Top physicists honoured at national prize-giving

Top physicists honoured at national prize-giving

Two senior pupils were invited to attend a special awards ceremony after their impressive performances in the élite British Physics Olympiad competitions.

Year 11’s Tanishq Mehta was a gold award-winner in this year’s British Physics Olympiad GCSE Physics Challenge, in which his performance placed him within the top five of some 6,000 competition entrants nationwide.

And Niam Vaishnav, of Year 13, is celebrating another exceptional showing in the British Astronomy and Astrophysics Olympiad (BAAO) this year, having last year been chosen to represent the UK and then winning one of only two silver medals given to the national team at the International Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics in Beijing.

The pair were presented with certificates at the prize-giving at the Royal Institution in central London. QE Physics teacher Gillian Deakin said: “The honour given to these two young physicists at such a prestigious venue was a fitting recognition of their talent and dedication to the subject.

“They enjoyed the opportunity to meet fellow high-achievers from schools across the country and the British Physics Olympiad organisers.”

Tanishq Mehta spent several months preparing for the challenge – one of a number of competitions run by the British Physics Olympiad organisation – by practising past papers.

He recently sat the challenge’s one-hour paper, which featured both multiple-choice and short-answer sections. Teachers initially marked the papers and then sent high-scoring scripts through to the Olympiad office at Oxford. Only the top five were invited to the prize-giving.

With regard to Niam, even to have taken part in the BAAO in two consecutive years is a considerable achievement – entry is generally by invitation only.

He once again excelled in the competition: his score was among the highest in the country, which secured him an invitation to attend a training camp at Oxford University to compete for selection to the UK team.

He only narrowly missed out on that selection.