International Theoretical Physics Olympiad for Undergraduate Students 2021

The ITPO is a competition designed by PhD students and Postdocs for undergraduate students interested in research in theoretical physics. In a zeroth-order approximation, the purpose of this Olympiad is to play with non-trivial questions and to learn through competition. To a first-order approximation, the goal is to find people interested in theoretical science and to help students gain experience with modern research skills.

Our only requirement is that participants be undergraduates. We hope to attract students who are interested in physics, from universities all around the world. Students may have different backgrounds, so we encourage collaboration between undergraduates of all years of study. The Olympiad will consist of 6 or 7 problems on different topics of modern theoretical physics, of varying difficulty. Problems from prior years should be good practice (see links above), but there is no straightforward way to prepare for this competition.

Being able to work fluidly with sources is an extremely important part of research, so we permit the use of external references throughout the Olympiad, provided that they are cited appropriately. We encourage participants to use any materials published before the beginning of the contest. However, discussing problems with anyone outside of your team is strictly prohibited and will (at minimum) be grounds for cancelation of scores.

This year's Olympiad will be partially disrupted by the COVID-19 global health crisis. Despite the online nature of this event, in previous years many teams would meet in-person. However, the current situation differs from region to region, which may affect teams at different levels. Nevertheless, the scientific community has been forced to adjust to this situation, and interactions between some scientific groups are currently restricted to online formats. Thus, we have decided that this year's Olympiad will happen in the same format as before. We prioritize your safety, so we expect that this year's participants will comply with local ordinances regarding how their teams can meet and interact. We also expect that the effects of local differences will be mild on overall performance.

Our 2021 competition will take place for 24 hours between January 30th and 31st, starting at 10:00am EST. Participants will need to form teams of at most 5 people and register online. All team members must be undergraduate students at the time of the contest. Registration is now open, and will remain open until 24 hours before the competition. Teams will upload solutions to their individual webpages. Winners will be recognized appropriately after the competition.

Contact us regarding the ITPO at: