Friday, September 21, 2012

Nobel Prize For The Higgs? Maybe Not This Year

As always, come this time of the year, everyone (including me) starts making their own guesses on who will receive this year's Nobel Prize for physics. This year, the most obvious topic is the apparent discovery of the Higgs. However, I think this is way too new and requires more confirmation, and I think the others also see it that way.

In this year's predictions, "it's too early for the Higgs boson team," Pendlebury says, despite the attention paid to the "God particle," first predicted in the 1960's. Two large teams at CERN's Large Hadron Collider facility reported a "Higgs-like" particle in their data this year, making the Higgs boson's theorists look like Nobelists-in-waiting. The Higgs boson is a subatomic particle that provides mass to other physics particles in our current understanding of how matter behaves on the most fundamental level.

Instead, the prediction this year (of which they don't have a good track record of getting it right) seems to match mine to some degree:

Instead "quantum teleportation" inventors Charles Bennett, Gilles Brassard and William Wooters, or light-speed-slowing pioneers Stephen Harris and Lene Hau, look more like winners for the physics prize, he says. Those phenomena have been experimentally validated in recent years, while the CERN results are still new, with that lab calling their discovery "Higgs-like" in their announcement, hedging their bets for further tests to verify the find.
As far back as 2007, I've predicted that Lene Hau (and Deborah Jin of NIST) should win the Nobel Prize. It certainly would make the news since we haven't had a woman winning the physics Nobel Prize in such a very long time!


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