Seems rather similar to the current problem 3 Bouncing Ball for 2013 Commentary (S. B.): very similar to "Bouncing Ball" (2013), only difference being Ballon instead of Ping Pong Ball Commentary (I. M.): I agree that the problem is reminescent of No. 3, 2013 "Bouncing ball." But I do not quite agree that the two problems are so strongly similar that a comment should be left of the entire problem rejected. In the new proposal (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VlUNevsIgE4) there is a primary role played by the elastic membrane, and there are no energy losses as the liquid "impacts" on and "detaches" from the wall (compare against: http://vimeo.com/29207632). The elastic cavity has apparently no air inside. Coming back to the definition of a repeated problem I suggested yesterday, it would be difficult to use any of the results obtained with the "Bouncing ball" to enhance a solution to this new proposal. Commentary (V. K.): Very familiar though. Commentary (E. Yu.): ! Commentary (M. P.): -; I agree there is little physical similarity to Bouncing ball; but there is a strong optical similarity; we can keep the problem for 2015 Commentary (A. Sh.): Too similar to the Bouncing ball Commentary from the author: I see the problem, I agree, let's edit the text to make it less similar. How about: Water Balloons Some students are ineffective in water balloon fights as the balloons they throw rebound without breaking. Investigate the motion and rebound of a ballon filled with fluid. Under what circumstances does the balloon break? I'm happy for you to take liberties in rewording - no need to check with me Commentary (S. B.): Might be interesting, but also tricky. Commentary (I. M.): suggested edits, Water balloons. Some students are ineffective in water balloon fights as the balloons they throw rebound without breaking. Investigate the motion, deformations, and rebound of a balloon filled with fluid. Under what circumstances does the balloon break? Commentary (J. B.): suggested edits, Some students are ineffective in water balloon fights as the balloons they throw rebound without bursting. Investigate the motion, deformation, and rebound of a balloon filled with fluid. Under what circumstances does the balloon burst?

Suggested decision: accept with the wording proposed by J. B.

37

ID 2014-15-79 3.07 Fluid dynamics

Coffee Cups
Physicists like drinking coffee, however walking from lab to lab with a full cup of coffee can be problematic. Investigate how the shape of coffee cup, speed of walking and other parameters affect the likelihood of coffee being split while walking.

Figures:
--

Origins:
ID 2014-15: Personal experience over many years of coffee drinking. ID 2014-79: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/47364282/ns/technology_and_science-science/t/sciencereveals-how-not-spill-your-coffee-while-walking/#.UJ_y6YfAfW8 http://pre.aps.org/abstract/PRE/v85/i4/e046117

Commentaries:
ID 2014-15: Sloshing modes of liquid in a cup. Effect of frequency etc. on amplitude. Effect of shape of cup, slope of sides, level of liquid, speed of walking, motion of hand while walking etc.

New?
Yes

Feasible?
Yes Decision (03.03.2013): merged from the proposals ID 2014-15 and ID 2014-79. Original text of ID 2014-15: Coffee Cups. Physicists like drinking coffee, however walking from lab to lab with a full cup of coffee can be problematic. Investigate how the shape of coffee cup and other parameters affect the likelihood of coffee being split while walking. Original text of ID 2014-79: Spilling Coffee. Study of the conditions under which coffee spills for various walking speeds and initial liquid levels in the cup. Commentary (V. K.): Too many parameters fixed. It would be good to ask for changing the speed of walking. But can be okay. Commentary (E. Yu.): +/Commentary (M. P.): +/Commentary (S. B.): Commentary (A. Sh.): Again liquid sloshing in a solid cavity. I would make a pause of two years within such narrow topics even if the effects are not the same. Suggested decision: put on hold till a future selection; currently too similar to other tasks about liquid sloshing.

38

ID 2014-41 3.07 Fluid dynamics

Ink and water


Drip some ink or drawing ink in a water, it instantly assumes the shape of ring (gyre). After a while the ring is divided on the necklace of drops. Further drops continue to submerge in water and the second cycle of segmentation begins. Every new drop grows into a new ring. There is a typical chain reaction. Invetigate this phenomenon.

