The German Physicists' Tournament (GPT) is a Germany-wide physics competition for students who like to experiment and is the national pre-selection for the "International Physicists' Tournament" (IPT). Both competitions aim to bring students from different universities together to discuss physics and to work on problems with theoretical models and own experiments. The IPT has been in existence since 2009 and has been gaining increasing attention ever since. At the IPT 2019, 18 teams from around the world have already competed for first place.
Already in August 17 exciting problems from different fields of physics were published. The participating students can choose from these problems, which they will work on and prepare in teams in the run-up to the GPT with theoretical models, simulations and their own experiments. The problems are intentionally open and free, so that different approaches and creativity are required.
At the GPT one of these problems has to be presented in a "Physics Fight" within 10 minutes and the audience has to be convinced of the sound scientific understanding and the correct approach to the problem (reporters). Afterwards, an opposing team (opponent) highlights weaknesses and errors in the presented argumentation and points out possible improvements. Finally, a third team (reviewer) summarises the different positions and initiates a fact-based discussion between reporter and opponent, during which the ideas of both teams are taken up to gain a deeper understanding of the problem in question.
An independent jury consisting of experienced scientists from the participating universities and institutes finally decides on marks for all teams. After the end of the first round of the Physics Fight, the roles of the participating teams change and another problem is discussed. After three rounds the Physics Fight ends. The best teams compete in a final round.
The winning team gets the opportunity to represent Germany at the IPT. Physics students from all over the world travel to this competition to spend a week discussing different areas of physics. In preparation for the international competition, the tournament language of the GPT is English.
Due to the Corona-crisis and delays in the schedule of the International Physicists’ Tournament IPT, there will be an additional Online-German Physicists’ Tournament with final on December 13th, 2020. Unlike a
regular GPT, the Online-GPT won’t be a qualifying competition to the IPT, but it will be the ideal tournament to feel the spirit of the GPT and IPT – even without having to travel.
Furthermore, the problems for the Online-GPT are chosen such that they can be worked on at home without special lab equipment. Therefore, the Online-GPT is also a convinient possibility to become familiar with this kind of competition and to be perfectly prepared for the next qualifying GPT, that probably will take place two or three months before the IPT 2021 (whose date is not yet known due to Corona).