Israeli high school students have won first prize at the 20th annual First Step to Nobel Prize in Physics competition, held in Warsaw. It is the first time an Israeli delegation has won the top prize at the international competition.
The competition, held at the Warsaw Institute of Physics in the Polish Academy of Sciences, requires high school students from across the globe to submit research papers in the fields of physics and high-technology.
Yuval Katznelson, of Kiryat Gat, won first place overall for his research of energy in unique gases found in charcoal fibers.
"We succeeded in showing the world the potential of the Jewish mind," said Professor Victor Malamud, the head of the Ilan Ramon Youth Physics Center at Ben Gurion University, which works with students who wish to enter physics competitions.
May Alon, 18, from the southern town of Netivot, won third place for her project in the field of astrophysics. After graduating from high school, Alon is now doing national service. She said she was dreaming of a Nobel Prize in physics and possibly of becoming an astronaut so she can see the subject of her research up close.
"Within the framework of my national service, I guide groups for the Israeli Astronomical Association and think of what will happen down the road. I want to do great things in science and contribute to humanity," she said.