Figures:
---

Origins:
---

Commentaries:
---

New?
Unknown

Feasible?
Hopefully Commentary (J. B.): Seems rather like some interpretations of problem 9 from 2007 Commentary (I. M.): I agree that the problem is reminescent of No. 9, 2007 "Ink droplet". However, to my best knowledge, the key effect in 2007 was in the self-propelled motion of a little particle of glassy ball-pen ink that stayed on the water surface and did not sink. Now we have liquid ink that shows Rayleigh-Taylor instability as it descends in water (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vPhMRS14Kw). Commentary (A. Sh.): Formation and instability of vortices is a good topic. Easy to observe. Commentary (S. B.): Possible substitute? Has anyone tried? If it's easy to observe, this will be a good problem. Commentary (I. M.): Yes, I have tried, its indeed easy to observe. Suggested decision: take as a possible substitute for the IYPT 2014 with the wording, If a drop of ink falls into water, it produces a fascinating flow first resembling a ring and then a necklace of smaller jets that produce new rings. Investigate the phenomenon.

39

ID 2014-43 3.07 Optics, acoustics, wave phenomena

Invent Yourself
Light and sound are both wave-phenomena: many optics phenomena have their counterpart in acoustics and vice-versa. Develop an original sound device or experiment based on a close analogy to an optical phenomenon (e.g. an acoustical lens, rainbow, laser etc.)

Figures:
--

Origins:
A book by a russian popular science writer from the beginning of the 20th century, whose name I forgot

Commentaries:
Very open-ended, suggested for the "invent yourself" category. Main goal should be to have students ponder on the deep analogy between two physical phenomena (sound, light) that are seemingly quite different. Many such sound devices exist but are less well known from the public than their optical counterparts : acoustical lenses, acoustical mirrors, acoustical waveguides etc. Other perhaps remain to be explored : acoustical black body radiator, acoustical laser, etc.

New?
Unknown

Feasible?
Yes, Unknown Decision (11.03.2013): provisional title for the vote suggested as Light and Sound as the decision about naming one problem Invent Yourself will be taken later. Commentary (A. Sh.): The task is too vague. Suggested decision: put on hold till a future selection.

40

ID 2014-49 3.07 Magnetism

Magnetic Pickup
Make your own pickup by sticking a permanent bar magnet through a coil of wire. When placed next to a vibrating steel string, an induced voltage can be measured across the ends of the coil. Investigate the characteristics of this pickup and how they depend on the different parts.

Figures:
---

Origins:
I sometimes use this as a classroom demonstration for induced emf.

Commentaries:
Students are expected to vary some parameters (magnet, coil, string) and investigate how the output signal depends on the frequency and amplitude of the oscillating string.

New?
Yes

Feasible?
Yes Commentary (A. Sh.): Not very interesting. Commentary (J. B.): suggested edits, Make your own pickup by placing a bar magnet through a coil of wire. When placed next to a vibrating steel string, an induced voltage can be measured across the ends of the coil. Investigate the characteristics of such a device.

Suggested decision: take as a possible substitute for the IYPT 2014.

41

ID 2014-60/2013-86 3.07 Mechanics, fluid dynamics

Ping Pong ball in water


Immerse a Ping Pong ball in water and let it rise freely. You can experience that a ball immersed deep into the water will hardly jump above the surface in contrast to a ball immersed only shallowly. Investigate and explain this phenomenon. What is the optimal depth of immersion to observe the highest jump?

Figures:
ID 2014-60: Videos show the phenomenon and its context. Links are valid for 30 days. http://is.muni.cz/de/98316/lopticka1.avi http://is.muni.cz/de/98316/lopticka2.avi

Origins:
ID 2014-60: Own experiment.

Commentaries:
ID 2014-60: Ball quickly reaches its terminal velocity of rice in water. With bigger depths, more water will be pulled together with the ball making it harder for the ball to leave the surface of the water. Experiment is easy to perform on qualitative level. More demanding is quantitative level, high speed camera is of a great help. Qualitative theory is possible, quantitative probably not.

