Friday, October 05, 2007

Tuesday next week is Physics Nobel Prize day, when the prize for physics will be announced. The prizes for other disciplines will be announced on the other days of the week, but I tend to focus only on the physics prize.

My buddy Davide predicted the winner last year, and I was wrong as usual.

Once again, my pick for the most deserving potential Nobelist is Vera Rubin for discovering that most of the universe is made of mysterious dark matter.

But lots of folks tell me that the Nobel committee won't pick astrophysicists two years in a row, so my second choice is the research into slow light and the induced transparency that makes it possible.

I think that would mean Lena Hau of Harvard would share in the prize for slowing and stopping light, and Steve Harris of Stanford would get a portion for both discovering how to induce transparency and working with Hau to slow light. In addition, many of Hau's and Harris' colleagues deserve a cut as well, but the committee will probably only pick one other person. Who that will be, I can't foresee.

Of course, there are many other possible candidates, so the odds are that I'm wrong. But it's no fun unless you take a guess.

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