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Senior Physics Challenge

Isaacphysics "Extraordinary Problems"

We here present collections of problems that are rather more wide-reaching than individual questions on

We present them as pdfs here since they may require repeated and close reading, best done perhaps from a print-out that you can also annotate. The on-line versions are at

World cup rugby tackles

The forces involved are comparable to the weight of a bus!


On Earth and on the moons of Jupiter, of water and of arsenic liquids. Why are rainbows bright?

Static and flying chains

Catenaries, and the "chain fountain" of Mould, arches, bridges, and hyperbolic functions.


What is the connection between a yacht and an aircraft wing? How many times faster than the wind can an ice yacht sail?

The Rosetta Mission

The physics of catching up with, landing on, moving on, and orbiting a comet. [on-line on isaac, but not yet available as a single pdf].


The physics of returns, service and spin. [on-line on isaac, but not yet available as a single pdf].

Generously supported by participating Colleges and the Ogden Trust.
Christ's Churchill Corpus Christi Downing Emmanuel Fitzwilliam St John's Newnham Pembroke Peterhouse Queens' Robinson St Catharine's Sidney Sussex Trinity Trinity Hall The Ogden Trust