School News

Safe-Cracking National Finals

L6 Physics students Abu Al-Hasan, Robert Tomblin, Oliver Lanchberry, Harveer Narula and Thomas Doyle competed in the national finals of the prestigious Weizmann UK Safe-cracking tournament on Sunday 12 February.

This  followed several months of intensive work in the laboratory and workshop to devise and build a safe that required the potential cracker to solve two Physics based puzzles in order to break in. The Birkdale safe was called ‘Good Vibrations, Bad Vibrations’ and featured puzzles based on the concepts of Electromagnetic Induction, Resonance and Stationary Waves.

After leaving Sheffield at 5am for the long journey to Dulwich College in London, they competed in 10 rounds of safe-cracking as well as a very thorough grilling from the panel of judges. The team didn’t quite manage to break into the top three to earn a place in the International final, but they certainly held their own amongst formidable competition. They were also treated to a fascinating talk about Cryptography by the Mathematician and TV personality Marcus du Sautoy – the perfect end to a fantastic day and a great experience for all.

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