The University of Alabama

UA to Host High School Physics Contest Jan. 31

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — If a rock is thrown downward from a cliff with an initial speed of five meters per second, and it takes it five seconds to hit the river below, how high is the cliff? Those attending The University of Alabama’s annual high school physics contest Jan. 31 can answer such questions, how about you?

The event, sponsored by UA’s department of physics and astronomy, is in its 38th year, and it typically attracts hundreds of students from multiple states who compete for both scholarships and bragging rights.

Last year, nearly 300 students, representing 21 schools, competed. In addition to both individual and team physics competitions, the event also includes a program for teachers, an open house on research in physics, a physics show and informal opportunities to experience campus life at The University of Alabama.

Registration begins at 8 a.m. in the Bryant Conference Center with the written exam starting at 9 a.m. in the conference center’s Sellers Auditorium. The day also includes a physics show beginning at 2:15 p.m. in the Ferguson Center Theater and concludes with a 3 p.m. awards ceremony.

For a complete schedule, contest rules and more information, click here. The registration deadline is Jan. 27.

Student competitors on campus Jan. 30 may attend a 7 p.m. talk by Dr. Dawn Williams, UA associate professor of physics, titled  “IceCube: the Weirdest Wonder of Modern Astronomy.” The talk will be in Gallalee Hall, near the University Boulevard and Hackberry Lane intersection. Afterward, weather permitting, students can visit the rooftop observatory to use UA’s 16-inch Ritchey-Chretien reflector telescope to view the moon and other celestial objects.

Oh, and the answer? It’s 150 meters.

UA’s department of physics and astronomy is part of the College of Arts and Sciences, the University’s largest division and the largest liberal arts college in the state. Students from the College have won numerous national awards including Rhodes Scholarships, Goldwater Scholarships and memberships on the USA Today Academic All American Team.

The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.