FAQ

Do you have questions about PLANCKS 2022? You can find your answers here. If there should still be an unanswered question please contact .

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1 Registration, Communication & Finance

Who can register for PLANCKS? What are the entry conditions?

You may register as a competing participant or observer. If you are registering as a competing participant, then the following applies: you need to be enrolled into a Bachelor's, Master's programme (NOT PhD) and you have to be an IAPS member (via Local Committee (LC), National Committee (NC) or individual membership if there is no NC/LC in your country/city) and compete as a team of 3 or 4 students. If there exists a  preliminary in your country (please visit our preliminary website for further information), you have to win this competition in order  to participate. If this is not the case you may register with your team  as individual participants. Observers must also be IAPS members but need not to be enrolled into a Bachelor's or Master's programme. It is advised that you state a reason why you should be participating as an observer.


What are observer? Do they have a particular function?

Observers participate in PLANCKS as the competing participants but attend a Observer's Wokshop during the exam. Their main function is to strengthen international connections and increase the worldwide exchange of physics students. They may also gain experience in PLANCKS as future organisers or to discuss opportunities of improvement.


Can I get a proof of participation, e.g. when I present a poster or talk?

We still need to clarify, if there will be a proof of participation for the attendees. But it is very probable to be the case.


How do I get information before and during the event? Which social media channels do you use?

You have already found the most important source of information before the event: our website. Here, you can find an frequently updated overview on your participation, the programme, Munich and also on questions of sustainability. Also, we would recommend you to follow us on Facebook and Instagram. For information during the event ...

Do you have a mailing list or chat where you spread all news related to PLANCKS 2022?

No, we don't use a mailing list to spread our news. Instead, you get all the information from this website. You can also follow us on our social media channels (Facebook and Instagram) to stay informed about PLANCKS 2022.

Do I have to pay for my participation?

Yes, see our website of registration for more details on that matter.

Do I have to pay the full registration fee if I participate virtually

Participating in the public guest talks streamed on platforms such as YouTube is free. A virtual participation in all other PLANCKS 2022 activities is currently not possible.

Can I get funding or a scholarship for my travel costs?

Yes, we are very happy for the generous support of IUPAP. As part of the IUPAP Cetennial, IUPAP funds several travel grants for international participants. We will announce the criteria for applying for these travel grants at a later time.


2 Competition

2.1 Participate

Under what conditions may I participate in the competition?

You need to be enrolled into a Bachelor's, Master's programme (NOT PhD) and you have to be an IAPS member (via LC, NC or individual  membership) and compete as a team of 3 or 4 students. If there exists a preliminary in your country (please visit our preliminary website for further information), you have to win this competition in order to participate. If this is not the case you may register with your team as individual participants.


What is a preliminary?

A preliminary is a national physics competition to find the team that will represent their country at PLANCKS.


Is there a preliminary in my country?

If you come from one of the countries on this list, then yes! Otherwise you are welcome to register with a team as individual participants.


How many members does a team need?

Every team needs either 3 or 4 students.


Can the team composition change again after registration?

Yes, but only if we acknowledged and approved the change. In this case, please write an email to .


My teammates canceled, what can I do?

Most importantly, please write an email as soon as possible to to inform us about your situtation and we will find a solution.


2.2 Preparation

How can we prepare for the competition?

You can take a look at old problem sets. Please note that there is no restriction on the topics of the exercises.


Where do I find previous problem sets and solutions?

They are listed here.


What topics are covered in the exam?

Any topic related to (theoretical) physics may be part of the exam. So anything like QFT, non-relativistic QM, statistical physics, solid-state physics, wave mechanics, lattice excitations and much more can be covered.


Which lectures should I have attended?

There is no precise recommendation, but having covered a wide range of topics may be more flexible for the exam.


2.3 Procedure

How long do I have for the competition exam?

You have 4 hours.


Where exactly does the competition take place?

It will take place in seminar rooms at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich.


Which tools or aids are allowed?

No externals tools or aids are allowed! You may only use pens, paper and the whiteboards in the seminar rooms.


Do I have to hand in all my electronic devices?

Yes, you will have to hand in anything that may assist you in the exam.


Is there a clock in the seminar room?

Yes.


How much paper do I get? How do I get supplies?

There will be enough paper and we will make sure that enough supplies are there.


Who can I contact if I have questions during the competition?

You may contact the supervisors or the organizers.


Can I go to the toilet during the exam?

Yes.


Can I eat or drink something during the competition?

Yes, snacks and drinks (water, coffee, tee) will be provided during the exam.


