First Step to Nobel Prize in Physics

General rules

  1. All the high school (lyceum) students regardless of the country, type of the school etc. are eligible for the competition. The only conditions are that the school cannot be considered as a university college and the age of the participant should not exceed 20 years on the deadline.
  2. There are no restrictions concerning the subject matter of the papers, their level, methods applied etc. All these are left to the participants’ choice. The papers, however, have to have a research character and deal with physics topics or topics directly related to physics.
  3. Every participant can submit one or more papers but each paper should have only one author. The total volume (i.e. text + figures + captions + tables + references) of each paper should not exceed 25 normal typed pages (about 50,000 characters). The papers have to be written in English.
  4. The papers will be refereed by the Organising Committee and the best will be awarded. The number of awarded papers is not limited. All the awards will be considered equivalent. The Authors of the awarded papers will be invited to the Institute of Physics (or to institutions co-operating with the Institute of Physics) for research stay (the stays are scheduled for November). The necessary stay expenses (without expenses for travel) will be paid by the organisers. Unfortunately, the travel expenses to and from Poland cannot be paid by the organisers and the winners will have to find some sponsors.
  5. In addition to the regular awards the Organising Committee may establish a number of honourable mentions. The participants who won the honourable mention receive diplomas, but they are not invited to the research stay.
  6. The deadline for submission of papers is March 31.
  7. Each paper should be attached with the filled Participation Form.
  8. The papers that do not conform to the above mentioned formal conditions are not evaluated. In particular that refers to the following papers:
    • written in language different than English or written by hand,
    • received after the deadline (the participants should have submit the papers out to the organizers early enough),
    • submitted without the Participation Form,
    • in which physics does not play a basic role,
    • which do not have a research character (descriptive papers, essays, papers without any own results received by the Authors etc. are rejected in the first pass of evaluation)

Evaluation Criteria

Usually several judges judge the competition papers. They fill out a form where they select the suggested result:

  • Award
  • Honourable mention in category:
    • Research paper
    • Contribution
    • Instruments
  • Nothing


Papers should be of regular research character in physics (physics should dominate in the papers—that refers to all the recognised competition papers, not to the awarded papers only). They should contain new, original and interesting results obtained by the Author either in theory or in experiment or in constructing devices (or instruments), the results should be presented in an appropriate way, characteristic for research papers. The papers should be ready for publication without any changes or after minor changes of editorial character only.

Honourable Mentions

Research papers

The same as above, but the paper is not ready for publication without more or less important changes that exceed editorial character only.


Interesting contributions or interesting descriptive papers or interesting papers aiming to popularise some topics (the papers in this category should contain at least a new approach to the topic of the paper). The papers should be correct with regards to physics contents and written in good English. (Good English is required from all the recognised papers, but its role in this category is somewhat greater.)


Interesting devices, instruments and other constructions that—at least in principle—are not absolutely new. They, however, should contain some interesting solutions or other interesting details. (The new constructions may be awarded.)