Top physics Higher students commended at Holyrood

16 November 2011

Four Scottish students have been commended by Scotland’s Chief Scientific Adviser for receiving the highest marks nationwide last summer in their Advanced Highers and Highers at Holyrood last week.

Top physics Higher students commended at Holyrood

Anne Glover, Scotland’s Chief Scientific Adviser, was on hand to congratulate the four students who all performed remarkably well in their physics exams this year.

Both Scott Melville, from Hutcheson’s Grammar School in Glasgow, and Gavin Macauley, from St Aloysius’ College, also in Glasgow, achieved top marks in their Advanced Highers.

While Dugald G Hepburn from Boroughmuir High School in Edinburgh, and James C Matthew, from George Heriot’s School, also in Edinburgh, achieved top marks in their physics Higher this year.

Alison McLure, the Institute of Physics’ (IOP) National Officer in Scotland, said, “All four of these young men turned out an amazing performance in their physics exams this summer and highly deserve this occasion to celebrate their success.

“I have no doubt that, having such a demonstrably solid grounding in physics, they will all go on to great things, whatever they decide to do.”

Glaswegians Scott and Gavin, who are both furthering their study of physics beyond success at their Advanced Highers at, respectively, the Universities of Oxford and Glasgow, maintain a strong passion for the subject.

Scott said, “I love physics.  It’s the science of understanding our Universe.  Physics is the science of the future – capable of true and meaningful predictions.  I could travel light years from here – into the middle of nowhere – and given enough information about my surroundings accurately predict how masses would behave, how charged objects would move, even how fast or slow my watch will tick!  I don’t see why you would want to study anything else.”  

Gavin, who thanks a succession of enthusiastic and dedicated teachers, for his exam success, said, “I have always enjoyed physics, fascinated as I am by the way that seemingly abstract mathematics can model everyday life.  I suppose my liking for the subject comes from the fact that I am an avid reader of popular science books – such literature naturally engenders inquisitiveness about the world around you.”

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