President Jacob Zuma has congratulated Senamile Masango, who became the first African woman to conduct the first African-led experiment at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) laboratory in Switzerland.
"We congratulate this inspirational young African woman on her excellent achievement and hope that she will serve as a beacon for all other young African women to follow in her footsteps and achieve their goals and dreams," said President Zuma on Wednesday.
Masango was part of a group of student researchers from the University of the Western Cape (UWC) in South Africa studying the isotope selenium-70 to better understand how its nuclei shape relates to its energy levels.
Physicists and engineers at the CERN are probing the fundamental structure of the universe. They use the world's largest and most complex scientific instruments to study the basic constituents of matter - the fundamental particles. The particles are made to collide together at close to the speed of light. The process gives the physicists clues about how the particles interact, and provides insights into the fundamental laws of nature.