Women in Physics
Mmantsae Diale
Mmantsae Diale

Mmantsae is studying towards her PhD degree in Physics at the University of Pretoria. Her field of study is the physics of semiconductors, and in particular III-Nitrides semiconductors.

She has been motivated by curiosity and the challenges Physics presents. Her performance in high school resulted in teachers channeling her towards a career in science. In addition, she is a hands-on person. After reading about Edison's life, she wanted her own laboratory at home. "The physics laboratory is my playroom and it fulfills me."

Is she achieving what she was hoping for?
I am achieving the ideal of having my own lab and producing patents. Her future plans include doing defect characterisation in new materials, measurements of illumination levels in the atmosphere, radiation measurements and effects, image analysis and characterisation of optical signals using electrical methods as a business. These are applicable in energy, forensics and the medical field.

On stereotypes
She admires Marie Curie, the first woman to receive a Nobel Prize - in Physics - in 1903. She is concerned that the last woman in physics to receive a Nobel Prize was Lisa Meitner who did so in 1963, for work done in 1937. Both women shared their prizes with men and both worked in the field of radioactivity.

Why encourage learners to study physics?
Physics forms the basis of technology. What physicists work on today, will be of benefit to everyone several years later. Physics stimulates your thinking skills. You become multi-talented and you are employable in many areas of analytical thinking. Furthermore, the physics world is a
community of achievers. Studying Physics
answers many questions about the workings of nature.