International Young Physicists' Tournament
The International Young Physicists’ Tournament, IYPT, often referred to as the Physics world cup, is one of the World's foremost annual physics competitions centered on 17 non-examination research problems, team work, and discussion-based sessions called Physics Fights where the performances of the teams are judged by expert physicists.
The IYPT is a week-long event in which currently around 150 international pre-university contestants participate. The participants present and discuss their research projects at the events that share common features with thesis defense or scientific conferences. The teams switch roles and take floor as Reporters, Opponents and Reviewers, thus learning about peer review early on in their school years.
The concept was conceived in 1979 by Evgeny Yunosov and was run as the Russian Young Physicists' Tournament, an event localised to Russia. He went on to initiate the first IYPT in 1988.
The International Organizing Committee (IOC) decides about 17 problems to be used for the IYPT. These problems come from different disciplines of physics and are sometimes also interdisciplinary. The problems are formulated in an open way. The task of the participants (together with their teamleader) during the preparation phase is to get as much knowledge about the problems as possible. There are no restrictions on how to do so. This kind of problems is intended to put the students in the same situation as a regular researcher is in. The solution to the problems and the way how to get the solution is completely unknown.
The problems for the IYPT are published more than half a year before the tournament. That gives all participants enough time to do experiments, research literature and the internet, maybe talk to some experts, etc under the guidance of their teachers.