Sunday, October 05, 2008

A Nobel Pursuit

Well, the Nobel Prizewinners are to be announced tomorrowTuesday. In the spirit of fun (and to demonstrate how much science really does advance), here are some predictions and other fun facts gleaned from around the 'Net:

Can you predict the Nobel Prizewinners in Chemistry & Physics by counting citations? Apparently not:

http://www.symmetrymagazine.org/breaking/2008/08/27/nobel-prize-citations/

Since this is an election year, it's interesting to note that 61 Nobel Laureates (including 22 physicists) -- the highest ever -- support Barack Obama for President:

http://sefora.org/2008/09/25/61-nobel-laureates-in-science-endorse-obama/

Perhaps it's because Obama/Biden actually have a cogent science policy, and happen to believe scientists when they talk about evolution or global warming.

Interestingly, Reuters seems to think citations count for potential Nobel prizewinners:

http://physics.about.com/b/2008/10/04/2008-nobel-prize-coming-soon.htm

They think the contenders are:

Physics World offers the following candidates:
  • Daniel Kleppner at MIT for inventing the hydrogen maser
  • Berkeley’s Saul Perlmutter and Brian Schmidt at the Australian National University for their discovery that the universe’s rate of expansion is increasing…leading to the concept of dark energy
  • MIT's Alan Guth and Andrei Linde at Stanford University for their work on inflation
  • Chapman University's Yakir Aharanov for the Aharanov-Bohm effect and Michael Berry at the University of Bristol for the Berry phase -- the AB effect being related to the Berry phase
  • John Pendry of Imperial College and Duke University's David Smith for their prediction and discovery of negative refraction
  • Roger Penrose at Oxford University and Cambridge's Stephen Hawking for their contributions to general relativity theory and cosmology
  • Atsuto Suzuki from Japan's SuperKamiokande experiment and Art MacDonald from SNO in Canada for their work on neutrino oscillations
Who am I going to pick? Well, not because of any insight, but because of fondness for the topic I'm going with one of the cosmological predictions, either inflation, dark matter, or dark energy. Maybe they'll all be grouped together.

Tune in tomorrowTuesday to see who wins!

Update: Nambu (of the Nambu-Goto action for bosonic string theory), Kobayashi and Masakawa (of the Cabbibo-Kobayashi-Masakawa matrix which describes flavor-changing weak decays) share the Nobel prize for Physics in 2008, quite deservedly, for discovery of spontaneous symmetry breaking.

2 comments:

Physics said...

So, for class, your picks are in which order?
Perlmutter/Schmidt
Suzuki/MacDonald
Guth/Linde

Adam Getchell said...

I will wager:

Guth/Linde
Perlmutter/Schmidt
Suzuki/MacDonald