The 2014 Nobel Prize in physics

  • #1
jtbell
Mentor
15,765
4,010
... will be announced tomorrow, October 7. Does anyone want to make a guess as to who it will be, or which field?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
538
148
Oh exciting! I have no prediction, but I would like to see a prize in Biophysics at some point.
 
  • #3
DataGG
Gold Member
156
22
Are all the Nobel prizes announced tomorrow, or just physics?
 
  • #5
TumblingDice
Gold Member
472
47
... will be announced tomorrow, October 7. Does anyone want to make a guess as to who it will be, or which field?
I read an opinion that the area of neutrino oscillations is prime real estate. Coincidence that I read PeterDonis commenting that a PF post is out-of-date, mentioning neutrinos as an example of "massless particles"...?

So maybe Takaaki Kajita, who devised the detection method for the Super-Kamiokande experiment in Japan, or Art McDonald, who led the SNO project in Canada.

I didn't really want to make a guess, but maybe this breaks the ice!
 
  • #6
Borek
Mentor
28,703
3,192
maybe this breaks the ice!

In the context of neutrinos - that would be quite unfortunate for the IceCube.
 
  • #7
662
307
I am hoping for BICEP-2 but don't think it will win as there are still kinks to work out.
Rubin might finally get the long due Nobel though, which would more than make up for BICEP2.
 
  • #8
726
27
Wee my university got the '14 nobel prize in medicine!
 
  • Like
Likes DataGG
  • #9
atyy
Science Advisor
14,437
2,731
Clauser, Aspect, Zeilinger
 
  • #11
272
17
Do you know where I can watch this in the internet, if I can(god I'm excited:) )? I missed it last time. Ah yes I missed the post above,sorry for the useless post.
 
Last edited:
  • #13
272
17
When does it start in english time?
 
  • #15
538
148
Little boring if you ask me.
 
  • #16
Borek
Mentor
28,703
3,192
Boring, but shiny!
 
  • #17
Monique
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
4,149
64
Boring??? I'm sure they don't give out Nobel prizes for being boring. This does not only affect the light bulb above the kitchen table, it's a benefit for society and is influencing the progress of science itself. Because of the blue LED discovery I can live-image biological processes, without overheating the sample.. to just name a personal example :)
 
  • #18
1,184
224
Well deserved! Colleagues invented something very useful :)
 
  • #19
898
67
Very useful, yes. But it looks more like materials engineering than hard core physics.
 
  • #20
538
148
Boring??? I'm sure they don't give out Nobel prizes for being boring. This does not only affect the light bulb above the kitchen table, it's a benefit for society and is influencing the progress of science itself. Because of the blue LED discovery I can live-image biological processes, without overheating the sample.. to just name a personal example :)

Well toilet brushes are very useful to society, but are still very boring. Then again I find most experimental stuff boring since at the end of the day experimentalists spend 95% of their time solving engineering problems, give or take.
 
  • #21
Monique
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
4,149
64
That's just a limited world view, where would we be without toilets. But you're allowed to your opinion, it allows you to solve problems that others may find boring ;)
 
  • #22
collinsmark
Homework Helper
Gold Member
2,939
1,389
Little boring if you ask me.

Well toilet brushes are very useful to society, but are still very boring. Then again I find most experimental stuff boring since at the end of the day experimentalists spend 95% of their time solving engineering problems, give or take.

The transistor might not have been the flashiest of discoveries, but it is considered almost unanimously to be the most significant invention of the 20th century. Without that discovery you wouldn't be reading this thread right now because there would be no computers, no cell phones, no electronic-gadget-anything smaller than a vacuum tube.

Blue LEDs are not in the same league as the transistor, but they will likely have a great impact on society regarding reduced energy consumption.

(And technically, blue LEDs are "flashier" after all :) )

Very useful, yes. But it looks more like materials engineering than hard core physics.

There is a lot of engineering that goes into blue LED manufacturing, no mistake. But the discovery/invention does involve a lot of hard core, solid state physics.

I took an optoelectronics class back in the mid '90s, soon after blue LEDs were first invented. It was an exciting time to take that class because physicists and engineers alike had been struggling to create a blue LED for decades. Some had even resigned/convinced themselves that it couldn't be done. So when it was accomplished, many were quite pleased at the accomplishment.

We didn't go into the physics of blue LEDs in much detail in the class, since the invention was newer than our new textbooks (again, this was in the mid '90s). But we did touch on the subject. And as I remember it at the time, the quantum mechanics involved was not only pretty intense, but the method involved in getting the energy wells just right to create the desired bandgap was quite a clever idea. (I don't don't remember much more than the fact that it was unique and clever though.)
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Likes vela, Astronuc, mheslep and 5 others
  • #23
207
30
Little boring if you ask me.

Very useful, yes. But it looks more like materials engineering than hard core physics.

Just remember, that a part of the original wording on nobel's will states "discovery or invention" with "great benefit for mankind". In light of this (pun intended) this years prize fits very well as it's an invention that will benefit a very large number of people. On the other hand the will doesn't say that it has to look like hard core physics ;)
 
  • #24
dlgoff
Science Advisor
Gold Member
3,978
1,991
I took an optoelectronics class back in the mid '90s, soon after blue LEDs were first invented. It was an exciting time to take that class because physicists and engineers alike had been struggling to create a blue LED for decades.

It's funny how "things" are perceived early on. This is what was talked about when I was in college.

In 1968, deep inelastic scattering experiments at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) showed that the proton contained much smaller, point-like objects and was therefore not an elementary particle.[6][7][26] Physicists were reluctant to firmly identify these objects with quarks at the time, instead calling them "partons"—a term coined by Richard Feynman.[27][28][29] The objects that were observed at SLAC would later be identified as up and down quarks as the other flavors were discovered.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quark

Not boring IMO.
 
  • #25
6,054
391
The transistor might not have been the flashiest of discoveries, but it is considered almost unanimously to be the most significant invention of the 20th century. Without that discovery you wouldn't be reading this thread right now because there would be no computers

That is not true. We had computers without transistors. And even if we hypothesise for a second we do not have semiconductors at all, we cannot really say what other technology we could have developed by now.
 

Related Threads on The 2014 Nobel Prize in physics

Replies
9
Views
1K
  • Last Post
Replies
8
Views
4K
  • Last Post
Replies
15
Views
3K
  • Last Post
Replies
1
Views
4K
  • Last Post
Replies
11
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
1
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
2
Views
1K
Replies
33
Views
5K
  • Last Post
Replies
1
Views
836
  • Last Post
2
Replies
31
Views
6K
Top