Will we be provided with food during the competition?

There will be snacks and drinks (water, coffee, tee) during the exam.


Can I drink beer during the competition?

If you bring it and we approve that it will not function as an external help, yes.


What kind of "mind doping" is ofiicially allowed?

None.


Can I attend the exam when I feel sick?

It depends how much you feel sick. In view of Covid, we may restrict participation individually if necessary.


What happens if I am late for the exam?

The organizers will decide whether participation is still possible.


Where can I complain when I feel at a loss?

You may contact the organizers in case of any problems or complaints.


Is there an arbitrator I can refer to?

You may contact the organizers in case of any problems or complaints.


2.4 Solutions

What do I have to prove when solving the problems and what is considered known?

The problems will contain a number of subtasks that guide through the solution of the problem. Basic knowledge of classical mechanics, quantum mechanics and statistical physics is assumed (on the level of an introductory course).


How detailed should the solutions be?

The solutions need to contain all details necessary to assess their validity. If we do not understand what you're doing, we cannot award points.


Can I submit solutions in any language?

No, solutions in English language are required.


What if my handwriting is fairly illegible?

Please make some effort to hand in clear and readible solutions. In most cases we will be able to figure out your handwriting. But if it's too bad, we cannot grade it.


When do we learn about the solutions?

There will be a discussion of the solutions on the day after the exam during the so-called Problem Panel.


3 General programme

What are the guest lectures about?

We introduce our guest speakers and their lectures on our speakers page.


Will there be a speakers corner?

We intend to arrange a speakers' corner. We will inform you soon if it will come about.


What are the workshops about?

It is still not clear which topics the workshops will address. As soon as this changes, we will inform you.


Which laboratories are visited during the lab tours?

Excursions are planned to have the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics, the Walther Meißner Institute for Low Temperature Research and other research facilities as destination. More information will be available soon.


Can I present a poster or give a talk about my research project?

Yes, you will have the occasion to give a talk.


How can I register for the optional day?

During registration, you may check that you have registered for the additional day.


What does the optional day cost?

The optional day is expected to cost around 50€ per participant. Soon, we will be able to inform you more concretely about the optional day.


What does the evening programme cost?

We will account for and offer dinner, but you would have to pay for drinks.


Do you have a dresscode?

No, you are welcome to wear anything you want. Even for the Conference Dinner.


How do I get back to the venue in the night?

The best way is by train (U4/U5) or bus (lines 68 or 100) to "Ostbahnhof" (assuming you start at "Universität"). Otherwise locals or Google maps will be your friend.


4 Travel, Food & Burocracy

4.1 Travel

When shall I arrive at the venue?

Ideally before 2:30 pm local time (ECTS = UTC+2). Otherwise late registration will be possible from 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm. In case of severe delays or problems, please contact !


Who can I contact in case of unforseen problems during my journey?

If you have any specific questions before starting your journey, you can just write them to . For immediate problems during your journey, we will provide a phone number in an arrival guide a few weeks before the competition.


Why is Deutsche Bahn never on time?

The "Deutsche Bahn" is the railway company in Germany and they are notorious for being late. They consider a train to be 'on time', if it is only 5min late. Keep this in mind, when you book your tickets. But even if you miss a train because the previous one is too late, they will gladly give you new (free) tickets for the next one.


4.2 Munich & Accomodation

Do I need a towel?

Unfortunately the hostel that we are staying in does not provide towels. So please bring your own one.


How is the weather in Munich?

Best look at the weather forecast of your choice. We provide some general information about the local weather here.


What do I have to know about public transport in Munich? Do participants get a ticket?

Yes, you will get a ticket. For more information read on our Munich page.


Is there free Wifi everywhere in Germany?

There are a few options how to get Wifi in Munich, see here.


Can I surf waves in Munich?

Indeed, check out the famous "Eisbachwelle", where you can find people surfing no matter which time of the year.

Can I find the answer to life, the universe and everything in Munich?

Yes, Munich features research groups on the physics of life (https://twitter.com/physoflifelmu), the universe (https://www.universe-cluster.de/) and everything (https://www.theorie.physik.uni-muenchen.de/MATH/).


4.3 Visa, COVID-19, Burocracy

How can I handle problems with my visa?

Please state your situation by writing an email to . The more accurate you can describe the problem, the better we can help by contacting the responsible administrative office.


Which vaccinations against COVID-19 a recognized/required in Germany?

