Nobel considerations

This week has been all about the Nobel prizes. You can read our coverage, here, here and here.

The physics prize went to James Peebles, Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz “for contributions to our understanding of the evolution of the universe and Earth’s place in the cosmos”, while the chemistry prize was awarded to John Goodenough (a solid-state physicist), Stanley Whittingham and Akira Yoshino for the development of lithium-ion batteries.

This week I hosted the Physics World weekly podcast where I was joined by colleagues to chew the fat over the awards and lament yet another year where the Nobel committee has failed on the diversity front (in the science prizes, 9/9 were men).

Before this year’s awards were announced, we also had a bit of fun picking our favourite Nobel prizes. I opted for the discovery of liquid helium (1913 prize) that I argued opened up a new chapter in low-temperature physics. You can read it here.

So who could win next year’s Nobel Prize in Physics? Well, I will pick Alain Aspect, John Clauser and Anton Zeilinger for their work on testing Bell’s inequalities. But I thought they would win this year, so, as always, it remains a mugs game.

Author: Michael Banks

UK science journalist

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