The Quiz Coordinators and Old Boys’ Association of Prempeh College have registered their displeasure to the Producers of the National Science and Maths Quiz (NSMQ), Primetime Limited, over events that characterised the last contest they participated.
According to Prempeh College, the second semi-final which saw their elimination from the competition Thursday, October 19, 2023, was fraught with “injustice” that facilitated their exit from the competition.
In a letter written to Primetime and copied the Ministry of Education, Ghana Education Service and all media houses, the five-time champions and second most successful school in the competition after Presbyterian Boys’ SHS says a riddle their contestants answered rightly was deemed incorrect by the consultants, costing them a whooping 3 points that would have secured them a spot at the grand finale.
In the said contest, Prempeh College placed joint second with Pope John SHS and Minor Seminary with 36 points each, being beaten by archrivals, Opoku Ware School (OWASS) with 38 points. Had the 3 points been given to Prempeh, that would have set them above OWASS with 39 points to qualify for the grand finale of the contest.
“Customarily, competing schools are allowed to protest if decisions taken do not go their way. During such protests, protesting schools are allowed to air their grievances for the consultants to assess and make a judgment on them.
Opoku Ware School, during this same competition, went down this same tangent and got themselves three (3) extra points after the first round,” they indicated in portions of their letter.
The Coordinators and Old Boys say they are disappointed with the consulting professor who denied them their marks for the said riddle they answered correctly.
Find below from their letter, the riddle as read by the Quiz Mistress, Prof. Elsie Effah Kauffman, the response given by the Prempeh students, and the argument backing it as the right answer.
l. I am a physical principle
2. Even though there is no theoretical basis for me, I am an experimentally confirmed principle
3. I operate across many domains of physics including mechanics, electromagnetism, and even quantum mechanics
4. According to me, the whole is equal to the sum of the parts
5. You call on me whenever you determine the electric field or the scalar potential at a point due to a collection of stationary charges So, who am I?
The Prempeh College contestant gave the answer as the principle of superposition, but the consultant argued that the answer was the principle of linear superposition.
He claims there exists other types of superposition like exponential superposition hence the answer the student gave is incorrect.
Customarily, competing schools are allowed to protest if decisions taken do not go their way. During such protests, protesting schools are allowed to air their grievances for the consultants to assess and make a judgment on them.
Opoku Ware School, during this same competition, went down this same tangent and got themselves three (3) extra points after the first round.
However, upon protesting, the consulting Physics Professor present, disallowed the answer given by the contestant from Prempeh College arguing that there could also be the existence of the Principle of Exponential Superposition.
We argue that the student was correct based on the following points:
1. There are several sources that show that the principle of superposition when used applies to only linear systems. When applied in the broadest sense the principle of superposition is also known as the principle of linear superposition. See the image of Freedman Physics attached below.
2. There is no clue in the riddle that restricts the answer to the principle of linear superposition.
3. The application of the principle of superposition to electrical circuits would be the only point that nullifies it being the correct answer to the riddle. The third clue did not include electrical circuits.
4. What’s the principle of superposition as defined in physics?
How different is its definition as given in literature from the principle of linear superposition? Which clue in the riddle defies it?