Has anyone won a physics Nobel prize for computation/simulation work?

  • Thread starter petergreat
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  • #1
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Just curious...
 

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  • #2
atyy
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I don't think so. They get it in chemistry (Kohn and Pople) or biology (Hodkin and Huxley)
 
  • #3
alxm
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None of those examples got it for doing computations, they got it for the development of computational methods and for a successful theoretical model, respectively. (The latter in medicine, there's no Nobel in biology)

I don't really see how physics, chemistry and medicine would be significantly different here. You won't get an award for performing a calculation, it has no scientific merit in itself. You can get a prize for theory, in the sense that you developed a theoretical model/method that is useful. Or you can get a prize for theory in the sense that you made a sufficiently important theoretical prediction. I don't think it's relevant whether that prediction was based on analytical or numerical calculations. Usually, when a theorist gets the prize, he's done both.
 
  • #4
atyy
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None of those examples got it for doing computations, they got it for the development of computational methods and for a successful theoretical model, respectively. (The latter in medicine, there's no Nobel in biology)
Surely this counts as computational!

"Huxley began the slow work of using a Brunsviga 20 manually cranked calculator with numbers entered by a set of adjusting levers (projecting from the wheels that were rotated by the hand crank)." http://neuron.duke.edu/userman/2/pioneer.html

"Each run of the algorithm producing a 5 millisecond theoretical voltage trace took about 8 hours of effort. Quote from Hodgkin: The propagated action potential took about three weeks to complete and must have been an enormous labour for Andrew [Huxley]." http://www.maths.nott.ac.uk/personal/sc/cnn/CNN2B.pdf
 

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