The vaccinations of BionTech/Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Johnson&Johnson and CureVac are currently the ones approved in the European Union at the moment. Other vaccinations may be approved, please visit https://www.bundesregierung.de/breg-en/search/stand-corona-impstoffe-1836400 for further information. Note that you may need a booster vaccination since the initial vaccination (1 or 2 doses) will not last indefinitely. At the moment, vaccinations are valid for 1 year but this may be subject to changes.


Can I participate without a recognized vaccination?

This will depend on the regulations by law in May 2022. At the moment, it will be likely that PLANCKS22 will be held as a 2G+ event (vaccinated or recovered AND official test) for which you must be vaccinated.


What (corona-related) entry requirement applies for Germany?

Restrictions may vary depending on where you come from. You can find the requirements/restrictions on the website of the federal government and a list of (high) risk regions here (in German).


Is at compulsary to wear face masks indoor? What kind of face masks ar required or recommended?

For getting frequently updated information, please visit the webpage of the city on the current rules and restrictions.


4.4 Food

Are beverages and food included in the registration fee?

Yes, all meals in the programme are included in the registration fee. Beverages will also be provided accordingly, but please bring your own (reusable) bottle for water.


Will you provide high-quality vegetarian or vegan food?

We will make sure that you get high-quality food during PLANCKS. For each meal there will be at least one vegan option as well as a vegetarian one. 


Can I get halal or kosher food?

Yes, we can provide you with halal or kosher food. However, these might not be included in every meal by default. So please indicate this as a special diet when you register for PLANCKS.


How can I find dining or snack facilities near the venue?

During PLANCKS we will make sure that you always have enough to eat and drink. If you want to try some local restaurants, bars etc., the search engine of your choice will find plenty of options. We will also link some recommendations here prior to the competition.


How much is food in Munich? How expensive is beer in Munich?

If you're looking for a quick snack or some fast food, you will get something for around 5€. For a proper meal in a restaurant, you should plan at least 10-15€. Beer in a beergarden or bar costs around 8-10€ per "Maß" (which is 1 litre) and correspondingly 4-5€ for half a Maß. In the supermarket you can get beer much cheaper starting at 0.50€ per bottle (0.5 litre). 


What seasonal fruits and vegetables are there in May?

Most typical for May is asparagus, but there are plenty more seasonal fruits and vegetables including cauliflower, broccoli, rhubarb, spinach, ...


Which drugs are legal in Germany?

If you're at least 18 years old, you are allowed to consume alcohol and tobacco/ nicotine. Everything else is strictly forbidden. More information on the official website of the German government.


In Germany, is it allowed to consume alcohol in public?

In general, you can drink alcohol in public places. However, it is not allowed on public transportation.


What is the latest time of day to buy beer?

Most stores in Munich close at 8 pm. Also they are not open on Sundays. Bars and restaurants are usually open until at least 11 pm.


Are there other beverages besides beer?

We have something called "Radler", which is a mixture of beer with lemonade. However, drinking this is often considered a waste of beer.


Are there local breweries in Munich? How many beer brands does Germany have?

There are 6 big traditional breweries in Munich: Augustiner-Bräu, Hacker-Pschorr, Hofbräu, Löwenbräu, Paulaner and Spatenbräu. Besides these, there are several smaller ones. In total Germany has more than 6000 beer brands.


5 Online Participation

Do Teams who participant online need to pay the same starting fee?

Yes, the same starting fee applies for both, teams that participate in person and online. We will use the starting fee of the online teams to provide a high quality online participation experience, e.g. for broadcasting equipment.


Will there be different time slots in which the exam can be written?

For logistical reasons and since the majority of teams is expected to write the exam in person in Munich, there will be only one time slot in which the exam can be written. The exam will start at 9 am Munich time.


What are the local requirements to participate in the online exam?

In order to participate in the exam from remote, a local contact person, e.g. a professor, is required who makes sure that all rules for the exams (e.g. no use of technical devices) are fullfilled. Furhtermore this contact person serves as connection between the jury and the team. It is also required that the jury can see the team at any time during the exam via a video conference. In case of questions please contact .


6 Miscellaneous

What is the line voltage and frequency in Germany? How do German wall sockets look like?

The line voltage/frequency is 230V/50HZ, also see here.


Will there be costless medical products like face masks?

Yes. So far, it is planned to offer at least one mask and one Covid rapid test to each participant.


What can I do in case of sexual harassment during the event?

There will be an awareness team during the event which you can contact in any case of problems. That applies especially for cases of sexual harassment. Together you can deliberate on how to handle the incident. If you decide to engage the police, the team will also help you to contact them to evade communicative problems. In urgent cases, you can of course directly call the police.