First Minister Alex Salmond announced the very first winners of the Higgs Prize for physics.
The Higgs Prize is awarded on merit to two pupils from a publicly-funded school who have shown outstanding performance in the Advanced Higher Physics exam.
It was established in recognition of the impact Nobel Physics Prize winner Professor Higgs’ theoretical work has had on modern day particle physics. Its purpose is to reward and inspire Scotland’s best young school physicists. The award winners will visit the internationally renowned CERN research facility in Switzerland to take part in its summer school and a specially designed programme of events.
The inaugural Higgs Prize winners are:
Lucy Willets-White, formerly of Boroughmuir High School in Edinburgh, now studying Physics at Imperial College, London. At the moment she intends to stay in physics, either in industry or research.
Peter Rhodes, formerly of Madras College, St Andrews, and applying for further study starting September 2014. At the moment he is interested in a possible career in neurology and psychiatry.
The First Minister also confirmed that £4 million funding will be provided to support Professor Higgs’ legacy. This will include a £2 million contribution to the Higgs Centre at the University of Edinburgh, alongside an additional £2 million to support a new generation of young researchers in physics and mathematics at universities across Scotland, through the Scottish Funding Council.
Announcing the Higgs Prize winners, the First Minister said:
“Professor Higgs’ achievements are hugely inspiring for our young people and his commitment to encouraging our next generation of scientists is well-known. It’s very fitting that we mark his globally recognised work through the Higgs Prize.