Tag Archives: nobel prize

German speaking Jews were force behind European unity

A little-remembered Jewish culture in Germany and Austria between the 1870s and 1930s was a hotbed of ideas which drove the formation of the European Union, according to new research.

Literary and film scholar Dr Cathy Gelbin from The University of Manchester says cosmopolitan German speaking Jewish intellectuals, many of whom met in the coffee houses of Berlin, Vienna and Prague, were among the first to see their identity as European.

Her co-author on the Arts and Humanities Research Council funded study is the eminent cultural and literary historian Professor Sander Gilman from Emory University in Atlanta. (more…)

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Hack the planet? Geoengineering research, ethics, governance explored

Hacking the Earth’s climate to counteract global warming – a subject that elicits strong reactions from both sides – is the topic of a December special issue of the journal Climatic Change. A dozen research papers include the most detailed description yet of the proposed Oxford Principles to govern geoengineering research, as well as surveys on the technical hurdles, ethics and regulatory issues related to deliberately manipulating the planet’s climate.

University of Washington researchers led the three-year project to gather leading thinkers and publish a snapshot of a field that they say is rapidly gaining credibility in the scientific community. (more…)

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Nobel in Physics: A long time in the making

Nearly 50 years of experiments and billions of dollars in equipment followed the prediction of the Higgs mechanism by theoretical physicists in 1964. Ulrich Heintz and Meenakshi Narain, two of the particle physicists at Brown University who worked on experiments at Fermilab and at CERN, note that the successful search for the Higgs was caried on by thousands of researchers.

The Nobel Prize awarded today to Francois Englert and Peter Higgs was a long time in the making. The Higgs mechanism was invented almost 50 years ago, and ever since the standard model emerged as the explanation of everything in particle physics that we have observed so far. The search for the Higgs boson was a quest that heated up for particle physics experimenters with every new facility that came online. Some of us (Heintz, Narain) looked for it in their thesis experiment at the Cornell Electron Storage Ring in the 1980s. Then the search moved to European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) to the Large Electron Positron Collider, and back again to the Tevatron at Fermilab near Chicago, where we (Cutts, Heintz, Landsberg, Narain) were part of the discovery of the top quark in 1995 with the D-Zero experiment. (more…)

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Another Yale Nobel: Robert Shiller

Robert J. Shiller, the Sterling Professor of Economics at Yale University, has been awarded a Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences. He shares the award — formally, the 2013 Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel — with Eugene F. Fama and Lars Peter Hansen from the University of Chicago. According to the Nobel committee, the three were honored “for their empirical analysis of asset prices.”

Shiller, whose name became a household word with the wide use of the Case-Shiller Home Price real estate Index, came to national prominence with the publication in 2000 of “Irrational Exuberance.” The book, which quickly became a bestseller, described speculative bubbles fueled by mass misinformation and herd instinct, and accurately predicted the dot.com implosion. As early as 2003, Shiller warned of the housing market collapse, and later wrote a precept for recovery, “Subprime Solution: How the Global Financial Crisis Happened and What to Do about It.” (more…)

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UCLA physicists played prominent role in Nobel Prize-winning Higgs boson research

Two large collaborations of scientists working at the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland made worldwide news in July 2012 when they announced independent observations of the elusive Higgs boson particle — a discovery hailed as one of the greatest scientific accomplishments of recent decades.

This so-called “God particle” was first postulated some 50 years ago as a crucial element of the modern theory of the forces of nature — it is, physicists say, what gives everything in the universe mass — and it had been the subject of worldwide searches ever since. (more…)

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Pride, prejudice and strategic thinking: Jane Austen wrote the book on game theory

Quiz: This beautiful mind was promoting game theory long before Cold War think tanks used mathematics to understand strategic maneuvering. Plotting, as a result, has never been the same. 

Is it John Nash, the Nobel Prize–winning mathematician portrayed in a 2001 Oscar-winning biopic? John von Neumann, game theory’s founding father? Go back further, much further, urges a UCLA game theory expert and fan of 19th-century novelist Jane Austen.  (more…)

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IBM Research Makes World’s Smallest Movie Using Atoms

Future storage systems based on atomic-scale memory would be capable of storing massive amounts of Big Data
GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS® certifies movie as World’s Smallest Stop-Motion Film

SAN JOSE, Calif. – 01 May 2013: Scientists from IBM today unveiled the world’s smallest movie, made with one of the tiniest elements in the universe: atoms. Named “A Boy and His Atom,” the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS -verified movie used thousands of precisely placed atoms to create nearly 250 frames of stop-motion action. (more…)

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Scientists map elusive 3-D structure of telomerase enzyme, key actor in cancer, aging

Like finally seeing all the gears of a watch and how they work together, researchers from UCLA and UC Berkeley have, for the first time ever, solved the puzzle of how the various components of an entire telomerase enzyme complex fit together and function in a three-dimensional structure.

The creation of the first complete visual map of the telomerase enzyme, which is known to play a significant role in aging and most cancers, represents a breakthrough that could open up a host of new approaches to fighting disease, the researchers said. (more…)

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