Prize Recipient

Elspeth Whetten

Elspeth Whetten


Background:

I became interested in science and physics in Junior High when I developed carpal tunnel from practicing piano. For most of a year I was restricted from practicing and from using my hands for all other activities. During this period I found ways to fill the time that I had previously used for practicing. Mr. Pusey, my ninth grade science teacher, played a key role in providing stimulating ideas for study. He introduced me to physics books, and I became hooked. In high school, friends from my physics class and I started a science club, and I began organizing science fairs and science activities.

My interest in science and physics grew, and by the time I graduated from high school I knew I wanted to major in physics. As a physics major at the University of Utah, I do research with Professor Kai Martens and the Cosmic Ray research group. As a research assistant, I study the quantum efficiency of light detectors, and run cosmic ray detectors in the desert. I continue to organize science activities and tell people about science and physics as the secretary of the Society of Physics Students at the University of Utah. I plan to pursue a doctorate in physics and continue to do research while teaching at a university.