Physics Nobel Prize 2010

Just a quick newsflash: the 2010 Nobel Prize for Physics has gone to Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov (both of the University of Manchester)  “for groundbreaking experiments regarding the two-dimensional material graphene“.

For more details see the official announcement.

Heartiest congratulations to them both! Thoroughly well deserved.

ps. They were predicted to win two years ago by Thomson Reuters.

pps. It’s a clean sweep for UK-based scientists, so far. I wonder if the government is listening?


12 Responses to “Physics Nobel Prize 2010”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Dave Clements, Peter Coles. Peter Coles said: Physics Nobel Prize 2010: […]

  2. Mrs Trellis Says:

    Overlooked again. I think an angry letter to the Swedish Academy is warranted.

  3. “It’s a clean sweep for UK-based scientists, so far. I wonder if the government is listening?”

    Let’s see, both work in the UK, but both were born in the Soviet Union.
    One has Dutch citizenship, one has Russian and UK citizenship (but
    studied in the Netherlands).

    “If my theory of relativity is proven successful, Germany will claim me as a German and France will declare that I am a citizen of the world. Should my theory prove untrue, France will say that I am a German and Germany will declare that I am a Jew.” —Albert Einstein

    In the case of the physics prize, the work in question is relatively recent. In the case of the medicine prize, it is several decades old. One often sees the current government trotting out saying “see how good our research landscape is” even for awards for really old work. If anything, it says something about the research landscape then, not now. In the case of the medicine prize, this was work done against much opposition (such as the Vatican repeated today) and IIRC public funding in the UK was cut for “moral reasons” and the work was done with private funding. (An informed and cynical politician might even say “See, private funding is better.”)

  4. telescoper Says:

    One of the reasons why Geim and Novoselov were persuaded to relocate to the UK was the relatively good funding of science a few years ago. I remember while I was at Nottingham, the School of Physics & Astronomy there tried to hire Andre Geim but lost out to Manchester. A few years down the line he wins the Nobel Prize and brings prestige not only to his University but also to UK Physics generally.

    Drastic reductions in grant funding will make it harder to attract outstanding people like this to these shores. Moreover, the new government is placing explicit quotas on non-EU immigation even for extremely eminent people.

    • I agree completely. But I’m sure that in the Dutch media it will be “Dutch scientist wins Nobel Prize” and similarly in the Russian media. (Simon Rattle, conducting the Berlin Philharmonic, once introduced an encore as being “written by that famous English composer Händel”.)

    • …and both the dutch/russian media will have to admit that these scientists are working in the UK – which you might hope would provoke some questions at “home”.

      although unless the outcome of the CSR is orthogonal to the expectations/leaks, perhaps they won’t be here for too much longer.

  5. Paddy Leahy Says:

    Both prizes reward work done in the UK when Labour were in power…

  6. David Pendlebury Says:

    Dear Professor Coles:

    A note to say that Thomson Reuters predicted Geim and Novoselov for the Nobel in 2008:
    So we had a bit of luck with physics this year. But then again, one might say, a stopped clock is right twice a day. We did pick them on the basis of the citation record — and early pn. But even I was surprised at the short lag time between discovery and recognition. By the way, congratulations — your nation is putting in a fine performance this year!

    • telescoper Says:

      Yes, credit where it’s due, I mentioned that as a ps. in the post.

      To be fair, though, I should also point out that in 2008 you also predicted Vera Rubin and Roger Penrose & David Schechtman. Nothing like hedging your bets!

      I’m delighted for Andre Geim in particular. He’s quite a character.

  7. Richard Massey Says:

    Their graphene paper was published on page 666 of Science.
    Maybe the Pope will have something to say about this one too?

  8. […] In the Dark A blog about the Universe, and all that surrounds it « Physics Nobel Prize 2010 […]

  9. It appears that the original experiments on graphene were performed in what the laureates describe as something like a friday playtime. So much for the impact agenda.

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