The University of Nova Gorica is hosting the Slovene part of the competition in Astronomy science, based on the Saint Petersburg School of Astronomy
The School of Applied Sciences at the University of Nova Gorica is hosting the Slovene part of the competition in astronomy (based on the Saint Petersburg School of Astronomy) and will be carried out also under the auspices of the Slovenian Association of Mathematicians, Physicists, and Astronomers (DMFA).
The main organizers of the competition are Andrej Guštin, the Secretary of the Committee for Popularization of Astronomy and Dr. Andreja Gomboc, the President of the Slovene Committee for Astronomy at the DMFA.
Since 2009, astronomy competitions in Slovenia have been part of the regular yearly competitions on the state level, both for high schools and elementary schools, similarly to competitions in math and physics. In 2013, the best high school students took part in the International Olympics in Astronomy and Astrophysics (IOAA) and achieved an amazing success – two silver medals and two special achievements recognitions. This has never been achieved by any other team on their first competition. This year, the Slovene team is, for the first time, a part of the Russian open state competition (Saint Petersburg Competition in Astronomy) which is conducted over the world wide web. The Russian high school students are usually well trained in astronomy and astrophysics and are usually very successful at the IOAA, hence the tests’ difficulty level this year will be a great challenge for our elementary school and high school students. Due to some changes that were introduced in the rules of the competition, only students from selected elementary and high school are participating this year. These are the schools where astronomy has been studied most earnestly and for the longest time.
At the University of Nova Gorica, physics is the most widely researched science and covers a large array of areas, from particle astrophysics to the physics of atmosphere and the physics of materials. Our program in Physics that is carried out at the School of Applied Sciences, is trying to establish a top-level, experimentally oriented way of teaching in Slovenia, hence we design our classes with small groups of students, a direct connection between students and professor, and we have established connections with international research institutions and universities.
As part of this competition, the elementary and high school students will get to know astronomy and astrophysics and activities related to them. The students from the Laboratory of Astroparticle Physics at the University of Nova Gorica will introduce their work which is part of the international projects conducted together with Pierre Auger Observatory, Polje Teleskopov Čerenkova (CTA), and Teleskop Fermi LAT, which are the leading experimental possibilities for the study of cosmic particles, the gamma waves with highest energies, as well as for theoretical research in the area of quantum gravitation and black holes. Astronomy observations with gamma waves and main particles offer a new, complementary look at the universe, and, moreover, the study of the interactions of particles that are linked to Earth’s atmosphere enables an insight into the processes between main particles related to energies that we can’t really produce in a laboratory.
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