Each year undergraduate students have the opportunity to sit the Canadian Association of Physicists' Undergraduate Prize Exam. This is a three-hour exam held in early February. It is based on the entire undergraduate physics syllabus so, in principle, third- and fourth-year students have an advantage over their junior colleagues. However, many of the questions require thought and insight beyond memorized facts and the mere mechanical application of formulae. As a result, we have had spectacular successes from very junior students. In any case, there is nothing to be lost from sitting the exam in first- and second-year just for the practice.
Who wins prizes in this exam depends on intelligence, preparation and a good deal of luck. However, if it doesn't pan out for you, there is nothing lost. No one at UBC will know how you did: the exams are marked at the University which sets the exam (not UBC).
CAP will confidentially send you your results. An exception is if you place in the top 10 nationally, then your name is publicized, and you get a $500 prize from UBC Department of Physics and Astronomy, and if in the top three nationally, you'll get an additional cash prize from CAP.
For more information about the CAP exam, please see CAP website. Previous CAP University Prize Exams may be found online at: http://www.cap.ca/en/activities/medals-and-awars/prizes-students/university-prize-exam/previous-exams.
The 2017 exam date: February 7, 10am-1pm in Henn 318. For past CAP exam winners click here.
The department also hosts the CAP lecture tour annually for undergrads. For more information about the lecture tour, please see CAP website.
The 2017 CAP lecture will be announced in February next year. Please click here to see the title and abstract of the last year's lecture.
Real Life on Fake Mars: A Student Guide to Becoming an Everyday Astronaut
By Dr. Ross Lockwood, University of Alberta