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Physics Frenzy: Battle of the Equations

Help us crown the all-time greatest physics equation with a March Madness-style showdown for the ages!

Graphic of names of equations paired up to "battle" each other

March Madness is the annual, single-elimination college basketball tournament famous for thrilling buzzer-beaters and heartbreaking defeats.

The tournament has inspired plenty of other, significantly less athletic brackets to deal with such high-stakes questions as “Who was the best character on The Office?” and “What’s the best pasta shape?” (aka. Starch Madness)

But now it’s time for a March Madness-style showdown for the ages, as we seek to find the all-time greatest equation in physics …

Welcome to Physics Frenzy: Battle of the Equations!

Over the next three weeks, we need your help to crown a champion. Our esteemed selection committee has chosen 16 physics-defining contenders – you can click the links below for the low-down on this smorgasbord of physics equation royalty.

Outraged that we had the nerve to include Euler’s formula in the field? We’ll see you in our Twitter mentions. Sick of Einstein getting all the love? Cast a vote for the Dirac equation and give a different poorly coiffed Nobel laureate some shine. Think the Friedmann equations are grossly under-seeded? Rally your friends and become the architect of a Cinderella story!

We’ll narrow the field to our Elite Eight with two match-ups per day from March 15 to 18. And then the stakes really ratchet up.

  • Quarterfinals: March 23 and 24
  • Final Four: March 30 and 31
  • The Final Showdown for Physics Frenzy Glory: April 4

In the meantime, peruse the bracket, tell your friends (nerdy trash talk is encouraged), and follow us on Twitter, where we’ll keep you posted on all the action!

Think you know exactly how it will all play out? Fill out the bracket and share it on social with #PhysicsFrenzy to earn bragging rights when your equation prognostication proves prescient. And don’t forget to vote!


April 4

Graphic of Noether's theorem equation and an explanation

Noether’s theorem (59%)


Maxwell’s equations (41%)

Graphic of Maxwell's equations and an explanation

Check out the full equation bracket list.


Past match-ups

March 15

Match one: #1 Energy-momentum relation (72%) DEF. #16 Stefan-Boltzmann law (28%)

Match two: #8 Einstein field equations (51%) DEF. #9 Dirac equation (49%)

March 16

Match three: #5 Noether’s theorem (60%) DEF. #12 Boltzmann’s entropy (40%)

Match four: #13 Planck-Einstein relation (50.5%) DEF. #4 Newton’s second law (49.5%)

March 17

Match five: #3 Schrödinger equation (69%) DEF. #14 Euler’s formula (31%)

Match six: #6 Uncertainty principle (74%) DEF. #11 Friedmann equations (26%)

March 18

Match seven: #7 Second law of thermodynamics (64%) DEF. #10 Newton’s law of universal gravitation (36%)

Match eight: #2 Maxwell’s equations (79%) DEF. #15 Hamilton’s equations (21%)


March 23

Match one: #8 Einstein field equations (68%) DEF. #1 Energy-momentum relation (32%)

Match two: #5 Noether’s theorem (67%) DEF. #13 Planck-Einstein relation (33%)

March 24

Match three: #3 Schrödinger equation (63%) DEF. #6 Uncertainty principle (37%)

Match four: #2 Maxwell’s equations (66%) DEF. #7 Second law of thermodynamics (34%)

Final Four

March 30

Match one: #5 Noether’s theorem (57%) DEF. #8 Einstein field equations (43%)

March 31

Match one: #2 Maxwell’s equations (58%) DEF. #3 Schrödinger equation (42%)



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