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Minutes of the Meetings of the International Board during the 40th International Physics Olympiad in Merida (Mexico)
July 12 – 19, 2009


1. The following 68 countries were present at the 40 th International Olympiad:

Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Colombia, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador (*), Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Great Britain, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Mexico, Moldova, Nepal, The Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico (**), Romania, Russia, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan (Chinese Taipei), Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, USA and Vietnam.
(*) - new countries invited by the Organizing Committee to the Olympiads this year,
(**) - invited by the Organizing Committee as a guest team.
In addition, two countries Saudi Arabia and Syria were represented by one leader only.


2. Results of marking the papers by the organisers were presented.

The best score (48,2 points) was achieved by Handuo Shi from China (Absolute winner of the 40th IPhO). The following limits for awarding the medals and the honourable mention were established according to the Statutes:
Gold Medal 

33.35 points

Silver Medal 

25.10 points

Bronze Medal 

17.45 points

Honourable Mention

13.05 points

According to the limits 41 Gold Medals, 70 Silver Medals, 79 Bronze Medals and 45 Honourable Mentions were awarded.

3. In addition to the regular prizes the following special prizes were awarded:

    • for the best score (Absolute winner)
      • Handuo Shi    (China)
    • for the best score in the experimental part of the competition:
      • Handuo Shi    (China)
    • for the best score in the theoretical part of the competition:
      • Kim Donggun    (Korea)
    • for the best score among female participants:
      • Handuo Shi   (China)
    • for the most original solution of the experimental problem (donated by the European Physical Society):
      • Akhyn Zhagsa   (Kazakhtan)
    • Gorzkowski Prize
      (for the best participant among the countries that joined the IPhO 2009)
      • Rolando la Placa    (Puerto Rico)
    • for the best Mexican competitor:
      • David Eduardo Hernandez Sanchez    (Mexico)

4. At the beginning of the first meeting of the International Board the President of the IPhOs informed the audience that the Polish leader Dr. Pawel Janiszewski had passed away on 6th May 2009. Professor Jan Mostowski said some words of memory and the International Board commemorated Dr. Pawel Janiszewski with a Minute of Silence.

5. During the grading of the students’ solutions the local graders consulted the following four persons designated to this work by the International Board: Professor Jan Mostowski (Poland), Dr. Juan Leon (Spain), Dr. Eli Raz (Israel), and Dr. Arthur Eisenkraft (USA), about some problems concerning the interpretation of the criteria etc.

6. At the beginning of the second meeting of the International Board the two remaining candidates for the secretarial election Helmuth Mayr (Austria), and Prof. Ming-Juey Lin (Taiwan, Chinese Taipei) presented their ideas about the future of the IPhOs followed by a short discussion. Dr. Mohammad Sepehry Rad (Iran) had cancelled his application

7. At the third meeting of the International Board the secretarial election was carried out according to a secret ballot. Prof. Ming-Juey Lin (Taiwan, Chinese Taipei) was elected as the new secretary. The President thanked the retiring secretary Prof. Maija Ahtee (Finland) for her long role in the IPhOs.

8. The President showed the proposal by the Ministry of Education of the Islamic Republic of Iran that Iran is willing to host IPhO in the year 2023. He also told that India is willing to host the International Physics Olympiad 2015 instead of Ireland. The President reminded that according to the Regulations Associated with the Statutes of the International Physics Olympiads: Each country should, within five years of entry, declare its intention to host for a future Olympiad, suggesting possible years. A country that is unable to organise the competition may be prevented from participating in IPhOs by decision of the International Board.

9. The President suggested a couple of changes with respect to the future organization of the IPhO. In his view the Secretariat of the IPhO should be extended towards an Executive Committee (EC). Therefore the Statutes need to be changed and legalized by a lawyer which permits the IPhO organization to open a bank account to collect funds. These funds can be used to cover costs made by the EC and to help future countries organize the Olympiad. To improve the quality of the problems and to shorten the moderations, accepted practises within the International Board will be written in a document called 'marking rules'.

10. The President delivered information about the fourth congress of the World Federation of Physics Competitions that will take place in Croatia in July 25th -29th, 2010 just after the 41st IPhO

11. Professor Silvia Tomic from the Croatian Physical Society showed a video about the facilities in which the 41st IPhO will take place. The Croatian delegates disseminated to all the delegations printed materials about the IPhO 2010. All information will be published on the web site of the organization:

12. At the end of the Olympiad, acting on behalf of the organizers of the next International Physics Olympiad, Prof. Silvia Tomic announced that 41st International Physics Olympiad will be organized in Zagreb, Croatia on July 17th-25th, 2010 and cordially invited all the participating countries to attend the competition.

13. The official webpage of the IPhOs will be changed to new address

Luis Felipe Rodriguez
Head of the
Academic Comittee

Jose Luis Moran-Lopez
Head of the
Organizing Comittee

Hans Jordens<
of the IPhOs

Merida, August 2009


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