This site has a large number of questions like those that appear on math olympiads.

Lately, I thought of some puzzles that could appear on physics and chemistry olympiads. While those require knowledge of physics and chemistry, they also require some puzzling and creative thinking skills.

Are such questions on-topic here? What if I explain all chemistry and physics needed for the question?

Note: physics and chemistry homework or other trivial exercises must be off-topic here, and allowing these questions might cause people to ask it here. Also, it will be hard to decide between an olympiad problem and homework exercise if you don't know enough about physics and chemistry.

  • $\begingroup$ Can you give a small example of what you think would fit ? $\endgroup$
    – Fabich
    Commented May 29, 2016 at 15:28
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ @lordofdark Is it possible to design an electrical circuit with $n$ switches and $2^{n+1}-1$ light bulbs such that for any odd $1 \leq k \leq 2^{n+1}-1$ it is possible to have $k$ light bulbs switched on? $\endgroup$
    – wythagoras
    Commented May 29, 2016 at 15:42

2 Answers 2


I don't see puzzles requiring knowledge of physics/chemistry to be any more of an issue than the plethora of puzzles on this site that require deep math, cryptographic, foreign language, or other niche knowledge. In fact there are already and tags, in which these sort of puzzles can live.

The only two things that I can think of that could be an issue, is:


One thing you might want to keep in mind is the following discussion:


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