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The “Safe Cracking” International Physics Tournament

Learning is one thing. Exploring is quite another

Registration is now closed.

Imagine standing in front of a strongbox (a "safe") containing lasers, wires, magnets, and a fan. You have 10 minutes to open it, and the clock is ticking! Can you crack the code and unlock the safe? The Shalhevet Freier International "Safe-Cracking" Physics Tournament is your chance to prove you have what it takes.

The tournament aims to encourage the basic understanding of scientific principles and the development of original ideas by which to implement these principles.

This competition is the highlight event of Israeli physics students nationwide, and schools chosen to participate in it pick their teams about six months prior to the tournament. Students who are part of these teams are tasked with designing, building and operating a locking mechanism for a safe that is based on the different principles of physics. This mechanism must be sophisticated enough to be impossible to open without deciphering the physics principles behind it.

As part of this 48-hour tournament, dozens of teams comprising high school seniors – physics majors from all over the world – will face off in a race to crack each other's safes. 

The 2020 International Physics Tournament will be held at the Davidson Institute of Science Education at the Weizmann Institute of Science on March 24-25, 2020.

Preliminary tournaments will be held this year in Israel, Canada, the UK, Slovenia, and Argentina. 



Teachers of 12th grade students who study advanced-level physics both in Israel and abroad. 


The Israeli leg of the tournament will take place on March 12, 2020. The top-five teams will compete in the two-day international tournament, slated to take place on March 24-25, 2020.


Registration is free of charge.



You can prepare for the tournament and design the lock mechanism at home or anywhere else you like. The tournament itself will be held at the Davidson Institute of Science Education at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel.



Teams representing schools in the Israeli tournament are required to pay a NIS 750 participation fee, payable upon receipt of the safe assembly kit.


Registration may be submitted by physics teachers only. We encourage students who want to participate in the tournament to appeal to their teachers.