1999 International Physics Olympiad
Padua, July 18-27




March 15th, 1999


Dear friends and colleagues,

it is my pleasure to inform you that the Italian Education Board have sent the official invitations to the XXX IPhO to all delegations in accordance with the formalities required by the Statute of the International Olympiads of Physics. The acceptance forms are arriving. The invitations have been addressed, according to the suggestions we received from you in your answer to our Circular n.1 to the representative of the Board or of the Body promoting the participation in the IPhO and to the contact person with our secretarial office.

This circular is sent to the contact people via e-mail and it contains:

  1. The rules of the XXX IPhO
  2. For the people who arrive before and stay after the Olympiad
  3. Visitor Visas
  4. How to communicate with us
  5. Form with general information about the delegations
  6. Form to ask for information about accommodation offers or tourist opportunities before and after the IPhO

Rules of the XXX IPhO

The foundation of the International Olympiads of Physics are the Statutes and the Syllabus that you can find in their complete form on internet also in the XXX IPhO site:


Some fundamental articles of the Statutes are reported here:

# 1

In recognition of the growing significance of physics in all fields of science and technology, and in the general education of young people, and with the aim of enhancing the development of international contacts in the field of school education in physics, an annual physics competition has been organized for secondary school students, the competition is called the "International Physics Olympiad" and is a competition between individuals.

# 4

Each participating Country sends a team consisting of students of general or technical secondary schools, i.e. schools which cannot be considered technical colleges. Also students who finished their school examination in the year of the competition can be members of a team as long as they do not start the university studies. The age of the participants should not exceed twenty on June 30th of the year of the competition. Each team should normally have five members.

In addition to the students, two accompanying persons are invited from each Country, one of whom is designated "delegation head" (responsible for whole delegation), and the other "pedagogical leader" (responsible for the students). The accompanying persons become members of the International Board, where they have equal rights.

The delegation head and pedagogical leader must be selected from specialists in physics or physics teachers, capable of solving the problems of the competition competently. Normally each of them should be able to speak English.

The delegation head of each participating team should, on arrival, hand over to the organizers a list containing personal data on the contestants (surname, name, date of birth, home address, type and address of school attended).

# 7

The competition is conducted on two days, one for the theoretical competition and one for the experimental competition.
When solving the problems the contestants may make use of tables of logarithms, tables of physical constants, slide-rules, non-programmable pocket calculators and drawing material. These aids will be brought by the students themselves. Collections of formulae from mathematics or physics are not allowed.

The following rules are specifically valid for the XXX IPhO:

  1. The organizers will supply the participants with the accommodation and catering of the team members from the day of arrival, July 18th, up to the day of departure, July 27th. The travel expenses to and from Padua are to be charged to the Country taking part in Olympiad. However, on July 18th a free transport service from M. Polo airport in Venice and from the railway station in Padua to the places of accommodation will be offered; a similar service will be supplied on July 27th for the departure.

    The Italian Education Board, providing hospitality to the XXX IPhO, will cover about a half of the sum of 600,000 Euro (about US$ 660,000) which constitutes the cost of the whole manifestation. The organizing Committee has to obtain funds and services to cover the other half of the requirements. The Municipality and the University of Padua have already put at our disposal the structure necessary for the tests and the ceremonies. But the financial supports found up to now allow us to cover only a part of our expenses. For the financial plan closure we have counted on almost the same voluntary quota as the one given by the delegations in the previous Olympiad. The requested quota is US$ 500 for each leader and US$ 400 for each student. The Physics Teaching Association is the organizing and financial responsible for the XXX IPhO on the basis of a convention with the Italian Education Board and will produce the Olympiad balance sheet in the proceedings which will be distributed to all the delegations who will be present in Leicester on the occasion of the XXXI IPhO in the year 2000. We could provide on request a letter confirming the urgency of your contribution to be presented to your financial supporter.

    Visitors and observers are welcome to the XXX IPhO; if your Country wants to send a visitor or an observer in addition to the team members you should let us know as soon as possible by the means of the included form "Country Response Form" so that arrangements can be made for the necessary accommodation. Visitors will pay US$ 1000 which will cover accommodation , food and the participation in all the social events and outings. Observers will be required to pay US$ 1100 and this includes the same opportunities as the ones offered to the visitors. What is more, observers will get all the materials distributed to the leaders and will be able to attend the International Board meetings.

    The payment of the voluntary contribution for the teams (US$ 3000 for a complete team) and of the observers’ quotas can be paid from now till May 31st 1999 to:

    Banca CIS s.p.a.
    c.c.b.n. 105/81
    Agenzia n.3
    Codici: abi 03059  cab 04803
    09125 Cagliari - via Pessina 2

  1. The organizers will not provide your team (leaders, students, observers and visitors) with any type of insurance. Your participation in the Olympiad implies that you accept that all the necessary insurance covers are at your own expense and that the organizers will not take on any civil responsibility for any damage or remuneration for any reason.

