What is the difference between these two programs?

The International Young Physicist Tournament (IYPT) is an organization that was founded in 1979 by Russian physicist Evgeny Yunosov . Initially conceived to further encourage young Russian students to gain an deeper understanding of physics research the tournament soon expanded to students from around the world.

USIYPT is the American organization responsible for encouraging students to prepare for this competition and to establish a format to select the US team. Selected students will represent the United states as the US champions at this prestigious physics competition.

USAYPT is an organization that was founded in 2007. Many of the founders of this organization participated in IYPT prior to 2007, and this is evidenced by the similarities in the format for each tournament. USAYPT conducts tournaments that occur in the winter of each year within the continental US and more information about this group can be found at

There are certainly benefits to the USAYPT organization and we encourage you to research their organization. Highlighted below are some of the advantages we believe USIYPT enjoys.

  1. The problem set published each year is curated by world renowned physicists and cover a wide range of physics topics. There are 17 problems to choose from and most teams will complete10-12 of those problems for the international tournament. This allows wide flexibility in preparing your team.
  2. The US tournament to determine the US representatives require students to complete 5 problems by March/April. Typically problems for the selection event are chosen to allow talented 1st year physics students the chance to compete and be successful. We believe that if the selection event occurred earlier in the school year we would limit the competition to only those students that have already completed at least one year of physics instruction.
  3. While all students can originate from one school, the US tournament does not require all students to originate from the same school. It is possible to form a team by combining students and teachers from 2, 3, 4 or 5 different schools. This can make the preparation phase more manageable.
  4. The US selection event is offered at no cost. The competition venue, the food and the and technical support have all been provided at no cost to participants in the past. However, travel arrangements and hotel accommodations are the responsibilities of the teams.
  5. While we hope that that you and your school perform spectacularly, and go on to represent the US in Romania, New Zealand or England one day, you can elect to compete only in the US event. There is no obligation that your team go onto compete internationally. You could simply elect to compete in the US for the US title. HOWEVER:
  6. The international event is spectacular. Selected students will have the experience of lifetime. Not only will the students travel internationally, they will have a chance to compete against the world’s best students. For many of these students it will be the first time that they are not the smartest kids in the room, and students find this exhilarating. Furthermore, the international organization does an outstanding job of providing cultural exposure that cannot be quantified.

If you have more questions about the format of this tournament or its appropriateness for your school please contact us directly.