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L'X selected for the International Physicists Tournament

Every year, the International Physicists Tournament brings together teams of physicists studying in the best institutions worldwide. On January 6, four teams competed at l'X to represent France at the Tournament taking place in April this year. Students from École Polytechnique won.

The International Physicists Tournament - IPT - is an international competition that brings together teams of physicists from several countries in the world since 2009. To prepare for this Tournament, teams of six members work for eight months on 17 physical problems proposed by the International Organizing Committee (IOC). This year, the students will explain for example why materials change their color on wetting or why an untied baloon flies along a complicated spiral trajectory. During the tournament, the teams meet in threes in Physics Fights in front of a jury of PhD students, researchers and teachers of the participating countries.

École Polytechnique participates to this competition for the third year in a row. In 2014, l'X won the Tournament that took place in École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne. This year, four teams with students coming from ENS, ESPCI ParisTech, Université Pierre et Marie Curie and l'X were competing to represent France during a national contest, supervised by the Société Française de Physique, that took place on January 6 at École Polytechnique. L'X won and its students have thus been selected to participate to the Tournament which will take place over a week in April 2015 in Warsaw, Poland.

"Whatever the results in Warsaw, we're glad that we won the national contest: it means that we will get a chance to meet students from all over the world!" says Thomas, a member of the team that will represent l'X at the IPT. Mohammed adds: "It's a great opportunity to talk about science with other students, which is not necessarily the topic that we would pick first otherwise." Denis, the team captain, also appreciates the fact that they are not just debating in this Tournament, but confront methods and results about concrete problems. "In political or philosophical debates, we are mainly talking about ideas, not necessarily connected to any concrete action; with the IPT, we do our own experiments in the labs and we obtain real facts and measures." A great way to build team spirit through collective work, an opportunity to visit the labs and discuss with researchers, a chance to have an international exposure and to debate in English: all team members appreciate what this experience has brought them and would recommend it.

Daniel Suchet, alumni at Polytechnique (X2008), currently doing a PhD in physics at ENS, is a member of the International Organizing Committee of IPT. Now that the students from Polytechnique won the national contest, he will coach them with the support of physics professors at l'X (Guihem Gallot, Christophe Clanet, Roland Lehoucq, Christoph Kopper and Manuel Joffre). He will also accompany the students in Warsaw, hopefully towards another victory like in 2014!

More information: Download the promotional brochure

Picture with the members of l'X team: Thomas Miquel, Denis Merigoux, Pierre Rousseau, Vincent Brunaud, Mohammed Benzaouia, Francis Fotoo Tuekam © École Polytechnique, J. Barande