10 of our L6 Physics students (Aryan Akhgar, Louis Thomas, Sushain Razdan, Mayuran Visakan, Rishin Madan, Rutvik Rele, Will Gray, Rucha Panchal, Jonathon Smith and Nitesh Das) made up two teams who 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 safes were: ‘Nucleons’ featuring puzzles based on Specific Heat Capacity and Resistor networks, and ‘The Jukebox’ with puzzles based on electromagnetism and compound gear systems.

After leaving Sheffield at 5am for the long journey to Dulwich College in London, they competed in several 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 entitled ‘What We Cannot Know’ by the Mathematician and TV personality Marcus du Sautoy – the perfect end to a fantastic day and a great experience for all.