Nobel Prize for Physics Speculation

Just  to mention that tomorrow morning (Tuesday October 4th 2022) will see the announcement of this year’s Nobel Prize for Physics. I must remember to make sure my phone is fully charged. Of course this is just one of the announcements. This morning, for example, there is the announcement of the Prize for Physiology or Medicine and on Wednesday is the Prize for Chemistry both of these sometimes go to physicists too. You can find links to all the announcements here.

I do, of course, already have a Nobel Prize Medal of my own already, dating from 2006, when I was lucky enough to attend the prize-giving ceremony and banquet.

I was, however, a guest of the Nobel Foundation rather than a prizewinner, so my medal is made of chocolate rather than gold. I think after 16 years the chocolate is now inedible, but it serves as a souvenir of a very nice weekend in Stockholm!

I also won a prize here once:

It’s been a good few years for cosmology and astrophysics, with Jim Peebles, Michel Mayor & Didier Queloz (2019), Roger Penrose, Andrea Ghez & Reinhard Genzel (2020) following on from Kip Thorne, Rainer Weiss and Barry Barish (2017) for the detection of gravitational waves.  I think it’s very unlikely that it will be in this area again.

I have no idea who will win but I have on previous occasions suggested Alain Aspect, Anton Zeilinger and John Clauser for their Bell’s inequality experiments and contributions to the understanding of quantum phenomena, including entanglement, so I’ll make them my prediction again. I’m probably wrong again though. I have a spectacularly bad track record at predicting the Physics Nobel Prize winner, but then so does everybody else.

Feel free to make your predictions through the comments box below.

To find out you’ll have to wait for the announcement, around about 10.45 (UK/Irish time) tomorrow morning. I’ll update tomorrow when the wavefunction has collapsed.

Anyway, for the record, I’ll reiterate my opinion that while the Nobel Prize is flawed in many ways, particularly because it no longer really reflects how physics research is done, it does at least have the effect of getting people talking about physics. Surely that at least is a good thing?

UPDATE: It seems I called it right! Congratulations to Alain Aspect, John F. Clauser and Anton Zeilinger, winners of the 2022 Nobel Prize for Physics!

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14 Responses to “Nobel Prize for Physics Speculation”

  1. I hope they give it to Irwin Shapiro for Shapiro delay.

  2. Anton Garrett Says:

    I suspect the chocolate has separated into some of its ingredients but if microwaved lightly to melt them back together would still taste fine. The only ‘eternal’ food I know of is honey; Roman-era honey discovered today still tastes like honey.

    With gloriously bad taste, Canterbury Cathedral shop sold indulgences for a while despite going protestant in the English Reformation – you could buy a large chocolate coin with gold-coloured metal wrapping declaring “Indulgence of Thomas A Beckett”. Happily it was exactly the diameter of a CD, so I ate the chocolate and put the wrapper on an old CD-ROM.

    I suspect that the Bell stuff will get the prize once a quantum computer is commercialised, although that’s not really the same type of quantum weirdness.

  3. I hope it will be a woman!

  4. Anton Garrett Says:

    I don’t have enough solid state physics expertise to know if this is hyperbole:

    https://www.quantamagazine.org/high-temperature-superconductivity-understood-at-last-20220921/

    The paper is arXiv:2108.03655 and I’m trying to relate it to the two rival theories of high-temperature superconductivity outlined at the Wikipedia page on the phenomenon. If the theory of it is now settled then this is work worthy of a Nobel soon. But the original version of the paper went to arXiv 14 months ago and I don’t recall trumpets in Physics World.

  5. Anton Garrett Says:

    Alain Aspect, John Clauser and Anton Zeilinger equally for experiments with entangled photons establishing the violation of Bell inequalities and pioneering quantum information science.

    Good!

    I thought it had to be a 2:1:1 split when it went to three people, which is the maximum number allowed?

    • telescoper Says:

      From the Nobel website: “A Nobel Prize is either given entirely to one person, divided equally between two persons, or shared by three persons. In the latter case, each of the three persons can receive a one-third share of the prize or two together can receive a one-half share.”

      • Anton Garrett Says:

        Thank you – but I think that is a fairly recent rule change?

      • telescoper Says:

        I don’t know. It just says in the statutes that it can’t be awarded jointly to more than three (except for the Peace Prize). It doesn’t specify how it is to be shared if there are three.

      • It seems that besides this year, at least in 2014 all three winners got an equal share. So if it has changed, it’s at least not very recent.

      • Equal shares go even further back at least to 1996 (and then I got tired of checking), so I guess it has always been possible. I must say that some of the 2:1:1 splits are kind of hard to understand when there’s also the possibility to share equally.

      • Anton Garrett Says:

        I suppose I was asking about the Aspect ratio.

  6. Will Sutherland Says:

    Correction: you missed out Michel Mayor from the 2019 winners.

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