18th-IPhO_18 - Problems of the 18th International Physics...

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Problems of the 18 th International Physics Olympiad (Jena, 1987) Gunnar Friege & Gunter Lind 1 Leibniz-Institute for Science Education (IPN) at the University of Kiel, Germany Abstract The 18th International Physics Olympiad took place in 1987 in the German Democratic Republic (GDR). This article contains the competition problems, their solutions and also a (rough) grading scheme. Introduction The 18th international Physics olympics in 1987 was the second International Physics Olympiad hosted by the German Democratic Republic (GDR) . The organisation was lead by the ministry for education and the problems were formulated by a group of professors of different universities. However, the main part of the work was done by the physics department of the university of Jena. The company Carl-Zeiss and a special scientific school in Jena were involved also. In the competition three theoretical and one experimental problem had to be solved. The theoretical part was quite difficult. Only the first of the three problems (“ascending moist air”) had a medium level of difficulty. The points given in the markings were equal distributed. Therefore, there were lots of good but also lots of unsatisfying solutions. The other two theoretical problems were rather difficult. About half of the pupils even did not find an adequate start in solving these problems. The third problem (“infinite LC-grid") revealed quite a few complete solutions. The high level of difficulty can probably be explained with the fact that many pupils nearly had no experience with the subject. Concerning the second problem (“electrons in a magnetic field”) only a few pupils worked on the last part 3 (see below). The experimental problem (“refracting indices”) was much more easier than the theoretical problems. There were lots of different possibilities of solution and most of the pupils 1 Contact: Leibniz-Institute for Science Education (IPN) at the University of Kiel Olshausenstrasse 62, 24098 Kiel, Germany [email protected]
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