Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Anton Zeilinger, French scientist Alain Aspect and US scientist John Clauser just announced as winners of THE 2010 WOLF PRIZE in PHYSICS

It was just announced that Austrian scientist Anton Zeilinger, French scientist Alain Aspect and US scientist John Clauser won The Wolf Prize in Physics, "for their fundamental conceptual and experimental contributions to the foundations of quantum physics, specifically an increasingly sophisticated series of tests of Bell’s inequalities, or extensions thereof, using entangled quantum states."

Congrats and job well done all around, career and accomplishments-wise. I like these guys.

From Wikipedia:

The Wolf Prize in Physics is awarded once a year by the Wolf Foundation. It is one of the six Wolf Prizes established by the Foundation and awarded since 1978; the others are in Agriculture, Chemistry, Mathematics, Medicine and Arts. The Prize is often considered the most prestigious award in physics after the Nobel Prize

9 comments:

Plato said...

Researching the history of entanglement this relation of individuals supports a nice historical picture which shall not be soon forgotten.

Best,

Steven Colyer said...

I know! I'm super impressed they remembered John Clauser's contribution. He often seems to be the forgotten one, in spite of being first. Good for him.

Phil Warnell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Phil Warnell said...

Hi Steven (oooppps),

This is all very nice, yet those mentioned above would have had nothing to be honoured for if it weren’t for J,S, Bell, who still to this day is almost invisible as it relates to the public consciousness; so much as to having ever existed. However what I find as both discouraging and tragically ironic is except for Clauser, the other two didn’t or still don’t have a clue what Bell was attempting to have made plain or who served as inspirations for such realization. I then would say like the old adage about horses being that you can lead experimentalists to water yet you can’t have them think :-)

Best,

Phil

Steven Colyer said...

Regarding John Stewart Bell's obscurity to the general public, I agree, but Paul Dirac's is even greater! Then again, the public can barely name another scientist besides Einstein.

Clauser doesn't even have an entry in Wikipedia! A shame.

Aspect's experiment is deemed the most important of the early ones, although Clauser's experiment came first at Berkeley in 1969 (with hippies protesting Vietnam outside the lab), and his story is told in detail in Louisa Gilder's book, where it begins in Albert Shimony's office.

Aspect is the first mentioned in the old '93 edition of The Encyclopedia Brittanica I have around the house, in Macropedia under "Mechanics", subsection "Quantum Mechanics."

Zeilinger is considered an important theoretician as well as an experimentalist, so perhaps your comment (a funny one, thanks) refers to Aspect alone?

Phil Warnell said...

Hi Steven,

Actually it applies to both, with Zeilinger more strongly. I’ve followed their careers including their experiments and conclusions as well as attending a lecture given by Asoect and Zeilinger respectfully. Admittedly their experiments are completely sound and yet their conclusions as to what it all might mean is more damaging as to what Bell would have understood then clarifying. With Zeilinger it’s more serious resultant of the thin veneer of preteens covering his huge ego as well as a sense of nationalism which belongs in a museum, rather than on public display leaving him for me mindful of another aspect of a horse. However, the worst of it is his failure to disguise his conviction that Einstein had lost it when it comes to understanding the nature of the quanta.

Oh yes I would advise anyone who would like to know what Bell thought, as to what his inequality was meant to demonstrate, as well as his whole take on the question of the quanta I would suggest they read (in its entirety) his compiled essays known as ‘Speakable and Unspeakable in Quantum Mechanics’. In my humble opinion shortly after his untimely death, rather than being recognized for what he was and discovered he’s been high jacked as to represent a specific metaphysical center for physics which he attempted to have exposed as both wrong and dangerous for the discipline; which unfortunately those like Aspect and Zeilinger represent as being examples of and spokespersons. You might find this as strong criticism for someone normally more associated with refraining from such comment, yet I find there to be a difference between a fool that is one as being as no fault of their own and those for whom should be no such reason for such accommodation.

Best,

Phil

Phil Warnell said...

Hi Steven.

As to Bell’s notoriety I would suggest someone and/or organization of stature and resource come up with a physics prize named in his honour which is to be awarded not on a regular bases yet only when what has been accomplished is a real game changer substantiated by experimental support. The trouble being of course is since Bell I couldn’t think of one that would qualify. Perhaps the LHC will have someone come to light such as Peter Higgs for his boson, Hawkings and Penrose for Black Holes or even Nima Arkani-Hamed et al for dimensional deconstruction. Now what to call such a prize, how about the J.S.Bell Paradigm Shift Medal, awarded only to those capable of having everyone beforehand forced to eating Bertlmann's socks:-)

Best,

Phil

Phil Warnell said...

Hi Steven,

I hope you don’t feel taken back by my brief tirade in respect to the announced winners of this year’s Wolf Prize. It’s simply that I consider J.S. Bell has been so under rated and widely ignored as most don’t understand what he actually accomplished and the significance it holds. That being when we speak of science we often think it as the proposal of theories which are then later to be confirmed or denied by way of experimental evidence, which in themselves stand as great achievements. However, what Bell has done is use the resources of human intellect, ingenuity and reason to force upon nature to reveal to us what has to be true or not of reality, rather then having it depend on it judging our assumptions. This is an achievement which I would say marks the way for the future of science as we probe ever more deeply and I would expect at least we would like us to start by celebrating the people from where all this first began.

“Among the branches of philosophy, I had, at an earlier period, given some attention to logic, and among those of the mathematics to geometrical analysis and algebra, -- three arts or sciences which ought, as I conceived, to contribute something to my design. But, on examination, I found that, as for logic, its syllogisms and the majority of its other precepts are of avail- rather in the communication of what we already know, or even as the art of Lully, in speaking without judgment of things of which we are ignorant, than in the investigation of the unknown; and although this science contains indeed a number of correct and very excellent precepts, there are, nevertheless, so many others, and these either injurious or superfluous, mingled with the former, that it is almost quite as difficult to effect a severance of the true from the false as it is to extract a Diana or a Minerva from a rough block of marble.”

- René Descartes - Discourse on The Method: of Rightly Conducting The Reason, and Seeking Truth in the Sciences (1637)

Best,

Phil

Steven Colyer said...

No, I have no problem with your "tirade" ... you taught me something about Aspect and Zeilinger I'd not been aware of ... and your passion on this subject is anything but small! C'mon, Phil, stop being so wishy-washy ... take a stand! lol

Regarding Bell, agreed with everything you said, as I said. He probably would have won the 1993 Nobel Prize in Physics had he not died prematurely. Sad his unfortunate demise, great his accomplishment.

Quantum Entanglement remains that one part of Quantum Mechanics I feel we will never have the Platonic "Why?" question answered. The Socratic "How?" I get, the
"Why?" may be forever unknown, shrug.