The Physics League Across Numerous Countries for Kick-ass Students (PLANCKS) was first held in the Netherlands by Studenten Physica in Nederland (SPIN), the Dutch umbrella association for physics study associations, as they decided to organize this international competition with the help of the International Association of Physics Students (IAPS). The first edition of PLANCKS took place in May 2014 in Utrecht, and since then PLANCKS is held annually in May.
PLANCKS is a theoretical physics competition for bachelor and master students. It is a three-day event containing an opening symposium, the contest itself, and filled to the brim with numerous excursions and social activities, where the participants are encouraged to discover the research environment and culture of the hosting country. It provides physics students from all over the world with the opportunity to get in touch with each other. The intention is to increase international collaboration, host social activities and stimulate the personal development of individual contestants. By bringing physics students from various parts of the world together, a setting to exchange ideas and experiences, and to challenge each other, is created.
Picture from the opening symposium at PLANCKS 2014 in Utrecht, the Netherlands. Lecture given by Professor Stephen Hawking.
Participants of PLANCKS compete in teams consisting of three to four bachelor or master students. The teams will, preferably, be comprised of students from the same country. During the competition they will answer challenging theoretical physics questions, designed to both challenge and entertain the competitors. Each country can submit a limited number of teams. Some countries organize preliminaries, and the winners of these preliminaries will participate in PLANCKS, while other countries select the interested participants at random. If you are interested in organizing a preliminary in your country, please contact the organizing committee of PLANCKS, and we will provide you with all the information needed.
The problems are written by professors and cover different fields of physics. For example, questions about cradles, glaciers, particle physics, slinkies, graphene, beamsplitters, skyrmions, wind drift of icebergs, laser cooling, and oil and gas production have arisen in the previous editions, with even more areas of study being added to this years’ competition.
The International Conference of Physics Students (ICPS) is an annual meeting of physics students from all over the world and the biggest and most important event of IAPS.
The conference gives students a great opportunity to share their research, to practise presenting it, to meet lots of new people, to network with each other, and to get to know the culture and traditions of the country where it takes place. Students also have the chance to listen to lectures by leading scientists, discuss various topics in poster sessions, to visit local laboratories in the host city, and to just have fun.
The first ICPS was held in 1986, organised by a group of Hungarian students who wanted to meet up with their fellow students all over the world, and from thereon, it became a regular meeting with a different host country every year.
Cologne is proud to host the 34th edition of ICPS, the International Conference of Physics Students, from 10th to 17th August 2019.
The guest speakers of the 34th edition of the International Conference of Physics Students are confirmed. Be excited.
Among them are one nobel prize laurante, the Director General of the Eurpean Space Agency, a Gottfried Wilhelm Leibnitz award laureate as well as the President-elect of the European Physical Society:
• Prof. Dr. Gisela Anton – Gottfried Wilhelm Leibnitz award laureate 1994
• Prof. Dr. Claus Kiefer – University of Cologne
• Prof. Dr. Klaus von Klitzing – Nobel prize laureate 1985
• Prof. Dr. Thomas Klinger – Director of the Max-Planck-Institute of Plasma Physics
• Prof. Dr. Petra Rudolf – President-elect of the European Physical Society
• Prof. Dr. Marc Timme – Max-Planck-Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization
• Prof. Dr. Johann-Dietrich Wörner – Director General of the European Space Agency