What is a preliminary?

A preliminary is a national physics competition to find the team that will represent their country at PLANCKS. You can see what preliminaries are happening or happened here.

I don’t see my country on the preliminaries list, how can I join?

If your country is not on the list, it means that a preliminary was not or is not being organised. So, to participate and compete, you need to register as an Individual Team. Check all the info and how to do it here.

How do you select the team that competes if more than one team registers from my country?

When your country does not host a preliminary, the team that competes is randomly selected, as stated by the PLANCKS 2021 rules.

What is an observer?

An observer is a person who would like to take part in the social activities, guest lectures and workshops of PLANCKS 2021, without participating in the competition. You can see more info and how to register here.

Can I participate even if I don’t have a team?

PLANCKS is a team competition, so to compete you need to form a team with your colleagues and friends. However, you can still join us as an observer and take part in all the activities, except the competition.

How much is the registration?

The fee is 5€ per person for a student competing in a team. So a team of 4 students needs to pay a registration fee of 20€. We also have PLANCKS Global Grant where you can apply and if you’re lucky, we’ll take care of the fee for you. Find out more here.
The observer participation is free, but if you want the merchandise kit, it costs 25€ for observers.

How can I pay the registration fees?

If you and/or team are selected to participate, you will receive all the info on how to pay through email. The available options will be Bank Transfer and Paypal.

How do I become an IAPS member?

IAPS, the International Association of Physics Students, is the umbrella student organisation that promotes and supports PLANCKS every year. To participate, you thus need to become a member of IAPS. There are three types of memberships:

  1. Through a National Committee (NC)
  2. Through a Local Committee (LC)
  3. As an Individual Member (IM) if there is not a NC or LC in your country/city.

Find out what is your type of membership on the IAPS website.

Am I able to participate if I don’t study physics?

PLANCKS is a physics competition, so knowledge of physics is welcomed. However, to participate, you need to be an IAPS member. So, if you don’t study physics but study something closely related and are able to join IAPS as a member, you can participate!

What are the problems of the competition about?

The problems are about different areas of physics, like in previous editions of PLANCKS. You can see the problems (and some solutions) of the previous editions here.

Is PLANCKS like a hackathon or code challenge?

PLANCKS is usually a 4 hours physics problem solving competition. However, due to the COVID pandemic, the 2021 edition got inspiration from the programming hackathon challenges. So for 2021, the teams will have 36 hours non stop to solve 12 physics problems. The type of problems and the methods to solve will be similar to previous editions and we won’t evaluate any programming skills of the teams, only their physics problems solving skills. 😉

How are the problems corrected?

The problems will be corrected by at least PhD level markers, from PhD students to Professors.

Will I need to have my camera on or any other technical aspect prepared for the competition?

PLANCKS 2021 Online will take place over Zoom and Discord. It is not necessary to turn on your camera and microphone and in some activities we will actually ask you to turn both off, but we will encourage participants to turn on their cameras and microphones for some activities. For example, we will encourage you to turn them on during some social activities we have prepared, so that you better get to know your fellow physics students 🙂 However, you do not need to have anything professionally prepared, and your laptop webcam and microphone or phone will be enough.