NEWS: Law Students Win Event At Yale Physics Olympics

By Anisha Manglani – News Editor

Over 200 students, including a group from Jonathan Law High School, gathered at Yale University on October 15 for the 14th annual Physics Olympics.

Yale University hopes that participants can enjoy themselves while applying basic physics in a practical manner.

The event is a pentathlon with five 35-minute tasks. Each team must complete the missions to obtain the best result and work towards first place.

“All four of the members were volunteers, and they’re all headed toward careers in the sciences,” said advisor Mr. Stanton.

Law prepared for the event by electing a team of four students. Senior members Bhavani Jaladanki, Jake Markham, Ryan Dennis, and team captain Ratan Manohar were chosen based on their appreciation for physics.

“I wanted to ensure that we were functioning as a team instead of a collection of individuals,” said Manohar. “For the first event, we explored our own ideas and went on our own paths; we didn’t finish.”

The team worked through the tasks until they came in first place for the pendulum event.

“We had to build a pendulum out of a ball and sticks top make it swing for a period of two seconds,” said Jaladanki.

The team swung the pendulum for 1.999 seconds and placed first. As a result, the students were awarded with a polo shirt and a Frisbee.

“The event was fun,” said Dennis.

The remainder of the events at the Yale Physics Olympics included building an overhang of wooden blocks, completing a Fermi quiz, creating a motor car, and finding the measure of the refraction of water.

“Competing as a team was a good experience,” said Markham.

One of the questions on the Fermi quiz was, “Socrates lived 2,000 years ago; how many molecules from his dying breath are you breathing in right now?” The scores from the quizzes were used as tiebreakers.

“It’s all about being practical, thinking on your feet, and being able to adapt to any sort of situation,” said Manohar.

PHOTO: Law’s Physics Olympics team was comprised of Bhavani Jaladanki, Jake Markham, Ryan Dennis, and team captain Ratan Manohar. (Photo courtesy Mr. Stanton)

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