The University of Michigan-Shanghai Jiao Tong University Joint Institute (UM-SJTU JI, JI hereafter) students delivered outstanding results in the 2022 University Physics Competition. As major members of the SJTU teams, they claimed awards including 1 gold medal, 5 silver medals, and 4 bronze medals, according to the official results announced by the organizer recently.

The University Physics Competition is an international competition for undergraduate students. Participating teams from universities around the world cooperate in groups of up to three people to analyze real-world physical scenarios using physical principles and submit a formal paper based on the competition questions within 48 hours. This year, competitors were required to solve one of the two problems, including Problem A requiring to explore how to use near-Earth satellites to block possible asteroid impacts on Earth and calculate the time of the satellite-asteroid collision, and Question B requiring to find the best initial velocity and angular velocity of a soccer penalty kick to maximize the probability of scoring.

Model design of gold medal team A460

Lu Junjie, a student from the gold medal team, praised the competition’s emphasis on breaking down complex problems. “When solving physics problems, it’s crucial to first understand the physical process. Our team broke down the problem into three stages of launch, collision, and drift, which made writing the paper much easier.”

Model design of silver medal team B301

He Yinian, a student from the silver medal team, shared his competition experience: “We were able to unleash our full potential in just two days. Although our modeling progress was slow, and we encountered numerous challenges, we found our rhythm and persevered until the end. This competition has taught us the importance of perseverance and problem-solving skills.”

A total of 417 teams attended this year’s competition. SJTU teams mainly composed of JI students started to participate the annual event from 2012. JI students have maintained strong performance over the past years, winning a total of 3 gold medals, 18 silver medals and 28 bronze medals for the university.