Explorer Competition

What is it?

Every year, hundreds of high school-level students from around the globe form teams and compete by responding to an open-ended research-based assignment containing questions inspired by groundbreaking discoveries in physics, and submit their work after a two week-long period in the form of a report. This event is called the Physics Unlimited Explorer Competition. This year's PUEC took place January 20 - February 3, 2020.

PUEC 2020 Rankings released!

The .pdf of the team rankings is accessible here (updated with honorable mentions, special awards, and team members' names on 3/31/2020). Please expect personalized certificates to be distributed before mid-April.

Please note: the global pandemic has affected our operations as well; we are temporarily short-handed but are doing our best to go through the queue of our to-do list items as expeditiously as possible.


The .pdf of the assignment is accessible here. This year's assignment was an open-ended invitation to build a model for orbital resonance and draft a paper based on several requirements and guidelines. The submission deadline was Monday, February 3.

All team members needed to submit a form - made available on February 2 - with a few brief questions and a small participation fee, both to ensure they have each contributed to their team's effort and to help us understand what each student learned from the creative experience.

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The 2018 Explorer Competition consisted of a two-part assignment, with one section on quantum mechanics and one section on statistical mechanics. Please see this page to view the assignment details and results.
Physics Unlimited's inaugural team-based Explorer Competition took place in November/December 2017.
Please see this archived page to view the assignments and results from that event.