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Irony of the physics Nobel prize!

  1. Dec 21, 2013 #1

    ShayanJ

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    I guess you all know that the 2013 Nobel prize in physics was awarded to François Englert and Peter Higgs for proposing the Higgs mechanism. But it was delayed till people became sure of its validity through the observation of Higgs boson.Now it just makes me wonder if people doubted Higgs mechanism that much,why 1979 Nobel prize in physics was awarded to physicists who proposed ElectroWeak theory because it makes use of Higgs mechanism and if Higgs mechanism was proved to be wrong,ElectroWeak theory should have been dropped too.So Its like...mmm...well...it just doesn't seem right to me!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 25, 2013
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  3. Dec 21, 2013 #2

    SteamKing

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    That's why awards, IMO, are more or less bunk. Scientific work is significant if it helps to explain the universe or increase our understanding of it, not because some committee made an award.
     
  4. Dec 22, 2013 #3

    MathematicalPhysicist

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    These awards are all about politics, there's no science in them.
     
  5. Dec 22, 2013 #4
    They gave Obama the Nobel peace prize without waiting to see if he was any good too. (Health warning: I neither support nor oppose Obama and am not seeking to discuss whether or not he is doing a good job, I am merely suggesting it was inappropriate to give him the Nobel peace prize just for getting elected.)

    Joseph Stalin was also at one time nominated for the Nobel peace prize.
     
  6. Dec 22, 2013 #5

    Office_Shredder

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    Yeah, but the nomination process is open to a ton of people so this doesn't say anything at all.
     
  7. Dec 24, 2013 #6

    Ben Niehoff

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    Hitler was once nominated for the Peace Prize. Gandhi never was.

    But the Peace Prize in particular has a history of being political.
     
  8. Dec 25, 2013 #7

    adjacent

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    Hitler?:bugeye:
     
  9. Dec 25, 2013 #8
    I don't think there was anything political about the omission of Gandhi, and he did get a few nominations.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nobel_Peace_Prize#Notable_omissions
     
  10. Dec 25, 2013 #9

    Pythagorean

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  11. Dec 25, 2013 #10

    mfb

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    There are multiple ways how the electroweak interaction could have symmetry breaking, the model proposed by Higgs, Englert and Brout is just one option.

    I see more irony in the fact that the experimental verification directly lead to the prize, without getting a part of the prize (yes, awarding it to organizations like CERN is possible, even if it would be the first time for the physics prize).
     
  12. Dec 25, 2013 #11

    ShayanJ

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    That's right,but I don't think physicists working on ElectroWeak just went to a Symmetry Breaking gallery and , out of all theories, just liked Higgs mechanism!
    The fact that they chose Higgs mechanism,I think,reflects some points about their theory otherwise there would be other ElectroWeak theories proposed based on other Symmetry Breaking methods but just the same with the usual ElectroWeak theory in other senses!

    About your second paragraph.I agree,CERN deserved it.Not only because of observing Higgs boson,but all other things they did since they started.
     
  13. Dec 26, 2013 #12

    mfb

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    As far as I know, the Higgs mechanism is the easiest theory. In particular, it does not need/include supersymmetry.

    There were some prizes for experimentalists working at CERN, but CERN itself is certainly a good idea.
     
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