APS News

May 2007 (Volume 16, Number 5)

Oklahoma High School Physics Student Wins Intel Science Talent Search

Mary Masterman, a 17‑year‑old student from Oklahoma City, beat out a field of 40 finalists and won the top award of the 2007 Intel Science Talent Search in March. She will receive a $100,000 scholarship from the Intel Foundation for building an accurate homemade Raman spectra system out of a laser, a digital camera, a variety of lenses, and a prism‑like object to disperse light.

A senior at Westmoore High School, Masterman built her spectrograph system at home for $300, compared to the $20,000 to $100,000 price tag for high‑end commercial systems.

Using a laser as her light source, Masterman tested several household objects and solvents–including acetone and toluene–and compared her results to published wave numbers. Even with her inexpensive laser light source, she found she could make relatively accurate wavelength measurements with her homemade device. She hopes to attend MIT or Caltech after graduation.

Gray arrow  See a complete list of this year’s winners.

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Editor: Alan Chodos
Contributing Editor: Jennifer Ouellette
Staff Writer: Ernie Tretkoff

May 2007 (Volume 16, Number 5)

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Articles in this Issue
Franklin's Secret Message Revealed
Reliving the Good Old Days
Physicists Present Latest Results in Graphene and Metamaterials Research
Session Explores New Sources of Oil and Gas
March Prize and Award Recipients
Columnar Jointing Gives Rise to Natural Wonders
Quantum Leap Reported for Entangled Photons
Smart Organisms Use Physics to Find Their Food
Oklahoma High School Physics Student Wins Intel Science Talent Search
Physics Models Brought to Bear on Gene Transfer, Viral Vaccines
Microbe-Based Sensors Can Improve Security
Martian Features Provoke Sharp Debate
Advanced Lab Instructors Plan New Organization
Biomolecules Ready for Their Close-Up with New Imaging Methods
Members in the Media
This Month in Physics History
Inside the Beltway: Washington Analysis and Opinion
The Back Page