Nobel Prize Award Winners

Lab #3:

Looking through today’s national news I came across a story that caught my attention and I think it is worth the read. It’s about three grown men who were peers, collaborating together. They went separate ways and were suddenly given news that completely changes their life.

On October 4th, 2016, it was announced that the $930,000 Nobel Prize in physics award will be divided between three scientists: David Thouless, Duncan Haldane, and Michael Kosterlitz. Each of these men being born in Britain and now educating students at universities in the United States.

According to CBS News, These men experimented with this project in the 1970s and ’80s and are just now being rewarded. They created work that, “open the door to a previously unknown world where matter can assume unusual states or phases.

Half of the money will be given to Thouless, a former professor at the University of Washington and an 82 year old scientist. The other will be split between Haldane (65) and Kosterlitz (73). Each of them became overwhelmed and joyfully shocked receiving this award.

One very interesting point about this article was an explanation made by one of the Prize committee members. Thors Hans Hansson used pastries; a cinnamon bun, a bagel and a pretzel to argue for this new physics phenomenon during his demonstration at the announcement ceremony.

Hansson was about to use the thin layers of these pastries to explain science! More specifically, to explain electrical resistance in a magnetic field and how a smooth change of field can cause a major step in resistance. It was stated that, “this effect is so precise that it is now used to define the unit of electrical resistance, the ohm.”

These announcements occurred on Monday and along with $930,000 cash reward, and the scientists will receive a medal and diploma at the official awards ceremony on October 10, 2016.

This national news story was completely new to me. It shows that there are plenty of undiscovered works out in the world, just waiting to be acknowledged and maybe even rewarded.

It amazed me seeing that three older men are being awarded thousands of dollars and given a very prestigious award for an experiment that they had worked on over 40 years ago… An experiment that changes science, gives a new element to matter, that’s astounding!

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From Left: David Thouless, Duncan Haldane, and Michael Kosterlitz are 2016’s Nobel Prize in Physics winners. Photo Courtesy of Daily News and Analysis.
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