Sunday, September 25, 2005 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Nobel candidates for 2005

After my 100% success rate at the German virtual Nobel stock market in 2004, I don't have a sharp prediction for the physics Nobel prize winners this year.

(The stock market otherwise failed miserably - because there were almost no semi-insiders in the game. A sophisticated system to "vote" can't help in this case and the stock prices were thus random - and they cancelled the website in 2005. Most of the actual winners were not even proposed to the market.)

As Peter Woit has pointed out, Thomson Scientific (TS) predicts that Green, Schwarz, Witten will win the physics prize. I am not sure whether one should join their prediction, but it is a good idea anyway (much like many other names associated with string theory and supersymmetry that I could add). ;-) Their (TS) alternatives, based on citation impact, are

  • Shuji Nakamura (UCSB) for the blue laser and LED diodes of many colors
  • Yoshinori Tokura (Tokyo) for new superconductors and giant magnetoresonance

I would also raise the following possibilities for our colleagues to be awarded:

  • Alan Guth, Andrei Linde, and maybe Paul Steinhardt or Henry Tye or Andreas Albrecht for their pioneering contributions to inflationary cosmology
  • Vera Rubin (plus some other theorists or experimentalists?) for her work on dark matter
  • Edward Lorenz for his contributions to the theory of chaos and attractors
  • Peter Higgs, Jeffrey Goldstone, and possibly Philip Anderson (as Minki pointed out) for their explanation of spontaneous symmetry breaking
  • Sheldon Glashow (again?), John Iliopoulos, and Luciano Maiani for their GIM mechanism and the theory of the charm quark
  • Makoto Kobayashi, Toshihide Maskawa, and probably Nicola Cabibbo - the president of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences (as in "CKM matrix") for their description of quark mixing (and, in the first two cases, CP violation)
  • Stephen Adler and Roman Jackiw for their discovery of anomaly cancellation in particle physics (John Bell died in 1990)
  • Leonard Susskind for his discovery of string theory, technicolor, Hamiltonian lattice gauge theory, quark confinement, theory of scaling violations in deep inelastic electroproduction, holography, one quarter of Matrix theory, black hole complementarity, and quantum tautology (I borrowed the last one from one of my immitators at Not Even Wrong)

I could also mention some additional colleagues at Harvard whose chance is nonzero:

  • Lene Hau for her work on non-linear optics and "slow light"
  • Bertrand Halperin and David Nelson for their work on anti-ferromagnets and two-dimensional phase transitions, among other things

Comments welcome. Be cautious: most people in the Nobel committee may be deciding by reading this blog.

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snail feedback (6) :

reader Minki Jeong said...

Though the development of blue LED was a remarkable accomplishment and deserves any big awards, it seems far from Nobel *physics* taste. If it's really the time for condensed matter, I presonally prefer CMR to GMR, though the latter shows greater impacts on people's lives.

If it's about spontaneous symmetry breaking, should we include Philip Anderson again to the list?

As was pointed out in the Cabi's Glasses before by Cabi himself, I agree that it's about time to give the prize to Lorentz and others for chaos.

reader CapitalistImperialistPig said...

Interesting suggestions all, but historically the NP committee hates theorists. Einstein never got it for relativity, for example.

reader Quantoken said...

The invention of blue light diode is absolutely deserving, if you consider that the 2004 Nobel chemistry prize was awarded to a Japanese technician for inventing a measurement technique that gained wide application. The invention of blue light diode is orders of magnitude much more important than the chemistry invention.


reader Serkan Cabi said...

Thanks Minki for reminding my humble blog. As you said my candidates are Edward Lorenz and Benoit Mandelbrot for their discovery of chaotic and fractal structures in physics.
Here is my blog entry if anybody is interested in.

reader Leucipo said...

I still think that someone should sell muon and tau as susy to something spin-zeroed (diquarks, mesons, any...) and then the inventors of susy could collect some prizes at the end.

reader nige said...

I actually hope they give the prize to Edward Witten for 'predicting gravity' as he claimed in his April 1996 Physics Today article. (It would highlight the problems in promoting mathematical physics clearly to a lot of people.) But they'll probably just give him the prize for explaining supersymmetry in the Standard Model.


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