Chris Zhu (II) Wins Bronze Medal in U.S. Physics Olympiad

Chris Zhu, Class II, was awarded a Bronze Medal this spring in the 2019 U.S. Physics Olympiad (USAPhO), a national competition sponsored by the American Association of Physics Teachers and the American Institute of Physics. Chris is one of four medalists from Massachusetts.

In January, Chris and his fellow Science Club members took the preliminary F=ma qualifying competition on campus. The F=ma competition is a 75-minute multiple-choice exam focusing primarily on the Mechanics side of physics. Qualifying as a semi-finalist in the F=ma, Chris advanced to the final USAPhO competition on April 2. The USAPhO is a three-hour, free-response, and calculus-based exam covering Mechanics, Electricity and Magnetism, Thermodynamics, Fluids, Relativity, Waves and Optics, and Nuclear Physics. F=ma and USAPhO form a series of two highly competitive physics competitions for high school students and serve as the basis for the selection of U.S. Physics Team members for the International Physics Olympiad (IPhO). More than 6,000 high school contestants across the country participated in the preliminary round this year. Chris scored in the top 150 in the nation to become a medalist.

Chris attributes his achievement to Mr. Robert Moore’s rigorous Honors Physics class he took during his sophomore year and the competition opportunities offered by the RL Science Club. An active member of the RL Science Club, Chris now reflects on his experience: “I enjoyed each science activity during the season. In March, we traveled to the University of Connecticut to compete in the Northeast Regional High School Science Bowl, and our team had a great finish in the top 10. Furthermore, my qualification for the USAPhO competition has pushed me to broaden my learning in the disciplines of physical science.”