New?
Unknown

Feasible?
Yes Commentary (11.03.2013): the problem similar to No. 2 Popping body (IYPT 1998): A body is submerged in water. After release it will pop out of the water. How does the height of the pop above the water surface depend on the initial conditions (depth and other parameters)? Three solutions published in the proc. book for the IYPT 1998, one solution published on Jan Theofels webpage. However, the authors endorse the new problem as interesting and important. Decision (11.03.2013): merged from the proposals ID 2014-60 and ID 2013-86. Original text of ID 2014-60: Ping Pong ball in water. Immerse a Ping Pong ball in water and let it rise freely. You can experience that a ball immersed deep into the water will hardly jump above the surface in contrast to a ball immersed only shallowly. Investigate and explain this phenomenon. What is the optimal depth of immersion to observe the highest jump? Original text of ID 2013-86: Put a pingpang ball into certain depth under the water surface and then release the ball. Study the condition under which the ball jumps over the water surface. Commentary (V. K.): The problem is well covered and has already been used! Commentary (A. Sh.): Was the problem in 1998. But the effect is interesting. Suggested decision: put on indefinite hold.

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ID 2013-34 3.04 Fluid dynamics


Title of the problem Suggested phrasing Source (full citation of any paper, book or webpage used) Physical background of the problem Expected contribution of students (theory / experiment / both) Pulsating fountain Investigate the rising and falling process of a fluid jet, which is vertically upward directed. Chr. Clanet, On large-amplitude pulsating fountains, J. Fluid Mech (1998), vol. 366, pp. 333-350 Surface tension, fluid dynamics Theory and experiments especially with water. Experimentally the students have to construct fountains With very constant water flow. May be also other fluids show interesting effects.

Commentary (I. M., 2012): similar to Fountain (IYPT 2004): Construct a fountain with a 1 m head of water. Optimise the other parameters of the fountain to gain the maximum jet height by varying the parameters of the tube and by using different water solutions. Commentary (I. M., 2012): substitute for Fluid dynamics? Commentary (S. B., 2012): too close to Fire Hose to be included. Commentary (A. Sh.): The task is good. I dont see anything similar to the key effect at earlier IYPTs. I suspect there are both periodical pulsations and something chaotic. Suggested decision: put on hold till a future selection.

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ID 2014-74 3.00 Optics, fluid dynamics

Shadows in water
Place a pot of cold water onto a heater. If you shine light from above on the pot, you may spot sharp thin higher illuminated lines on the bottom of the pot. Explain the phenomenon and its dependence on relevant parameters.

Figures:

Pictures show the phenomenon and its context. http://www5.picturepush.com/photo/a/11951808/img/11951808.jpg http://www3.picturepush.com/photo/a/11951821/img/11951821.jpg http://www2.picturepush.com/photo/a/11951825/img/11951825.jpg

Origins:
Own Experiment.

Commentaries:
Thin streams of significantly heated waters flow upwards from the bottom of the pot, reach the surface and collapse. Flows are stochastic, but surprisingly stable, which results in a pattern not changing significantly for seconds at least. Streams can be visualized by putting a source of color into the water. Due to the dependence of refraction index of water on temperature, light is refracted and concentrated on patterns related, but not trivially, on the streams. Observation part of the problem is similar to Bright waves from IYPT 2012, but the physical background is pretty different. Even more, partial results from the previous problems (where the main question was what pattern is formed under known shape of the waves) can be used for solving this problems (where the pattern is the key to unknown streams of hot water).

New?
Unknown

Feasible?
Yes Commentary (A. Sh.): The optical side is similar to the Bright waves from 2012. But the mechanism to produce optical inhomogeneities is completely different and interesting on its own. Suggested decision: put on hold till a future selection.

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ID 2014-75 3.00 Mechanics

Slinky
Investigate the motion of a slinky 'going' down stairs. What are relevant parameters for sustained motion?

Figures:
----

Origins:
personal observation.

Commentaries: New?
Yes

Feasible?
Yes, Hopefully Commentary (A. Sh.): A good problem in mechanics. Suggested decision: take as a possible substitute for the IYPT 2014.

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ID 2013-70 3.00 Optics


Title of the problem Suggested phrasing Source (full citation of any paper, book or web page used) Physical background of the problem Expected contribution of students (theory / experiment / both) Spy glass If you look in a one-way mirror (e.g. in cars or buildings), you just see your reflection. But by taking photos, under certain conditions, you can see the background through the mirror in the picture. Own observation in venice. Polarization and Brewsters angle The idea is to perform experiments to see the effect and give a theoretical explanation.

