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2012 Nobel Prize in Physics

The 2012 Nobel Prize in Physics has been awarded to Serge Haroche (France) and David Wineland (US) for discovering ways to measure and manipulate quantum particles, a discovery which many are suggesting may soon allow us to build computers with virtually limitless capabilities. The Nobel press release provides a layman friendly PDF summary of the research and its potential applications, as well as a less layman friendly PDF with additional scientific background information. The press release cites two older Scientific American articles for further reading, and the magazine has made these articles available to read free online for the next 30 days:
Monroe, C. R. and Wineland, D. J. (2008) Quantum Computing with Ions, Scientific American, August.

Yam, P. (1997) Bringing Schrödinger’s Cat to Life, Scientific American, June.

posted by dgaicun on Oct 15, 2012 - 51 comments

(?:Ig)? Nobel Laureate

Andre Geim has earned many awards from his peers for groundbreaking research in physics, but he's arguably only won the attention of the general public a couple times: First for levitating a frog, and then for discovering 2D atomic crystals. For these efforts he has become the first person to be a laureate of both the Ig Nobel Prize and Nobel Prize.
posted by ardgedee on Oct 5, 2010 - 12 comments

What the Earth knows

Experts are little help in the constant struggle in this conversation to separate myth from reality, because they have the same difficulty, and routinely demonstrate it by talking past each other. Respected scientists warn of imminent energy shortages as geologic fuel supplies run out. Wall Street executives dismiss their predictions as myths and call for more drilling. Environmentalists describe the destruction to the earth from burning coal, oil, and natural gas. Economists ignore them and describe the danger to the earth of failing to burn coal, oil, and natural gas. Geology researchers report fresh findings about what the earth was like millions of years ago. Creationist researchers report fresh findings that the earth didn’t exist millions of years ago. The only way not to get lost in this awful swamp is to review the basics and decide for yourself what you believe and what you don’t. [more inside]
posted by infinite intimation on Jun 27, 2010 - 31 comments

2008 Nobel Prize for Physics

Nobels for Physics announced. The prize will be shared between three individuals, including one American teaching at the University of Chicago. The other two winners are from Japan, Makoto Kobayashi and Toshihide Maskawa .
posted by leybman on Oct 7, 2008 - 19 comments

How to win the Nobel Prize 101

"It so often happens that I receive mail - well-intended but totally useless - by amateur physicists who believe to have solved the world. They believe this, only because they understand totally nothing about the real way problems are solved in Modern Physics...It should be possible, these days, to collect all knowledge you need from the internet. Problem then is, there is so much junk on the internet... I know exactly what should be taught to the beginning student...I can tell you of my own experiences. It helped me all the way to earn a Nobel Prize. But I didn't have internet. I am going to try to be your teacher. It is a formidable task."
posted by vacapinta on Aug 29, 2007 - 47 comments

The Color Of Atoms

Americans, German win nobel prize for physics. They won for for their contributions to the development of laser-based precision spectroscopy, including the optical frequency comb technique, which among other thing allows them to measure the speed of light to such accuracy that it is now used as the definition for the meter, see if the laws of physics were the same at the beginning of time, and make gps satellites work much better.
posted by stilgar on Oct 4, 2005 - 5 comments

Madame Wu

Madame Wu Through the Looking-Glass: If you look into a mirror, you might wonder if that mirror-world is a possible world. This mirror-symmetry possibility is known in physics as parity conservation. Well, 1956 was the year that Parity fell. That's the year that Madame Wu created and performed an experiment that revealed once and for all that the Looking-Glass world is not the same as ours. This is an epochal discovery. Nature distinguishes between left and right. Here's some basics of Madame Wu's revolution. Why isn't she better-known outside of Physics? And why wasn't she awarded the Nobel Prize?
posted by vacapinta on Aug 14, 2002 - 27 comments

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