Scottish school students receive Higgs Prizes from the IOP

10 September 2014

Young people from across Scotland who have won the IOP’s Higgs Prize were presented with their awards in a ceremony at the Royal Society of Edinburgh on 9 September.

Alan Walker

The 20 school students had made the winning submissions in the Higgs Boson Competition, for which entrants had to explain what a Higgs boson is and what its uses might be.

The prize was established on 9 October last year, the day after Prof. Peter Higgs and Prof. Francois Englert were announced as the winners of the 2013 Nobel Prize for Physics. Prof. Higgs was to have presented the awards but was unable to attend on the day. Instead, the presentations were made on his behalf by Prof. Jim Hough, chief executive officer of the Scottish Universities Physics Alliance.

The prize for the winning groups included a handwritten Lagrangian equation as well as a selection of crystals from the CERN laboratory, and all winners received certificates.

The winners ranged from P6 to S4 students and came from the High School of Dundee; Queen Margaret Academy, Ayr; Eastwood High School, Renfrewshire; Trinity Academy, Edinburgh; George Watson’s College, Edinburgh and Gleniffer High School, Paisley. Teachers representing the schools also attended to receive school awards.

The University of Edinburgh’s honorary fellow Alan Walker (pictured), and reader in particle physics, Victoria Martin, both spoke at the prizegiving.

The IOP’s national officer in Scotland, Alison McLure, said: “We launched the competition in recognition of the Higgs boson theory, research and discovery. It attracted many entries demonstrating extensive research and a real understanding of the theories involved.”

More photos and information about the competition and prizegiving can be viewed here.