International Physics Olympiad, Mumbai


The International Physics Olympiad (IPhO) is an annual competition in physics for secondary school students.

It involves individual theoretical and experimental competitions in Physics. The 46th IPhO was held at Mumbai, India from 5 to 12 July 2015. The event was organised by the Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education, a national centre of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai, an autonomous institution under the umbrella of the Department of Atomic Energy, as well as a Deemed University.
Iliya Matveyuk was invited to participate in the IPhO along with five other South Africans – 4 learners and 1 physics professor, to represent South Africa at the national competition. After landing at the spectacular Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport at Mumbai, he was transported by BMW to the students’ 5 star lodging venue, The Leela Hotel. Needless to say, they were treated to luxurious accommodation and interesting cuisine.

The highlight of the trip was of course, the theoretical and practical examinations. The practical examination out of 20 marks was written on 7 July and the theoretical examination, out of 30 marks, on 9 July. The theoretical examination comprised of 3 questions which had to be completed within 5 hours.
The top performer was Taehyoung Kim from the Republic of Korea whose score totaled 48.3 out of 50. He achieved full marks for the theoretical examination. The top 9 positions went to students from China, Korea and Singapore.
The top South African performer was Ulrik De Muelenaere. He achieved position 247 out of 382 students from 83 countries across the globe. The 2015 South African team performed better than any team before them.
According to Iliya, “India is an extremely diverse place. It is amazing. The Mumbai airport has become one of my favourite buildings. I thoroughly enjoyed the trip and I thank God for the many opportunities to represent Him and speak about Him as many students are atheists. I appreciate the opportunity afforded me by Domino Servite and I give God the glory.” Sources: