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Eta C
2010-Sep-24, 02:30 PM
The first week of October is nigh, and that means some people will be sitting by the phone waiting for a call from Stockholm. The Nobel Prize schedule is out.

October 4: Physiology or Medicine
October 5: Physics
October 6: Chemistry
October 8: Peace
October 11: Economics
TBD: Literature

Last year's physics prize was awarded for the invention of optical fibers and for the charge-coupled device imaging chip, both of which have helped revolutionize astronomy imaging. Any thoughts on this year's prizes? We're still awaiting results from the LHC (although there are hints of some kind of announcement soon) and gravity waves are still lost in the noise. Nothing new on neutrinos and string theorists are still largely playing math games (IMO).

Chemistry and Medicine are becoming more closely linked. Last year's chemistry prize was for work on the structrue of ribosomes, a distinctly biological study. Peace and Economics are always hard to forcast. Literature is always interesting. Although the authors may not be well known to us (especially if the author is not writing in English) but I usually find them interesting.

Ivan Viehoff
2010-Sep-24, 03:03 PM
and string theorists are still largely playing math games (IMO).
Since it is generally said that physicists don't get Nobel prizes for theoretical musings that have not been demonstrated in physical reality, such that most speculate that Hawking won't get a Nobel prize until Hawking radiation is actually demonstrated to take place, I would similarly speculate that Witten won't add the Nobel prize to his Fields medal any time soon.

Maybe I'm just seeing spurious patterns in random data, but I think that the Economics Nobels tend to alternate between micro and macro. So I'll predict this year will be for something macro related. Beyond that, I would say, like you, that I am frequently surprised.

Gillianren
2010-Sep-24, 04:04 PM
Well, I suppose I'll actually have to publish something before I get mine for literature. And my best friend's grandfather the sociologist, who actually believed he had a reasonable shot at the Peace prize (though I don't), died this year. So there's my two guesses down.

kleindoofy
2010-Sep-24, 08:01 PM
.. some people will be sitting by the phone waiting for a call from Stockholm.

October 5: Physics
Oh dear, I'll be busy all day. I'll have to put the answering machine on.


... sitting by the phone waiting ...
Except perhaps for the literature prize, I would expect the winners all to have cell phones, unless of course they're *really* smart. ;)

Eta C
2010-Sep-26, 05:52 PM
The American Institute of Physics has a web poll listing several of the prime candidates for the physics prize. It's on the left on their web site (http://www.aip.org/). There's a nice mix of cosmology (inflation is one), particle physics, and solid state. I voted for Nick Holonyak and the invention of the LED laser. Some of you will think this an obvious choice for me. He's an EE prof at Illinois and was one of John Bardeen's grad students. It would be fitting given how ubiquitous the LED has become.

Jim
2010-Sep-30, 01:06 AM
The Simpsons picked up on this and used the Nobel announcements in their season premier.

Krusty got the Peace Prize.

Eta C
2010-Oct-04, 03:25 AM
Medicine prize is tomorrow (4 Oct). Someone from Europe will probably get the news first.

Eta C
2010-Oct-04, 12:43 PM
The 2010 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to Robert G. Edwards (http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/medicine/laureates/2010/) "For the development of in vitro fertilization. This makes him the father of the test tube baby. A well-deserved prize and certainly more comprehensable to the general public than last year's. (http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/medicine/laureates/2009/)

Tomorrow. Physics.

Swift
2010-Oct-04, 03:16 PM
This makes him the father of the test tube baby.
I hope this doesn't lead to a bunch of paternity suits. ;)

Thanks for the play-by-play Eta C.

Gillianren
2010-Oct-04, 04:42 PM
Well, I understood last year's! On the other hand, I had to explain it to practically everyone I knew. So yeah.

The Nobel website doesn't make it the easiest in the world to look up--does anyone know if anyone's won a Nobel in Medicine for treatment of mental illness other than that lobotomy idiot?

slang
2010-Oct-05, 09:10 PM
A Dutchy winner for the Physics!


The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the Nobel Prize in Physics for 2010 to

Andre Geim
University of Manchester, UK

and

Konstantin Novoselov
University of Manchester, UK

"for groundbreaking experiments regarding the two-dimensional material graphene"

http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics/laureates/2010/
http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics/laureates/2010/press.html

kleindoofy
2010-Oct-05, 09:42 PM
... Someone from Europe will probably get the news first.
I certainly hope so.

Knowing first (or at least *very* quickly) is extremely important.

Eta C
2010-Oct-06, 12:21 PM
Well, in this case it's simply a matter of the clock. It's about 3 in the morning on the US east coast when the prizes are announced in the morning in Europe. I got busy yesterday and didn't get to post. Thanks for adding the info on the physics prize Slang. Graphene, and other carbon structures are clearly an area of intense interest although as a high energy physicist not an area I know much about.

In the meantime, today the Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to Richard Heck, Ei-ichi Negishi, and Akira Suzuki (http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/chemistry/laureates/2010/) "for palladium-catalyzed cross couplings in organic synthesis". This must be the year of carbon since this work is described as "developing new, more efficient ways of linking carbon atoms together to build the complex molecules that are improving our everyday lives."

In the meantime the date of the Literature Prize was set. Tomorrow at 11 AM GMT.

grapes
2010-Oct-06, 02:08 PM
http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics/laureates/2010/press.htmlFrom the website: "Geim and Novoselov extracted the graphene from a piece of graphite such as is found in ordinary pencils. Using regular adhesive tape they managed to obtain a flake of carbon with a thickness of just one atom. This at a time when many believed it was impossible for such thin crystalline materials to be stable."

Next year's Nobel physics prize will go to Alex McKey, for the study of the rhealogy of desktop volcanoes.

Ivan Viehoff
2010-Oct-06, 04:18 PM
This year the chemistry prize is definitely chemistry. But the physics prize looks rather like chemistry too.

There is even a practical link between the subject area of the two prizes - people have been doing the catalysis with palladium stuck onto graphene flakes.

Gillianren
2010-Oct-06, 06:01 PM
Every year, it's a test to myself to see if I understand the physics, chemistry, and economics prizes. I usually understand the medicine/physiology. The Peace Prize is seldom difficult. And there's the fun, fun game of "have I heard of the Literature winner?" I have, thus far, failed the test.

Jim
2010-Oct-06, 08:32 PM
From the website: "Geim and Novoselov extracted the graphene from a piece of graphite such as is found in ordinary pencils. Using regular adhesive tape they managed to obtain a flake of carbon with a thickness of just one atom. ..."

And yet, the Nobel Committee did not award a prize to the developer of the adhesive tape, without which graphene could not have been isolated and therefore this prize not awarded. Just another example of the pure-science bias that must be faced by the practical-applications crowd. (sniff)

Swift
2010-Oct-06, 08:47 PM
Yesterday's program Marketplace (on NPR) had a very funny bit by Comedian Andy Borowitz (http://marketplace.publicradio.org/display/web/2010/10/05/pm-making-the-nobel-prize-in-economics-memorable/) with his thoughts about the Economics prize.

Remember who won last year's Noble Prize for Economics? Well, don't beat yourself up -- no one does. The top prize in its field, and a year later, the winner's totally forgotten? That's unheard of. Well, OK -- "The Hurt Locker."

Still, there's no question that the Nobel for Economics has lost its juice. It's not surprising. Winning the Nobel during the worst economic slump since the Great Depression -- it's like being named the Most Valuable Player by the Pittsburgh Pirates. If there's really an economics genius out there, why are we all eating ramen noodles?

....

Well, that leaves me with my second choice: Michael Sorrentino -- better known to viewers of "Jersey Shore" as "The Situation." Now, his economic credentials are impeccable. According to news sources, he is set to earn $5 million this year. That's almost $1 million per ab. The Situation doesn't just deserve the Nobel Prize for Economics, he should get a MacArthur Genius Grant. And one thing's for sure, a year from now, we won't have trouble remembering who won.

kleindoofy
2010-Oct-06, 09:05 PM
... the date of the Literature Prize was set. Tomorrow at 11 AM GMT.
But I'll be sitting in a train at that time. That means I won't be able to find out who won for a least three hours. Three hours of ignorance about such an important issue.

Speed is of the essence. Breaking news must be consumed immediately. A news event that's three hours old is ancient and has lost any relevance to modern existence.

Btw, I recently saw a Facebook link on article I was reading a website. The link consisted of one of the most ridiculous sentences I have ever read: "Be the first of your friends to like this." Just imagine the pride one must feel having been the first! Sad, just sad.

swampyankee
2010-Oct-07, 01:34 AM
I think the last physics Nobel awarded for applied physics was probably Bridgman, in 1946 (http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics/laureates/1946/).

As for the literature Nobels? I've read some of them, a couple even without an English teacher glaring over my shoulder. Note that I will not reread either Hemingway or Pearl Buck without threats of severe, immediate, death.

Eta C
2010-Oct-07, 01:38 AM
And yet, the Nobel Committee did not award a prize to the developer of the adhesive tape, without which graphene could not have been isolated and therefore this prize not awarded. Just another example of the pure-science bias that must be faced by the practical-applications crowd. (sniff)

I suppose one could argue that the invention of the laser (64) and transistor (56) were practical applications, but the ultimate one has to be the 1912 Prize given to Nils Gustav Dalen (http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics/laureates/1912/). He was awarded the prize "for his invention of automatic regulators for use in conjunction with gas accumulators for illuminating lighthouses and buoys." That's about as practical as one can get.

Gillianren
2010-Oct-07, 04:12 AM
As for the literature Nobels? I've read some of them, a couple even without an English teacher glaring over my shoulder. Note that I will not reread either Hemingway or Pearl Buck without threats of severe, immediate, death.

I told a favourite professor of mine once that I'd love to take his course on Hemingway and Faulkner but for the fact that he'd expect me to read Hemingway and Faulkner.

Eta C
2010-Oct-07, 12:36 PM
To Mario Vargas Llosa (http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/2010/) of Peru "for his cartography of structures of power and his trenchant images of the individual's resistance, revolt, and defeat".

Not to be snarky, but this sounds like rather depressing subject matter. Perhaps cathartic in a Greek tragedy sort of way, but also likely to make one want to crawl into a hole and end it all. Not having heard of or read Llosa's work I can't say.

Tomorrow: Peace

Swift
2010-Oct-07, 01:49 PM
Tomorrow: Peace
All we are saying...

grapes
2010-Oct-07, 02:06 PM
To Mario Vargas Llosa (http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/2010/) of Peru "for his cartography of structures of power and his trenchant images of the individual's resistance, revolt, and defeat".

Not to be snarky, but this sounds like rather depressing subject matter. Perhaps cathartic in a Greek tragedy sort of way, but also likely to make one want to crawl intoFinally! a Nobel for map making! at least it didn't go to Arno Peters.

Ivan Viehoff
2010-Oct-07, 03:42 PM
Finally! a Nobel for map making!
If only.

In truth, this is probably the least surprising Nobel Prize for Literature since Gunter Grass in 1999. In fact, my first thought was "hasn't he got it already?" And now my thought is "why did it take so long?" Although he has written some notable novels within the last 10 years, his oeuvre mostly predates 1985 and his reputation was thoroughly established long ago. A similar thing could be said of Grass at that time.

I get the impression that they have a long term strategy which involves awarding it to old authors before they die, rather than awarding it now to the immediately most deserving. In case they run out of deserving cases because they missed people before they died. When Doris Lessing got it in 2007, I thought, are they really so short of good options for the next few years that they feel the necessity of getting it in before she dies? In fact her grudging attitude to being awarded it at age 88, tends to suggest they'd do better to give them to people sooner when they could better enjoy the money and the status it gives them.

Actually last year's award was an exception to this pattern. I'd never heard of Herta Muller last year, the Romanian-German author. Only in her 50s. It drew my attention to an exceedingly fine author, which gave us some really good stuff to read on our honeymoon in Romania earlier this year.

Gillianren
2010-Oct-07, 04:31 PM
Yeah, I'm pretty sure I've heard of him!

swampyankee
2010-Oct-08, 01:27 AM
Even I've heard of him. I also heard of Toni Morrison, who wasn't that old when she got the award.

Eta C
2010-Oct-08, 12:30 PM
The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Liu Xiaobo (http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/2010/) of the People's Republic of China "for his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China". The front page of the Nobel Prize site notes that "he is currently serving an 11-year prison term." Somehow I don't think he's going to make it to Stockholm to accept.

I'll say it before the mods chip in. Avoid the political discussion. Still, a striking statement by the Nobel comittee.

Monday: Economics

Eta C
2010-Oct-08, 12:44 PM
And on a lighter note. The 20th First IgNobel prizes were awarded at Harvard on September 30. The 2010 Laureates are listed here (http://improbable.com/ig/winners/#ig2010). Of note are the Physics prize "demonstrating that, on icy footpaths in wintertime, people slip and fall less often if they wear socks on the outside of their shoes", the Chemistry Prize which went to "Eric Adams of MIT, Scott Socolofsky of Texas A&M University, Stephen Masutani of the University of Hawaii, and BP [British Petroleum], for disproving the old belief that oil and water don't mix," and the Biology Prize "for scientifically documenting fellatio in fruit bats." This last one is up there with the 2003 Biology prize "for the first scientifically recorded case of homosexual necrophilia in the mallard duck."

OK, I'll quit while I'm ahead.

JohnD
2010-Oct-08, 03:41 PM
A Dutchy winner for the Physics!
Dutchy?
A large, communal spliff?
Shurely, shome mishtake?

But aside from that, it is very sad that, when UK scientists have won TWO Nobels this year, the new government is hell-bent on reducing state science spending.
Especially when the US and major European countries intend to increase theirs in the face of the global economy.

Oops. Sorry. Is that too political?
Mods, please pull this post if it is.

John

Swift
2010-Oct-08, 05:04 PM
But aside from that, it is very sad that, when UK scientists have won TWO Nobels this year, the new government is hell-bent on reducing state science spending.
Especially when the US and major European countries intend to increase theirs in the face of the global economy.

It probably goes over the line. I'll leave it, but let's not go there any further.

Graybeard6
2010-Oct-08, 07:55 PM
Dutchy?
A large, communal spliff?
John
Maybe the figured out how to pass de dutchy on de right hand side.

slang
2010-Oct-09, 12:51 AM
Maybe the figured out how to pass de dutchy on de right hand side.

To avoid misunderstandings for any foreigners who decide to come over here to celebrate a rare Nobel prize for a fellow Dutchman, overtaking in the right hand lane will lead to a stiff fine, and if traffic is exceptionally endangered, it may lead to revocation of the drivers license, for a period of at least 10 working days, but probably longer. ;)

And now I need to find a way to get that darned song out of my head...

JohnD
2010-Oct-09, 11:56 AM
But if the driver is driving on a non-UK licence, what do they care?

I'm still dying to know what, why, when or who is the relevance of a Dutchy to the Physics Nobel.
It was spelt, "Dutchy", capital D, when strangely that is the name (sans the 't') of a range of "natural, organic, delicious food and high-quality products" produced and promoted by HRH The Duke of Cornwall and Prince of Wales, our esteemed Royal Heir, Bonnie Prince Charlie. Possibly a mistake easily made - just Google for "Cornwall Dutchy" and insist on the 'T'.

JOhn

slang
2010-Oct-09, 02:53 PM
I'm still dying to know what, why, when or who is the relevance of a Dutchy to the Physics Nobel.

Andre Geim, co-winner of the 2010 Nobel Prize for Physics, is a Dutch citizen. In other words, born in the Netherlands. Dutch citizens are colloquially referred to as Dutchies, without any ulterior meanings attached to the word, neither in recreational sense nor to do with nobility. Is a little bit of patriotic pride relevant? Perhaps not.

ETA: Geim was born in Sochi, Russia, host to the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Interestingly, according to Wikipedia he is the first winner of both a Nobel and an Ig Nobel Prize (http://improbable.com/2010/10/05/geim-becomes-first-nobel-ig-nobel-winner/), the latter in 2000, apparently for levitating a frog.

JohnD
2010-Oct-09, 03:27 PM
Thanks, slang!

Jim
2010-Oct-10, 05:19 PM
... which gave us some really good stuff to read on our honeymoon in Romania earlier this year.

You read? On your honeymoon?!

Ivan Viehoff
2010-Oct-11, 09:03 AM
You read? On your honeymoon?!
My wife wouldn't have thought it any kind of holiday at all if there hadn't been time for reading. Since we had a 3-yr-old child (now 4) to supervise, there does tend to be time for reading. You might gain from this some kind of impression that this wedding comes more into the category of belated afterthought.

Ivan Viehoff
2010-Oct-11, 12:45 PM
Maybe I'm just seeing spurious patterns in random data, but I think that the Economics Nobels tend to alternate between micro and macro. So I'll predict this year will be for something macro related. Beyond that, I would say, like you, that I am frequently surprised.
Clearly I was seeing spurious patterns in random data, as the Nobel Prize for economics has gone to Peter Diamond, Dale Mortenson and Christopher Pissarides for the analysis of markets with search costs. Although of wider application, the main interest here is that it costs jobseekers effort and money to find a job, and this has an effect on the level of employment.

When James Mirrlees got his Nobel prize, I was surprised he didn't share it with Peter Diamond, because Mirrlees' most significant work was done in partnership with Diamond. But Mirrlees shared it with some other guy, mainly because the other guy was about to die, according to some speculation. But Diamond had more than one string to his bow, and got his prize for a rather different area of work.

I was interested to read the background paper. I was not previously aware of this area of work.

Ivan Viehoff
2010-Oct-11, 12:45 PM
Christopher ****arides
He's called Pis-sarides without a hyphen. The curse of Scun-thorpe strikes again.

kleindoofy
2010-Oct-11, 09:07 PM
... Dutch citizens are colloquially referred to as Dutchies ...
Living near to the Dutch border in Germany, I know a few other colloquial terms for them. ;)

HenrikOlsen
2010-Oct-12, 06:06 AM
Living near to the Dutch border in Germany, I know a few other colloquial terms for them. ;)
Targets?

JohnD
2010-Oct-12, 09:34 PM
And the Economics prize goes to ......

Diamond, Mortensen and ****arides!

MIT, Northwestern and LSE. I'm proud to say that we have three Nobels for workers at UK Universities, and almost prouder to say three of them are not native to the UK.

John

After; I am reporting this post to the Mods. Your idiot censor won't even let me spell properly the name of the latest Nobel winner!
His name should be spelt Papa-India-Sierra-Sierra etc
Please let this through - this obsession with scatology is a mockery of adult conversation.

pzkpfw
2010-Oct-12, 09:44 PM
Sorry, but you need to get over it. See post #41 - it's been noted already. We don't have individual control over the censorhip filter on a post by posts basis (nor would we want to). Nor are we going to remove that word from the overall filter settings. Yes, the filter is "an idiot", but that's simply the way it is. P.S. Also note that BAUT isn't just for adults, and all conversations here need to take into account that anyone (different cultures, religions (or not), ages, ...) may be reading.

kleindoofy
2010-Oct-12, 10:04 PM
Targets?
Heavens no. Thankfully those days are long gone.

Most of the colloquialisms have to do with cheese, watery tomatos, camping trailers, and a long standing inability to win football matches. ;)

ToSeek
2010-Oct-13, 01:51 AM
Sorry, but you need to get over it. See post #41 - it's been noted already. We don't have individual control over the censorhip filter on a post by posts basis (nor would we want to). Nor are we going to remove that word from the overall filter settings. Yes, the filter is "an idiot", but that's simply the way it is. P.S. Also note that BAUT isn't just for adults, and all conversations here need to take into account that anyone (different cultures, religions (or not), ages, ...) may be reading.

I believe I've managed to smarten the filter a little bit: Pissarides! Scunthorpe!

pzkpfw
2010-Oct-13, 01:56 AM
All hail the Vulcan Administrator!

HenrikOlsen
2010-Oct-13, 03:00 PM
And the Economics prize goes to ......

Diamond, Mortensen and ****arides!

MIT, Northwestern and LSE. I'm proud to say that we have three Nobels for workers at UK Universities, and almost prouder to say three of them are not native to the UK.
Mortensen's currently working in Denmark, not UK.

Ivan Viehoff
2010-Oct-13, 03:28 PM
Mortensen's currently working in Denmark, not UK.
That doesn't matter. The threr are the two Physics prize winners (Manchester) plus Pissarides (London School of Economics).

Nereid
2010-Oct-13, 06:20 PM
Testing, testing, ... E.M. Lif****z, E.M. Lif****s, ... WP (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evgeny_Lif****z)

ETA: looks like our Vulcan Overlord's patch doesn't work .... :doh:

JohnD
2010-Oct-13, 09:43 PM
The Larsen iceshelf.
Seems OK.

Thanks, To Seek.

Who said Mortensen was working in the UK?
Not me. I meant the, er, other guy, name begins with P (let's not push our luck here), and the two Physics laureates, Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov.

John

HenrikOlsen
2010-Oct-14, 05:40 PM
Who said Mortensen was working in the UK?
I read that as implied by the listing of three people, then talking about how three were in the UK.
I didn't think that the two sentences might be about different groups of three people.