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Science stars celebrated

Published: 8 Dec 2015 19:00
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Annual Higgs Prize awarded to promising physics pupils.

Science Minister Alasdair Allan has announced this year's winners of the Higgs Prize for Physics.

The prize is named after Edinburgh-based Nobel Physics Prize winner Professor Peter Higgs, whose work in the field has had a significant impact on modern day particle physics, and rewards pupils who show a particular aptitude for the subject.

Dr Allan and Professor Higgs presented the two winners with their prizes at a ceremony celebrating Scottish scientific achievement at Our Dynamic Earth.

The 2015 Higgs Prize winners are Hannah Takahashi, who studied at Hyndland Secondary and Hillhead High schools in Glasgow and Calum Sharp, a former pupil of Stewarton Academy who studied for his Physics Advanced Higher at St Joseph's Academy in Kilmarnock.

As part of the Scottish Government funded prize, Calum and Hannah will travel to the internationally renowned CERN research facility in Switzerland in the summer to attend lectures and seminars on physics as part of the summer school programme.

They will also have the opportunity to meet Scottish researchers there and talk about the research they are carried out at the facility and their careers in physics.

Dr Allan said:

"Science is hugely important to Scotland. This year we have taken part in the International Year of Light commemorations which mark the accomplishments of Scottish physicist Sir James Clerk Maxwell 150 years on from his theory of electromagnetics.

"I am delighted that the Higgs Prize, now in its third year, has given us a way to celebrate the achievements of our up and coming scientists. Hannah and Calum will now be able to travel to CERN to see for themselves the scale of the experiments done there.

"I joined last year's winners on their visit this summer, and every one of us was inspired by both the scale of what we saw and by the enthusiasm of the Scottish researchers we met.

"This prize is the perfect example of hard work opening up life-changing opportunities and I am sure that Calum and Hannah will enjoy the opportunity to share the knowledge and experience of some of the greatest minds of our generation.

"I would also like to thank Professor Higgs for once again joining us to present these exceptionally hard working and talented youngsters who have won the prize named in his honour."

Professor Higgs said:

"Everyone in life has people that they admire and strive to be like – my own inspiration was Paul Dirac, who won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1933 – and I'm honoured that an award in my name is used as inspiration to the younger generation of physicists.

"I congratulate Hannah and Calum on winning this prize and I am sure they will have an amazing time at CERN where they will learn from the very best. I hope these promising young talents go on to become esteemed in their own right."

Notes to editors

Please note that photography will be available after 1900 hours. Please contact Lesley Brown on 07810 507010.

The prize is awarded on merit, to the highest performing male and female Advanced Higher Physics candidates from a publicly-funded school.