Prize Recipient

Thomas Catanach

Thomas Catanach


Background:

My family lives in Trinity, Alabama though I was raised and still spend much of my time in Dallas, Texas, where I went to Bishop Lynch High School. From an earlier age, my parents instilled in me a great interest and admiration for science. As I grew older, Mr. Spock and the exhilarating adventures and discoveries of the USS Enterprise on Star Trek stimulated my interest in physics. Though I always had a great love of learning and insatiable curiosity about the world, by watching the crew of the Enterprise study and employ exotic particles like Tachyons and Neutrinos I discovered that I wanted to direct this curiosity toward understanding the fundamental nature of our universe. As I embarked on my own journey of discovery, I found a world which continues to amaze me and reveal its inner beauty whether exhibited through the elegant explanation of heat flow using Fourier series or the shear awe inspiring beauty of seeing the plane of the Milky Way in the clear skies of West Texas. Through the work of many educators and programs such as QuarkNet and ISEF my interests were channeled and refined.  I further gained scientific experience through research on Cosmic Rays, which helped me to deepen both my love of science and my respect for inquiry. I have continued this research through work on Project GRAND and SNOLAB.  I now attend the University of Notre Dame, where I study Physics and Classical Languages.