- Is there an equation sheet?
YES! The equation sheet is provided to students. However, it does NOT
include all possible formulas that might be useful on the contest... it has
many of the basic equations but it is not, nor is it intended to be, an
exhaustive list of what may be used on the questions.
The equation sheet has changed over time with many changes coming
in both 2008 and 2009. The following is a link to the most recent
version of the equation sheet.
Equation Sheet for 2011
The next link is an "annotated" equation sheet explaining what each of the
equation represents... this is NOT the equation sheet provided on the contest.
Annotated Equation Sheet
- What of constants?
As it is with the equation sheet, some constants are provided. All constants
on the sheet are used in the construction of the exam. Starting in 2011....
g = 10 m/s2...
In the past, this value was taken as 10 m/s2... in 2010 it was changed to
g = 9.8 m/s2... but it is now changed back!
Again, this is NOT an exhaustive list of all constants, but the ones most
commonly used. Values such as the resistivity of copper would not be
expected of students... but perhaps something qualitative about such a
value would be expected (i.e., is the resistivity greater for copper or
The constants sheet has undergone changes in the past couple of years.
The following is a link to the most recent version of the equation sheet:
Constants Sheet for 2010
- What assumed conventions are used on the exam?
The assumptions used in the construction of the contest are those
typically used in testbooks. For clarity, we try to make implicit assumptions
clear in the stem of the question...
Here are some of the working assumptions:
- g = 10 m/s2 beginning in 2011
- All currents are conventional unless otherwise noted.
- "A person launches an object from the top of a 10 meter high building..." assumes
that the object is 10 meters off the ground when thrown... if the height of the person is required
for the question, it will be made clear from the context.
- While important in science, unless otherwise noted, significant figures are not considered
in the problem (although we try to keep things reasonable).
- All masses are rest masses (unless otherwise noted).