    As it is in our care to ensure the tranquillity and well-being of our welcome guests, we will also take into consideration the possibility of health service needs. In order to cover the expenses of possible hospitalisation and treatment the European Community citizens should get the form E 111 properly filled in from the Health Service of their Country. We know that also some countries which are not in the EC enjoy a system of mutual exchange in Italy. It will be the participants’ responsibility – who can thus avoid paying the insurance – to get information about it from their own national health service offices. All the others will have to pay in case of any medical expenses and we greatly recommend to take out a suitable insurance in their own Country.

    We are aware of the fact that we are to give specific attention to the participants under age ( in Italy you become of age at 18). Each team will be accompanied by a guide all through the Olympiad. The guides’ role is to help the students to find their participation in the XXX IPhO and their stay in Italy pleasant and to follow the necessary rules so that everything works in the best possible way. Almost all the guides are able to communicate with the students in at least one of the official languages of their Country or in English.

    The candidates should be informed by the responsible leader that:

    Þ use of alcohol or any other drug is strictly forbidden during the Olympiad and that smoking will not be allowed in the public rooms and in the places of residence.

    Þ the ones who disobey their guides’ instructions might be deprived of their guide and directly entrusted to their team leader’s responsibility.

  1. Certificates for the teachers whose schools are attended by the candidates will be given only if requested. If a Country wishes to receive these certificates they should be explicitly requested from the Secretarial office of the XXX IPhO by June 1st.

  1. In order to encourage the exchange of information and of significant materials for the teaching of physics in high school we will place some spaces (tables and boards) at your disposal where the participants can display posters or other materials.

  1. Regarding the translation of theoretical and experimental problems the delegations who have special needs concerning the word processor are requested to point it out in the included form "Country Response Form".

For the people who arrive before or stay after the Olympiad

The places where the guests to the XXX IPhO will be accommodated will not be available before July 18th or after July 27th. Wishing to help those who want to stay in Italy longer, either for tourism or to avoid the jet lag effects, we might put at their disposal the services of a tourist agency. The following special tourist offers for the participants in the XXX IPhO are meant for groups of at least 20 people.

Tour to Rome
Duration: 5 days

Cost: Euro 398 (US$ 466)
Cost for 30 people or more: 315 Euro (US$ 370):

Tour to Sicily
Duration: 8 days

Cost: Euro 780 (US$ 915)
Cost for 30 people or more: 692 Euro (US$ 812)

If you are interested in these and /or other opportunities (as attending the Opera at the Arena of Verona) please contact via e-mail or fax the agency "ZIP Viaggi" by the means of the form included here.

Visitor Visas

Many people do not require a visa to visit Italy for tourism or business. These include citizens of:

Argentina; Australia; Austria; Belgium; Bosnia-Herzegovina; Brazil; Canada; Colombia; Croatia; Cyprus; Czech Republic; Denmark; Estonia; Finland; Germany; Great Britain; Greece; Hungary; Iceland; Ireland; Israel; Liechtenstein; Mexico; New Zeland; Norway; Poland; Portugal; R. of South Korea; Singapore; Slovakia; Slovenia; Spain; Sweden; Switzerland; The Netherlands; USA.

How to communicate with us

In case you have any problems concerning the organization of the XXX IPhO please contact Francesco Minosso at our Secretarial Office.

Francesco Minosso
XXX IPhO's Secretary
e-mail <olifis@no.sctrade.it>
tel +39-041-2669407; fax +39-041-5351826

If you need any information regarding the entry visa to Italy for your delegation you can send your requests to:

dr. Maria Grazia Buscema
Ministero della Pubblica Istruzione
Direzione Generale per gli Scambi Culturali
fax +39-06-58493381

Next connections:

See you in Italy.

On behalf of the organizing committee

Giuliana Cavaggioni

Country Response Form
Please fill in the following information and submit
via e-mail to <olifis@no.sctrade.it> or via fax to fax n.+39-041-5351826
The deadline for submission of this form is March 31st, 1999

COUNTRY _______________________ CODE: _________






____________ ____________ ____________






YES _______________ NO _______________





Before and after the Olympiad
If you need accommodation or plan to go on a tour
Please fill in and submit to ZIP Viaggi
via e-mail <info@zipviaggi.com> or fax to n. +39-049-761287


ROME _________________

SICILY ________________



2 STARS _______ 3 STARS _______ 4 STARS _______

DATE OF ARRIVAL ____________________

DATE OF DEPARTURE _________________



NAME AND SURNAME _________________________________

E-MAIL ___________________________________________

FAX ______________________________________________

Executive secretary
Italian Association
for Physics Teaching