Israeli teens nab top prizes in international physics competition

Students from the youth physics center named after late astronaut Ilan Ramon (pictured) earned top prizes in an international physics competition. Credit: NASA.

( Eight Israeli high school students from the Ilan Ramon Youth Physics Center at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev have earned the top prizes in the First Step to Nobel Prize in Physics international competition.

Some 80 nations participate in the annual competition, which is held in Warsaw. Competitors are asked to submit their research to the Polish Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Physics, where a panel of internationally renowned judges evaluates it.

The first-prize winners are awarded a month-long research trip to Poland, a chance to make a presentation to leading physicists, and a certificate of merit. But the biggest coup is having their research published in an international physics journal.

Two of the eight Israeli winners from the Ilan Ramon Youth Physics Center took the first prize: Idan Fishman and Basel Abu Ganem, both of whom attended the same high school in Beersheba. Fishman’s research is titled “Water crystallization kinetics in porous media: treatment of the experimental results,” and Abu Ganem’s is “Instability of the phase front in freezing porous media.”

Five of the Israeli students were awarded second-place prizes, and one garnered a third-place prize.

“This is an impressive achievement that puts Beersheba at the forefront of international physics,” said Beersheba Mayor Ruvik Danilovich, according to Israel Hayom.

Posted on October 22, 2014 .