Sunday, October 07, 2007

Nobel Hype 2007

The next week the winners of the Nobel prize will be announced. As usual there is always some fuzz speculating who will win. As usual I declare my own ignorance of the whole selection process. Whatsoever I can always say who are the obvious candidatates in the astro related areas: Alan Guth, Paul Steinhardt and Andrei Linde for inflation (although Andreas Albrecht was also crucial and a quite similar mechanism was proposed before by Starobinsky), and the leaders of the Supernova Cosmology Project and the High-z Supernova Search Team that found evidence of the acceleration of the expansion of the universe. Now, considering the prize went to cosmology the last year I don´t think it will be awarded again to a related area this year. Dark matter also deserves a nobel, but it's history is too long, although Vera Rubin is the usual suspect. Thomson scientific has a stadistical based prediction, saying that Martin Rees will win the prize.

What about other areas of physics? Well I am certainly less savvy about that, I have always believed that James Bjorken who found the scaling law for QCD deserves the prize and also Yoichiro Nambu along with Jeffrey Goldstone for the bosons that appear in simultaneously broken symmetries. The SNO experiment showing that neutrinos indeed oscillate is another crucial contrubution.

On the rest of physics I don't feel like making some sort of prediction, but of course, your predictions are always welcome.

1 comment:

Eric said...

Hey! Nice to see you back at the keyboard. Anyway, I have to agree heavily on your nominations, since the accelerated expansion of the universe has become one of the most interesting discoveries on current cosmology. However I do admit a profound and embarrassing ignorance outside fundamental physics, and should the prize fall on a more applied (or mundane) field it'll be a good opportunity to watch closely other fields advancements. This will be interesting no doubt.