Perse physicists set Top Gold standard in national olympiad
7 Jan 2020
Four Perse students displayed superb scientific skills to achieve the Top Gold standard in the first round of the British Physics Olympiad (BPhO).
From a field of more than 2,000 participants nationally, Freddie Ancliff, Cameron Mackenzie, Oliver Phillips and Hari Prasad (all Upper Sixth) made it into the top 100 after scoring 60% or above in the opening stage of the competition.
The round one paper is designed to stretch and challenge the brightest Sixth Form physicists by providing them with problems to solve that are beyond the difficulty of regular A level or Pre U exams. Split into two sections, the first features a range of short questions, while the second allows students to choose any two from a set of six in-depth problems.
Freddie said: “It was quite a surprise to get the Top Gold award. I thought I’d done OK in the first section, but I wasn’t expecting this.” Hari was similarly surprised and pleased to achieve the highest marks, adding: “I rushed to try to get as much done as possible. I hoped if I got half right that that would do the trick.”
Thanks to their Top Gold achievements, the Perse quartet will now go on to sit an even more testing three-hour paper in round two of BPhO later this month, as well as taking part in the British Astronomy & Astrophysics Olympiad.
The top 14 students in both competitions will then be invited to training camps from which the respective UK teams for the International Physics Olympiad (in Lithuania in July) and the International Olympiad on Astronomy & Astrophysics (in Colombia in September) will be selected.
Physics teacher Mike Goodson, who oversees The Perse’s BPhO entries, said: “I was delighted to see these results, which are testament to the students’ enthusiasm and determination in solving problems that are significantly more difficult than they encounter in a standard Pre U exam. These results bode well for these students’ future academic success, as they are all embarking on physical science or engineering courses at university after they leave The Perse.”