Commentary (I. M., 2012): check with the author if the effect is indeed reproducible for a variety of such mirrors. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One-way_mirror http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Optical_coating Is the effect only related to the spectral sensitivity of human eye vs CCD matrix? Is the effect sufficiently reproducible? Commentary (I. M., 2012): substitute for Optics? Commentary (S. B., 2012): The effect seems to be restricted to the use of a polarization filter for the camera. If so this should be mentioned in the problem. Commentary (A. Sh.): At the first glimpse this is a good problem. Commentary (S. B.): Possible substitute? Has to be clarified (polarisation filter required?), but possible substitute for optics. Commentary (D. A.): The effect described in the problem is very interesting. It's not so simple from physical point of view and has some practical value. Main disadvanage is that effect is not clear to be feasible. If so, problem is very interesting and spectacular. Suggested decision: put on hold till a future selection.

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ID 2013-88 3.00 Material science, mechanics, heat and mass transfer


Title of the problem Suggested phrasing Cracking Ice When an ice cube is dipped in water, it may crack. Study the origin of this phenomenon and important parameters. My freezer Thermal expansion constraints ? Bubble expansion ? Theory : understand mechanical properties and failure of a material, Experiment : different bath temperatures, ice cube geometries, type of ice cubes, etc.

Source (full citation of any paper, book or webpage used) Physical background of the problem Expected contribution of students (theory / experiment / both) Further explanations or comments

Commentary (S. B., 2012): I wonder whether a clear relation between parameters (e.g. temperatures) and the cracking can be found. Otherwise interesting idea. Commentary (S. E., 2012): Agree with S.B. about cracking ice. Commentary (A. Sh.): It is not clear what the phenomenon should look like. Suggested decision: put on hold till a future selection.

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ID 2014-11 2.96 Fluid dynamics, material science

Clepsydra
Use the regulated flow of a liquid to build a device that indicates when 12 minutes have passed. What is your expected margin of error and how does it align with your measurements? Investigate relevant parameters.

Figures:
---

Origins:
Water clocks, along with sundials, are likely to be the oldest time-measuring instruments http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_Clock IYPT has had a very theoretical approach to a 'clock' at the 2nd IYPT already. Alternative names for this problem: "Time

Commentaries:
Many IYPT problems deal with 'time' in some way. Students however shouldn't take for granted that time can easily and precisely be measured. Therefore the task is to try to build a simple clock and investigate the physics behind it. Restricting it to a flow of a liquid (probably water will be used) keeps the setup adequately simple and gives the opponent a chance to prepare. Also the result won't be too precise and therefore enable students to use ordinary clocks to test their setup with. It's expected for the reporter to show both theoretically and experimentally why their setup reaches a certain precision. Setting a limit of 12 minutes on the one hand helps to make the results a bit more comparable but is especially used to motivate teams to bring their clocks and demonstrate them to stop the 12 minutes of their presentation.

New?
Yes

Feasible?
Yes, Hopefully Commentary (V. K.): There is a GIANT amount of literature on the problem. We risk to have the reviews of literature only. Commentary (A. Sh.): In my opinion the task is not very interesting. There is the task Leaky vessel about the same topic, and that one is better. Suggested decision: put on hold till a future selection.

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ID 2014-34 2.96 Mechanics, material science

Hard ice
Using temperatures up to that achievable by a domestic freezer (ca. -20C), how hard can ice be? Investigate how to obtain a harder ice.

Figures: Origins:
Khrushchov, M M; Berkovich, E S. A study of the hardness of ice. V. P. Epifanov. Rupture and dynamic hardness of ice.

Commentaries:
What might be interesting to investigate: - salt content and type - dissolved gas - rate of heat exchange - temperature

New?
Yes

Feasible?
Hopefully Commentary (A. Sh.): This one is more interesting than Cracking ice in my opinion. Suggested decision: put on hold till a future selection.

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ID 2014-77 2.96 Optics, heat and mass transfer, thermodynamics

Solar Pond
A solar pond is a special pool of saltwater for heat accumulation.Explain basic principle of solar pond. Investigate the role of the saltwater gradients for accumulation. Try to estimate efficiency of solar ponds.

Figures: Origins:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_pond

Commentaries: New?
There was a similar IYPT problem in the past, but I endorse the new proposal as interesting and important

Feasible?
Yes Commentary (A. Sh.): The task is clear. But I dont have a judgment about the effects themselves. Suggested decision: put on hold till a future selection.

