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Problems of the 8th International Physics Olympiad
(Güstrow, 1975)
Gunnar Friege
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& Gunter Lind
Introduction
The 8th International Physics Olympiad took place from the 7.7. to the 12.7. 1975 in Güstrow,
in the German Democratic Republic (GDR). Altogether, 9 countries with 45 pupils participated.
The teams came from Bulgaria, the German Democratic Republic, the Federal Republic of
Germany (FRG), France, Poland, Rumania, Tchechoslowakia, Hungary and the USSR. The
entire event took place in the pedagogic academy of Güstrow. Pupils and leaders were
accommodated inside the university academy complex. On the schedule there was the
competition and receptions as well as excursions to Schwerin, Rostock, and Berlin were offered.
The delegation of the FRG reported of a very good organisation of the olympiad.
The problems and solutions of the 8th International Physics Olympiad were created by a
commission of university physics professors and lecturers. The same commission set marking
schemes and conducted the correction of the tests. The correction was carried out very quickly
and was considered as righteous and, in cases of doubt, as very generous.
The main competition consisted of a 5 hour test in theory and a 4.5 hour experimental test. The
time for the theoretical part was rather short and for the experimental part rather long. The
problems originated from central areas of classical physics. The theoretical problems were
relatively difficult, although solvable with good physics knowledge taught at school. The level
of difficulty of the experimental problem was adequate. There were no additional devices
necessary for the solution of the problems. Only basic formula knowledge was requested, and
could be demanded from all pupils. Critics were only uttered concerning the second theoretical
problem (thick lens). This problem requested relatively little physical understanding, but tested
the mathematical skills and the routine in approaching problems (e.g. correct distinction of
cases). However, it is also difficult to find substantial physics problems in the area of
geometrical optics.
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Remark: This article was written due to the special request to us by Dr. W. Gorzkowski, in order to close one of
the last few gaps in the IPhO-report collection.
Contact: Dr. Gunnar Friege, Leibniz-Institute for Science Education (IPN) at the University of Kiel, Olshausenstr.
62, 24098 Kiel, Germany, friege@ipn.uni-kiel.de