Zurich | July 11–17 |


Browse the official IPhO 2016 exams and all translations:

The International Physics Olympiad (IPhO) tests students’ ability to tackle theoretical and experimental physics tasks. A deep understanding of physics, creativity, inventiveness and perseverance are required to successfully solve the presented problems. The tasks cover a large variety of subjects, ranging from classical mechanics to thermodynamics, electromagnetism, optics, the theory of relativity all the way to modern quantum mechanics.

The theoretical and practical exams have been prepared and thoroughly tested by the organizers over the course of the last two years. During the event, the problems will be presented to the International Board (the leaders) and the authors will answer any questions raised. Once the problems have been approved, they will be translated into more than 50 languages. This preparatory work tends last until the early hours of the next day. Consequently, the students must be kept separate from the leaders for the duration of the Olympiad, and two separate programs need to be prepared. The structure of the program is based on the standards set by the International Board of the IPhO.

The offering is rounded off by supplementary events, which provide ample opportunity for networking and cultural exchange and for the host countries to present themselves.


Day Time Students Leaders / Observers
Sun, July 10 Morning Arrivals & Registration
Mon, July 11 Morning Opening Event
Afternoon Excursion
Ice Breakers
Discussion and Translation Experimental Exams
Tue, July 12 Morning Experimental Exams Excursion
Wed, July 13 Morning Excursion Discussion and Translation Theoretical Exams