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ID 2014-80 2.96 Magnetism, mechanics

Spinning magnets
Arrange small magnets in a ring with the dipoles lying along the circumference. Now bring another bar magnet close to this ring, and observe that this ring would start to spin rapidly. Explain what causes this spinning effect. What parameters can you optimize to get the maximum angular velocity? How can you debunk the myth that this is a perpetual motion machine?

Figures:
---

Origins:
(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q2Xwx23GoPU) As can be readily seen on the video a series of magnets when arranged in a ring would seem to accelerate in the presence of another magnet. There are some claims that this can be made into a perpetual motion machine (see for instance John Howard US patent 4,151,431 titled "permanent magnet motor"). Of course that is not possible. What actually happens is the magnetic potential energy is converted to rotational kinetic energy, much in the same way as the Gaussian cannon (so work is done to move the magnet to the ring of magnets). The ring would spin for a while until friction or dissipative forces slows the ring down enough for it to eventually come into equilibrium.

Commentaries:
The students can study how the rotational speed depends on the strength and the distance of of the magnets. They can also examine how the rotational speed depends on the sizes and the arrangements of the dipoles. They can also examine the equilibrium state of the magnets (potential minimum) of the setup.

New?
Unknown

Feasible?
Yes Commentary (S. B.): The "bar magnet" mentioned in the problem is in fact a straw in the video, with a person blowing through it to cause the rotation. Commentary (V. K.): When the first question is answered, the second becomes trivial. Commentary (A. Sh.): Rather simple problem, and similar to Gaussian cannon from 2012. In my opinion, it is quite a suitable task. Suggested decision: put on hold till a future selection.

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ID 2014-92 2.96 Soft matter physics, fluid dynamics

Vibrating liquid
If a portion of non-newtonian fluid is placed on vibrating plane it forms vertical structures, which grow forming interesting shapes. Investigate and explain the phenomenon.

Figures:
---

Origins:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3zoTKXXNQIU

Commentaries: New?
Yes

Feasible?
Yes Commentary (A. Sh.): The problem Oil stars is more esthetically appealing. Suggested decision: Suggested decision: put on hold till a future selection; merge with similar proposals concerning starch suspensions on a loudspeaker.

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ID 2014-96 2.96 Optics, capillary phenomena

Where is the bathroom?


Why are jeans darker when they are wet?

Figures:
---

Origins:
I think i thought of this question myself.

Commentaries:
I found a halfway believable explanation of why sand gets darker. (it is harder for the light to exit a grain of sand that is surrounded by water.) I am not sure whether this is true and it seems doubtful that the answer extends to textile fibers.

New?
Unknown

Feasible?
Unknown Commentary (I. M.): Despite the low ranking, I find the problem very interesting. I have a dark red Tshirt that demonstrates opposite behavior (becomes of a brighter colour when whet.) The physics is very serious. Commentary (V. K.): This problem is not for a mature competition. Commentary (A. Sh.): The effect itself is interesting. I do not know if a deep study can be produced. Suggested decision: put on hold till a future selection.

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ID 2014-40 2.93 Mechanics

Hula hooping
Investigate the dynamics of hula hooping.

Figures:
--

Origins:
Ig Nobel Prize for physics winner 2004 - http://aix1.uottawa.ca/~rbalasub/hulahoop.pdf

Commentaries: New?
Yes, Unknown

Feasible?
Yes Commentary (V. K.): Well have literature reviews. Too much is in literature. Commentary (A. Sh.): The problem does not seem to be quite deep. Suggested decision: put on hold till a future selection.

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ID 2014-66 2.93 Optics

Ring of colours
Remove the label of a CD and get a source of light. You can project colourful rings onto a wall by placing the CD between the wall and the light source. Investigate the phenomenon.

Figures:

http://www.scielo.br/img/revistas/rbef/v32n2/a07fig03.jpg

Origins:
Francisco Catelli; Helena Libardi. CDs como lentes difrativas. Rev. Bras. Ensino Fs. vol.32 no.2 So Paulo Apr./June 2010. CD Diffraction. in: http://www.physics.mun.ca/~p1051mm/lab6.pdf Rama Balachandran; Karen Porter-Davis. Using CDs and DVDs as diff

Commentaries:
Study of diffraction gratings.

New?
Yes, Unknown

Feasible?
Yes, Hopefully Commentary (V. K.): Standard laboratory exercise in good schools. Commentary (A. Sh.): A usual diffraction grid. Suggested decision: put on hold till a future selection.

