Central Bank launch commemorative Ernest Walton coin

Silver coin was presented to special award winners at BT Young Scientist exhibition

 Ernest Walton, pictured here in 1955, has had a commemorative silver coin made in his name by the Central Bank.  Photograph: Jack McManus/The Irish Times

Ernest Walton, pictured here in 1955, has had a commemorative silver coin made in his name by the Central Bank. Photograph: Jack McManus/The Irish Times

 

A new commemorative coin which was first awarded to BT Young Scientist category winners last week has been released for general sale by the Central Bank.

The Ernest Walton coin is being issued in recognition of Ireland’s only Nobel Laureate for science.

The first coin of the new mint was presented to Jonathan Rainey and Patrick Dougan from Ballyclare High School in Antrim.

They were winners of the eponymously-named Central Bank Ernest Walton Award at the exhibition last Friday, which is presented to the physics project which best illustrates innovative techniques and the use of data.

The limited edition silver proof coin has an issue limit of 6,000 units, and will be available to collectors on the Central Bank website from today.

Designed by Irish artist Rory Breslin, it depicts the manoeuvres of Walton’s famous experiment, and the resulting explanation of Einstein’s famous mass/energy equivalence equation, E=mc2. The coin will retail at a price of € 44.

Walton shared the 1951 Nobel Prize in Physics with colleague John Douglas Cockcroft as a result of a pioneering experiment where they split a lithium atom using accelerated protons, which informed their critical findings on Einstein’s theory.