Map of participating countries

The direct registration is over and we got teams from over 20 countries!!!
There are still some preliminaries to take place but we are confident that this year we get more teams than ever.
Have a look at the map (Singapore, India, Nepal are not depicted)

Victoria Martin speaks at symposium

Victoria Martin is a particle physicist currently working at the CERN LHC to find out more about the Higgs boson during her sabbatical. Normally she workes as a reader at the university of Edinburgh organising courses and lectures on Particle Physics for 4th and 5th grade students. (Source:

If you’d like to learn more about her, watch this video in which she describes how she came to be a particle physicist working on the Higgs boson:

Visit of PLANCKS 2016 in Bucharest

PLANCKS 2016. The third time for some of us at the PLANCKS Symposium. This time in Bucharest, Romania. From the OC 2017 Gerhard and Alexander visited the symposium to get some insights.

This year the opening symposium was split up to two days. On the first evening Ph.D. Nicolae Zamfir und Ph.D. Traian Dascalu had a presentation on the research topics of the University of Bucharest. In the morning of the second day Prof. Ph.D. Stefan Antohe und Prof. Ph.D. Sune Svanberg continued with the symposium.

After a short lunch break the teams were sent to separate rooms. This year the competition was set up in a school. Every team had a whole classroom for themselves, giving them the place and opportunity for doing some yoga between hard problems to refocus again. In the evening all participants and organizers went to the Quantum Club and discussed the problems of the competition over some drinks.


The award ceremony was set up the next day in the aula of the university. The winner was the team Charles’ Angels from Czech Republic followed by Smoluchowski’s team from Poland and smh tbh fam from Czech Republic.

So far, this was the official program. At night instead of sleeping, Gerhard and Alexander had meetings with the OC 2016 and organizers from the years before. They got useful hints what in the previous years worked well and what could have done better. In addition they set up a survey for the participants to get some feedback. From this they could see that the participants were enjoying the competition and got an idea who should speak on the opening symposium in Graz.

All in all Gerhard and Alex used this opportunity well to prepare themselves for PLANCKS 2017 and brought all the new gathered knowledge back to Graz.

How Graz got the bid

It was May 2015, Alex had just participated in the PLANCKS competition in Leiden and took the spirit, the enthusiasm with him to enlighten us. It didn’t take long to convince us that organizing such a great PLANCKS competition would be awesome. So we started to gather, ask people, basically to set up a core organizing team.

The first aim to realize PLANCKS 2017 in Graz was obviously getting the bid, so we started preparing our presentation. It was clear that I  – as the president – would do the presentation at the IAPS AGM since most of the team unfortunately didn’t participate at the ICPS, though some loyal members (Alex and Patrick) attended the meeting via livestream.

ICPS in Zagreb was great – meeting so many dear friends, having such inspiring lectures and joyful parties (just think of the nation’s party 🙂 ) It was so nice to be here again and a shining example for how we want to organize PLANCKS in Graz in 2017.

Presentation time: I think we (Patrick Lainer – Austria’s long served HONC (head of national committee – supported me)) did well. There was some confusion about the actual competition date, since we assumed begin of June better apt, but finally as it is now, we set the competition to happen at the end of May. In the end we could win the trust of the assembly and got the bid.