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Victory for l’X at the International Physicists’ Tournament

On Friday, April 26, the team from École Polytechnique won first prize at the International Physicists’ Tournament.

Competing against 18 teams from 16 countries, the six Ingénieur Polytechnicien students of the entering class of 2017 dominated the competition and took first place, following six days of challenges at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland.

The runner-up spot went to a joint team from ENS Lyon and Claude Bernard Lyon 1 University, and third place was awarded to the team from the National University of Kharkiv, Ukraine.

This year, l’X entered six students from the Ingénieur Polytechnicien Program who joined the institution in 2017. They were Alexandre Bense, Aris Benakli, Kyrylo Gerashchenko, Mathieu Lizee, Han-Yu Sit and Tristan Stampfler. The team received training and support from Thibault Guillet, PhD researcher at the LadHyX; Fabien Cadiz and Daniel Suchet, lecturers within the Physics Department; and Guilhem Gallot, professor within the same department and researcher at the Optics and Bioscience Laboratory. As in previous years, in preparation for the Tournament, the team benefited greatly from the collaboration of a large number of the institution’s laboratories, within the context of a group science project and applied laboratory module.

This was École Polytechnique’s sixth time competing for this world title in physics. The annual Tournament involves pitting teams of two against each other in a series of verbal jousts on ten different physics problems. The questions asked can be as diverse and unexpected as “How many Higgs bosons can be obtained by colliding two Usain Bolts?” or “From what height does the lead of a wooden pencil need to be dropped for it to break upon impact?”