Physics Challenge

Give your brain a workout!

If you are currently finishing your 1st year of 6th form or college study, and would like to be in with a chance of winning a Sony Playstation 4, then take a stab at 3 the problems below.

Submit your typed or neatly-written solutions to or by post to Dr Manuela Mura, School of Mathematics and Physics, University of Lincoln, Brayford Pool, Lincoln, LN6 7TS.

Please remember to include your full name, postal address, school/college name and email.

The closing date for entries is 24th July 2015.

To build magnificent buildings, such as Lincoln Cathedral, medieval engineers used various machines. Estimate the maximum weight that can be lifted by Agostino Ramelli’s three-wheel winch, if operated by one person.

A model of Agostino Ramelli’s three-wheel winch. Picture and Video Courtesy of V. Ivanov (London, ON, Canada)

Watch this model in action on YouTube

Estimate how high a regular party balloon can fly. Support your estimate with necessary measurements and calculations. You may use video evidence if desired.
Measure how high a regular ping pong/table tennis ball jumps out of water as a function of submersion depth under the water. Film your measurements, plot your results and explain your findings.


All solutions must be accompanied with full explanations along with any calculations you have made. You must reference any videos you have recorded within your explanations. You may submit partial solutions if you have
managed to complete some but not all questions.

Submission of videos can be sent by using This is a quick and free way of sending the files to us. Please ensure that the “Friend’s email” section is filled out as then we can
download your files successfully.

An awards ceremony for the winners will take place in autumn with the date to be confirmed once we have all results in and the competition winners are decided. This will take place on campus at the University of Lincoln.

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