US Physics Team Finishes 5th in 50th IPhO

2019 Physics Team Medals Winners


July 16, 2019 College Park, Maryland — The 50th International Physics Olympiad came to a close on Sunday, July 15, 2019 in a ceremony that included jubilant winners, dance and music performances, and speeches, all reflecting the many cultures represented in the Olympiad. Between examinations the physics scholars toured Israel, from floating in the Dead Sea to hiking in national parks.

The U.S. Physics team took home two gold and three silver medals at the 50th International Physics Olympiad hosted in Tel Aviv, Israel from July 7-15, 2019. As a team, the United States team ranked fifth in the overall score.

The participants representing the 2019 U.S. Physics Team were:
(R-L in photo)
Vincent Bian, Poolesville High School, Poolesville, MD Gold medal, ranked 6th overall

Sean Chen, Canyon Crest Academy, San Diego, CA Gold medal

Albert Qin, Mira Loma High School, Sacramento, CA Silver medal

Sanjay Raman, Lakeside School, Seattle, WA Silver medal

Edward Lu, Cinco Ranch High School, Katy, TX Silver medal

The team is lead by Academic Director JiaJia Dong ( Bucknell University) and Mark Eichenlaub ( Art of Problem Solving). Prior to the competition, the students also spent one week training with the British Physics Team in Cambridge, UK.

The overall winner was China, the best female participant was from Viet Nam, and the best creative solution winner was from Romania. Nearly 370 of the world’s brightest high school students from 78 countries met to compete in Tel Aviv, Israel.

In addition to solving three theoretical challenges on the physics of slinky, microwave oven, and thermoacoustics, and two experimental challenges on high accuracy measurement of refractive index, and the interplay of the thermal and electrical conductivities, the students participated in many cultural activities. The international event was organized and supported by the Israeli Education Ministry, with Tel Aviv University's School of Physics and Astronomy responsible for its academic program.

"AAPT congratulates these student scholars. Their exceptional achievements in this international competition are a reflection of the work of their coaches, the entire 2019 Physics Team, the support of their families, and the best of physics education," said Dr. Beth A. Cunningham, Executive Officer of the American Association of Physics Teachers.

The U.S. Physics Team is sponsored by the generous support of private donors, the American Institute for Physics and the member societies of the American Institute of Physics:

Acoustical Society of America
American Association of Physicists in Medicine
American Association of Physics Teachers
American Astronomical Society
American Crystallographic Association
American Meteorological Society>
American Institute for Physics
American Physical Society
AVS: Science &Technology of Materials, Interfaces, and Processing
Optical Society of America
The Society of Rheology

Hosting University:

University of Maryland

Corporate Sponsors:

Art of Problem Solving
Cambridge University Press
D.E.Shaw Group & Company
Ellington Management Group
Geppetto Catering
J Burke Catering
John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Pearson Education
Princeton University Press

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About AAPT
AAPT is an international organization for physics educators, physicists, and industrial scientists—with members worldwide. Dedicated to enhancing the understanding and appreciation of physics through teaching, AAPT provides awards, publications, and programs that encourage teaching practical application of physics principles, support continuing professional development, and reward excellence in physics education. Founded in 1930, the Association is headquartered in the American Center for Physics at College Park, Maryland.


David Wolfe

Director of Communications