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Students Compete in 6th Annual University Physics Competition

This weekend, two student teams will be competing in the 6th annual University Physics Competition  - Muhamad Siddiqi, Xin Chen, Daniel Rosales Giron (team U leader) and Davis Easley, Will Burton-Edwards, Tyler Blankenship (team S leader).

The contest will begin at 7pm CST this Friday, November 13 and end on Sunday, November 15 at 7 pm, lasting 48 hours. The teams of three undergraduate students will research and answer one of two questions posed to them at the beginning of the competition. Winners will be announced in mid-December.

 As an example, here are two problems from previous years.

 2014  Problem A:  Circumbinary Planets

Consider two stars, one with 50% of the mass of our Sun and one equal in mass to our Sun.  This binary star system has an orbital period of 30 Earth days.  Where could a planet have a stable orbit in this system?  Describe the possible stable planetary orbits.

 2012  Problem B. Table Tennis Ball Sizes

In the year 2000, the International Table Tennis Federation changed the official ball diameters from 38mm to 40mm.  The purpose of this was to increase the effects of air resistance, and slow down the game, in order to make it more fun to watch as a televised spectator sport.  If the diameter was increased further, would this make the game an even better spectator sport?  What would be the best ball diameter, in order to make the game as fun to watch as possible?

 Students will have free access to journals, books, and the Internet, but they may not communicate with anyone outside their group on issues relating to the solutions to their problem.