Year 12 student, Yalun Yang, recently received an Honourable Mention in the International Physics Olympiad. An Honourable Mention means that he was placed amongst the top 67% of all participants. The International Physics Olympiad this year included over 370 participants from 76 countries. Yalun was one of the five competitors representing Australia. Unfortunately, due to Covid-19, this competition could not be hosted by Lithuania in 2021. Yalun had to travel to the University of Queensland on July 19 and 21 and sit two exams that were five hours in length each: one theoretical and one practical, assessing knowledge and problem-solving skills throughout all topics of physics, without a formula book or any resources. He was also able to participate in multiple other social activities, including a lecture from one of the 2019 Nobel laureates in Physics regarding the discovery of the first exoplanet and the revolution of astrophysics since this discovery.
Yalun's journey began last year through the Australian Science Olympiads, particularly the Physics Olympiad, where he was placed amongst the top 30. In January this year, Yalun was invited to attend the summer camp in its online format. The two-week intensive program mainly included learning theoretical physics across mechanics, fluid dynamics, thermodynamics, electricity, relativity and quantum physics at a tertiary level. This was mixed with doing laboratory work, investigating various topics of interest such as elasticity, light, and diode thermometers using a laboratory kit that he received through mail. This, along with the social activities within the summer camp were the highlights of his camp. Although learning theoretical physics fulfilled Yalun's love of learning, the other activities were more enjoyable as he was able to meet others whilst working together to solve laboratory problems, generating lifelong connections with peers and tutors who had the same passion for physics as Yalun did.
Yalun was one of the nine competitors selected from the summer camp to participate in the April 2021 Training Camp. This was an intermediate camp between the summer camp and the International Physics Olympiad, where the nine competitors solved past Olympiad problems from the International Physics Olympiad and Asian Physics Olympiad, along with laboratory assessments. Yalun was one of the deserving five competitors selected from this camp to represent Australia in the International Physics Olympiad.
Congratulations Yalun! We are so proud of your achievements.
HOD Science & Enrichment (Acting)