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Monday, October 7, 2013

Nobel Prizes 2013

The Nobel Prizes for 2013 are being announced this week.  First up, two Americans and a German share the prize for medicine and physiology, for their work in understanding the transport system in cells.  Check out the press release from the Nobel committee.

The Nobel for physics is not much of a surprise, with Peter Higgs (UK) and Francois Englert (Belgium) winning for their work on symmetry breaking and the Higgs field/boson that was confirmed at CERN over the past year. Check out the press release from the Nobel committee.  This one is especially cool for me since many former colleagues and friends from Fermilab, and two former students, are on the experiments that discovered the Higgs boson!!

The Nobel for chemistry was given to Martin Karplus (Harvard), Michael Levitt (Stanford), and Arieh Warshel (UCLA) for their work in developing computer simulations of chemical reactions.  These powerful simulations allow scientists to not just see what the end products are, but also predict and understand at timy time steps what actually happens during chemical reactions.  This work includes both Newton's laws as well as quantum mechanics.  Check out the press release.

The Nobel Peace Prize for 2013 was given to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. Most recently, this group is going to play a key role in Syria, as the U.S. is leading he charge to eliminate chemical weapons from their weapons stockpiles. See the press release from the Nobel committee.

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