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Sign up underway for Physics Bowl


If you had a Foucault pendulum, would you know what to do with it?

High school physics students with this type of knowledge are encouraged to enter the SDSU Physics Bowl XL April 25 at the Swiftel Center in Brookings held in conjunction with the Engineering Expo conducted by the South Dakota State University Jerome J. Lohr College of Engineering.

The first 18 teams to enter the 40th annual event will be accepted.

Joel Rauber, SDSU Physics Department head, said each school is allowed to enter a three-person team. Cash prizes awarded to each member of the top five teams. Winning team members earns $40 with $30 for second, $20 for third, $15 for fourth and $10 for fifth.

The one-hour contest begins at 11:30 a.m. with registration. Students answer 20 questions in a quiz-bowl format.Questions will be based on topics such as basic mechanics, heat and thermodynamics, basic electricity, optics and famous physicists.

SDSU faculty will conduct demonstrations following some of the questions.

"The Physics Bowl is intended to be a fun, exciting and rewarding experience. The competition puts the fun and fascination of physics out where everyone can enjoy it," Rauber said.

Last year's event attracted 11 teams and was won by the Brookings High School team of Yixuan He, Nicholas Bien and Vlad Chilom followed by Sergeant Bluff-Luton (Iowa) High School. 

To enter the 2014 contest, contact Sally.Krueger@sdstate.edu or 605-688-5428.         

P.S. — A Foucault pendulum is used to demonstrate the Earth's rotation.