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Problems for the 13th International Young Physicists' Tournament 2000, 8-15 July 2000, Budapest, Hungary

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Problems for the 2nd AYPT April 23rd to April 25th 2003, Vienna, Austria

1. Invent for yourself

Suggest a contact-free method for the measurement of the surface tension coefficient of water. Make an estimate of the accuracy of the method.

2. Tuning fork

A tuning fork with resonant frequency of about 100 Hz is struck and held horizontally, so that its prongs oscillate up and down. A drop of water is placed on the surface of the upper prong. During the oscillation of the tuning fork standing waves appear on the surface of the drop and change with time. Explain the observed phenomena.

3. Plasma

Investigate the electrical conductivity of the flame of a candle. Examine the influence of relevant parameters, in particular, the shape and polarity of the electrodes. The experiments should be carried out with a voltage not exceeding 150V.

4. Splash of water

Measure the height reached by splashes of water when a spherical body is dropped into water. Find a relationship between the height of the splashes, the height from which the body is dropped, and other relevant parameters.

5. Sparkling water

Bubbles in a glass of sparkling water adhere to the walls of the glass at different heights. Find a relationship between the average size of the bubbles and their height on the side of the glass.

6. Transmission of signals

Using a bulb, construct the optimum transmitter of signals without any modulation of the light beam between transmitter and receiver. Investigate the parameters of your device. The quality of the device is defined by the product of the information rate (bits/sec) and the distance between transmitter and receiver.

7. Merry-go-round

A small, light, ball is kept at the bottom of a glass filled with an aqueous solution and then set free. Select the properties of the solution, so that a moving up time of several seconds is achieved. How will this time change if you put your glass on the surface of a rotating disk?

8. Freezing drop

Drops of melted lead or tin fall from some height into a deep vessel filled with water. Describe and explain the shape of the frozen drops as a function of height of fall.

9. Radioactivity

Use efficient methods to collect as much radioactive material as you can in a room. Measure the half-life of the material you have collected.

10. Liquid fingers

When a layer of hot salt solution lies above a layer of cold water, the interface between the two layers becomes unstable and a structure resembling fingers develops in the fluid. Investigate and explain this phenomenon.

11. Throwing stone

A student wants to throw a stone so that it reaches the greatest distance possible. Find the optimum mass of the stone that should be used.

12. Tearing paper

Tear a sheet of paper and investigate the path along which the paper tears.

13. Rolling can

A can partially filled with water rolls down an inclined plane. Investigate its motion.

14. Illumination

Two bulbs, 100 and 40 watts, respectively, illuminate a table tennis ball placed between them. Find the position of the ball, when both sides of the ball appear to be equally lit. Explain the result.

15. Cooling water

Two identical open glasses, filled with hot and warm water, respectively, begin to cool under normal room conditions. Is it possible that the glass filled with hot water will ever reach a lower temperature than the glass filled with warm water? Make an experiment to investigate this and explain the result.

16. Coloured sand

Allow a mixture of differently coloured, granular materials to trickle into a transparent, narrow container. The materials build up in distinct bands. Investigate and explain this phenomenon.

17. A strange sound

Pour hot water into a cup containing some cappuccino or chocolate powder. Stir slightly. If you then knock the bottom of the cup with a teaspoon you will hear a sound of low pitch. Study how the pitch changes when you continue knocking. Explain the phenomenon.

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