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ID 2013-79 2.92 Mechanics


Title of the problem Suggested phrasing Source (full citation of any paper, book or webpage used) Physical background of the problem Expected contribution of students (theory / experiment / both) Further explanations or comments Friction The commonly used model of the friction in high-school textbooks results in the friction force independent on the size of the contact area as well as on the velocity. Investigate the limitations of this model. Commonly asked question, only qualitative explanations found. See http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/frict3.html#nor http://www.newton.dep.anl.gov/newton/askasci/1993/physics/PHY2.HTM as examples. The model mentioned is very simple (based on the surface roughness) and does not reflect all surface properties (e.g. intermolecular forces). Students should construct a device for friction force measurements. They should collect a larger amount of data sets for various materials. After the data collection, the analysis has to be done and suitable physical explanations are expected. It is commonly known that car stability depends on the size of the contact area between the tyre and the road. The explanation can be partly based on the stickytape model (IYPT problem 2010), what is a disadvantage of the proposed problem.

Commentary (S. B., 2012): Difficult to come up with good experimental data without high-level equipment. Commentary (A. Sh.): In my opinion the problem is good. But it is well studied since important in industry. There are entire books about that. Commentary (I. M.): Next year, we should merge it with the very similar proposal submitted for 2013. Suggested decision: Suggested decision: put on hold till a future selection; merge with the Friction proposal for 2013.

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ID 2014-57 2.89 Fluid dynamics

Paper Helicopter
A simple paper helicopter (see figure) almost instantly reaches a constant terminal velocity. Investigate how this velocity depends on relevant parameters.

Figures:

http://www.paperairplanes.co.uk/heliplan.php

Origins:
Various websites explain how this paper helicopter can be built and I've tried it myself (works like a charm). I haven't found any research on the physics behind this particular toy so far, which makes it an appropriate IYPT problem in my opinion.

Commentaries:
Air resistance, rotational physics, etc.

New?
Yes, Unknown

Feasible?
Yes Commentary (10.03.2013): reminiscent of No. 15 Slow descent (IYPT 2011): Design and make a device, using one sheet of A4 80 gram per m2 paper that will take the longest possible time to fall to the ground through a vertical distance of 2.5 m. A small amount of glue may be used. Investigate the influence of the relevant parameters. Commentary (J. B.): Very similar to Slow Decent from 2011, in fact rather more restrictive. Commentary (A. Sh.): Way too similar to Slow descent Suggested decision: put on hold till a future selection.

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ID 2013-06 2.88 Fluid dynamics


Title of the problem Suggested phrasing Leaky vessel If there is a hole near the base of the vessel, the liquid will flow out of it. How the flow rate depends on relevant parameters? Is it possible to construct a vessel such that the flow rate is the constant and independent on level of liquid inside the vessel? The task it self is my own idea. The part about constant flow rate independent on level of liquid inside the vessel is based on the simple construction I found is a book: .., .., .. ., - . -, 1974. In the problem one may find a lot of interesting phenomena know from hydrodynamics and hydrostatics. Such as how size of the hole limits flow rate, role of viscosity, or importance of holes shape. The problem is an engineering task, which requires inventing and investigating device in which flow rate is the independent on level of liquid inside the vessel. This requires building many devices and determining which one is the best. Students should also look for the simplest way to achieve the goal. Theory: - Deciding which parameters determining the flow rate of the liquid? (viscosity, density, level of liquid, size and shape of the hole) - Theory can be based on known laws, such as Bernoullis law, or in a more advanced model, Euler equation or Naviera-Stockes Equation. Experiment: - Building different devices and comparison. - Experimental investigation of considered parameters (viscosity, density, level of liquid, size and shape of the hole) - Developing a method for flow rate measurement - Farther improvement of best device.

Source (full citation of any paper, book or webpage used) Physical background of the problem Expected contribution of students (theory / experiment / both)

Further explanations Problem allows students to learn about hydrodynamics. Students would be or comments able to invent and experiment with the device they build.
Commentary: two very similar problems were suggested by other contributors for the IYPT 2007 and IYPT 2010, but not selected. This may suggest that the effect is of some interest for the community. Proposed for the IYPT 2010: Leaky can. It has been suggested that the depth of liquid in a leaking can decreases exponentially, but this is at best an approximation, and under some circumstances, a very poor approximation. Investigate the problem. Proposed for the IYPT 2007: A4. How does the depth of fluid in a leaking vessel decrease with time? Investigate the phenomenon for a variety of fluids. Commentary (S. B., 2012): Simple experiment, theoretical explanation allows for different levels of complexity. Commentary (A. Sh.): A good problem if one succeeds to match theory and experiment. Commentary (S. B.): Possible substitute? Seems to be a good problem to me.

