Prize-Winning Physics App


RWTH researchers win the 2020 Ars Legendi Faculty Award for Mathematics and Natural Sciences


The phyphox team around Professor Christoph Stampfer, Dr. Sebastian Staacks, and Professor Heidrun Heinke from RWTH’s Department of Physics has been presented with the 2020 Ars Legendi Faculty Award for excellence in teaching.

The team received the prize for developing and making widely available the phyphox physics app, which allows school and university students to experiment with physics concepts. The award is presented in various categories: biosciences, chemistry, mathematics, and physics. Each winning individual or team receives a prize money of 5,000 euros.

By developing and continually enhancing the app, which is available for free on Android and iOS, the team has contributed to improving physics education in schools and universities worldwide. By using the various sensors integrated in modern smartphones, such as accelerometers, gyroscopes, and pressure sensors, phyphox transforms cell phones into physics labs. This opens up entirely new opportunities in teaching and learning: the app enables pupils and students to conduct experiments on their own and to get hands-on experience with data acquisition and analysis.

The award is annually presented by the Stifterverband foundation, the German Mathematical Society, the German Physical Society, the German Chemical Society and the Association of Biology, Biosciences and Biomedicine in Germany. It underlines the importance of university teaching for the education and training of young people in mathematics and the sciences. The career-boosting award provides an incentive for instructors strive for innovation and excellence in teaching and learning.