Asia’s toughest physics competition for secondary school students has been won by a Sydney Year 12 student.
Fredy Yip of Knox Grammar School outperformed 200 students from 28 countries in Asian Physics Olympiadobtaining the highest overall score.
Yip won a gold medal in the competition, as well as two special prizes for the highest lab score and the highest overall score in the competition. This is the highest achievement by an Australian student at the Asian Physics Olympiad (APhO).
“To prepare for APhO, I focused on understanding the fundamentals and underlying principles of a concept rather than rote learning,” said Fredy Yip, who will take up a place at the University. from Cambridge this year to study mathematics and physics.
“Fredy’s achievement is absolutely incredible against some of the world’s fiercest competitors in physics, including China and Russia. This is only the second time Australia have won a gold medal in 20 years of competition,” said Lachlan McGinness, physics program manager at Australian Science Innovations.
Fredy also won a gold medal at the International Mathematical Olympiad in 2020.
Eight Year 12 students were selected to represent Australia at APhO 2022. The students competed online from the Australian National University, taking a theoretical and experimental exam each lasting five hours.
Two other Sydney students received honorable mentions in the competition: Vincent Ng from James Ruse Agricultural College and Austin Lin from Barker College.
The APhO competition tests students’ theoretical knowledge of physics, laboratory skills and critical thinking skills. Students encountered problems on the Stern-Gerlach experiment to determine the magnetic moment of silver atom and electron, phase transitions, and light absorption due to pollution. They also discussed simulated experiments on the Doppler effect involving a rotating sound source and induced magnetic fields.
The eight students selected to represent Australia at the APhO spent a year in exams and intensive training. They outperformed more than 1,000 other students who took the qualifying exam across the country, shortlisting 30 to participate in intensive training before earning a spot on the final team.
“Despite the continued disruptions of COVID-19, the Australian Science Olympiad Program continued to support talented science students to participate from across Australia via distance learning, and student participation and achievement in International Science Olympiad competitions continues to make an important contribution to the Australia’s science future,” said Alyssa Weirman, Executive Director, Australian Science News.
The Australian Science Olympiads program is run by the non-profit organization Australian Science Innovations, based in Canberra. It is funded by the Australian Government’s National Science and Innovation Program. The Australian National University is the university partner of the program.