Suggested decision: put on hold till a future selection.

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ID 2014-06 2.86 Capillary phenomena, fluid dynamics

Bubble crystal
A large number of very small, identical air bubbles float on the surface of a soapy liquid. The bubbles will arrange into a regular pattern similar to a crystalline lattice. Propose a method to obtain bubbles of equal size and investigate the formation of such a bubble crystal.

Figures:

Origins:
The effect is very easy to produce and I regularly observe it with coffee (see figure.) It is possible to find this and similar effects reported in the literature: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v399/n6731/fig_tab/399051a0_F4.html.

Commentaries:
Bubbles and liquids, capillary forces, crystallization, microfluidics, hexagonal order. Easy to observe, fundamentally interesting effect. It can be explained at different depth levels and will be thrilling for the IYPT participants: why the bubbles form a hexagonal lattice? what are the forces? how to produce equal bubbles, and how unequal (polydisperse) bubbles disrupt the order?

New?
Yes

Feasible?
Yes Commentary (A. Sh.): Not enough physics. Commentary (I. M.): I disagree: there is more than enough quite interesting physics in my opinion. Commentary (S. B.) Possible substitute? Sounds interesting to me. There's nothing too similar on the list so far. Commentary (I. M.) I agree it would be a good possible substitute (at least.) Commentary (J. B.): suggested edits, A large number of very small, identical air bubbles float on the surface of a soapy liquid. The bubbles will arrange themselves into a regular pattern similar to a crystalline lattice. Propose a method of obtaining bubbles of equal size and investigate the formation of such a bubble crystal. Suggested decision: accept with the wording proposed by J. B.

59

ID 2014-32 2.86 Mechanics

Goal!? Goal post!!


Under what conditions a football contact with the post still ends goal, and under what - the ball goes into the field, or go beyond it? How these conditions relate on physical characteristics of the ball and the rod?

Figures:
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Origins:
---

Commentaries:
---

New?
Unknown

Feasible?
Hopefully Commentary (A. Sh.): It is difficult to carry out a good experiment. In this sense, the problem about the Golf ball from 2012 was much more suitable. Suggested decision: put on hold till a future selection.

60

ID 2014-67 2.86 Capillary phenomena, material science

Rolling paper
Using a single A4 sheet cut out a slip of paper and put it down on the water surface. The strip will begin to convolve. Explain this phenomenon and investigate the parameters that result the maximum torsion of paper.

Figures:
---

Origins:
---

Commentaries:
---

New?
Unknown

Feasible?
Hopefully Commentary (A. Sh.): Boring, in my opinion. Suggested decision: put on hold till a future selection.

61

ID 2013-53 2.85 Mechanics


Title of the problem Suggested phrasing Falling chain What is the force of interaction between a falling chain and a surfaces it touches. How does it depend on relevant parameters? E. Hamm et al, The weight of a falling chain, revisited, Am. J. Phys 78(8), 2010 C. Wong et al, Falling chains, Am. J. Phys. 74(6), 2006 Although the motion of a falling chain is a standard textbook problem (e.g. weight of a chain falling on a scale, force exerted on a table if we attach one and to it and let the other end fall down), quoted articles (and many other) show that such treatment is seriously oversimplified. Build more realistic models of a falling chain and experimentally study its parameters, for example how the force exerted by it changes with time, how it depends on the elastic parameters of the chain etc

Source (full citation of any paper, book or webpage used) Physical background of the problem Expected contribution of students (theory / experiment / both)

Commentary (A. Sh.): The experiment would require instruments that many teams may not have (e.g. force sensors with a good count rate.) The solution can be borrowed from a textbook (and it exists in textbooks.) Commentary (I. M.) I wouldnt agree that the solution can be borrowed from a textbook. Would the problem be ranked higher, we should have checked the literature in more detail. Suggested decision: put on hold till a future selection.

62