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 assignment took place in February - March, 2021.

2021 Explorer Scores

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.

2021 Explorer Assignment




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The 2020 Explorer Competition consisted of a single assignment on orbital resonance. Please see this page to view the details and results.
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.