NASA and UCB researchers win Physics Nobel
I was ready to bet money that Guth, Linde, and Steinhardt would win for the development of inflationary cosmology, but I’m very happy that John Mather (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center) and George Smoot won this year’s prize. I had made a Guth\Linde prediction just before the 2005 prize after a conversation trying to predict the next Stanford Nobel laureate (it turned out to be Andrew Fire who, along with Craig Mello of the University of Massachusetts, won this year’s prize in medicine). That being said, I’m still placing my bet on Guth\Linde\Steinhardt for 2007. Since my original prediction over a year ago (and I’m sure I wasn’t the only one), Sean Carroll mentioned the possibility in a Cosmic Variance post last May and the physics blogosphere lit up the past month following a Thompson Scientific prediction that the trio would win this year.
One Trinity fellow pointed out to me that it would have been premature for inflationary cosmology to win a Nobel if the CMB researchers had not.
I’m also quite happy for Smoot and Mather because their prizes provide a much deserved boost for their institutions. Berkeley, a place of particular interest for me, is the flagship public research university in the US and NASA has had a brilliant scientific program in the years before the current administration.
Cheers to the newest physics Nobel laureates!
Filed under: Berkeley and Stanford, Physics | 1 Comment