× Teams' scores for the 2021 Explorer Competition have been released; see below. Stay tuned for updates!

2021 Explorer

Physics Unlimited's 2021 Explorer Competition consisted of an open-ended assignment to learn the foundational principles and apply them to effectively design a quantum cascade laser. Students were able to work on this task at their convenient time through the extended submission deadline of March 21, 11:59 pm ET.


The official list with teams' scores has been released here. A subset of contributed papers will be published and linked from this page once we receive explicit permissions from all teams who would like to make their submissions public.

Congratulations to teams Labmems, Silver Catalyst, and Texas Academy of Math and Science for a well-deserved tie for first place, The EasyKayZey Show for second place, and Lost Photons for third place. Please see the full PDF page for honorable mentions and scores of the remaining top teams. We will be reaching out to all teams individually over the coming week(s) with their certificates and comments from graders.


We hope this exercise served as an enriching experience for everyone, and we look forward to seeing all participants continue to develop their critical thinking and analytical skills going forward!

Please see this Explorer Competition root page to view the assignments and results from previous years.