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The Nobel Prize in Physics 2019 (nobelprize.org)
203 points by _of 14 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 104 comments



> "for the discovery of an exoplanet orbiting a solar-type star."

"Solar-type star" is meaningful here because first extrasolar planets we discovered orbit the pulsar.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PSR_B1257%2B12


This is why I love astrophysics. I assumed the supernova would obliterate any planet in the star's orbit.


It seems like rather than these sort of well defined periods of life and death ... solar systems go through a whole slew of possible life cycles where who knows what happens.

I remember learning about our own solar system and it was largely "here is how we got to here" but now it's more about these phases each planet experienced and maybe will experience. Saturn's rings being a sort of "recent" phenomenon and such. Geological activity being a sort of on and off thing depending on various events, even orotundities for life cycling on and off.


Well, I have no idea, but it seems reasonable that there could be debris condensing into planets after a supernova. Or debris that was a planet recondensing.

No, but the price of rent drops precipitously.

Two of the laureates are Swiss. This brings the total number of Swiss laureates to 28, making it the third country with most Nobel prizes per capita.

The first two are Saint Lucia and Luxemburg, which have 180k and 600k inhabitants respectively.

Among the bigger countries, Switzerland has the most per capita Nobel prizes.

Interestingly, UK is on number 9 on that list and has a significantly bigger population than the top 8 (I'd say 10x more people than the average top 8 country). Super impressive. Of course, Germany (14) and the US (16) are also not half bad, especially since the US has 5x the population of UK.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_Nobel_lau...


I'd be wary of any such statistics, and trying to draw any conclusion about the current status of a country from that.

For one, the total timeframe of the Nobel Prize is more than a hundred years, and even for individual prizes the time between contribution and award is usually decades. That's a lot of time for possible change in a country.

On top of that, there had been repeated criticism (that has been in part acknowledged by the Swedish Academy) that the Nobel Prize is too eurocentric, so the statistics will obviously be skewed.


I don't have deep knowledge about the Nobel Prize selection procedure, so I'm not going to go into that. But, obviously, all awards will have some kind of bias because a small group of humans make that decision.

However, the US has more per capita prizes than the EU, so not sure that that critisicm is warranted.

Anyways, I also wouldn't draw any conclusions about "the current status of a country" based on number of nobel laureates. Having said that, I do find the statistics interesting, and I'm sure there are some conclusions to be drawn from it.

There probably are papers analyzing this statistic further - if anyone has some reading recomendations, send them my way :-)


the term "eurocentric" normally isn't about NA vs EU rivalry, but rather about "european identity" in the white supremacist sense. (the caveat is that radical equality is also a distinctly european tradition, but still, this tradition doesn't seem to get included under the "eurocentric" label, for whatever reason)


No, the term "eurocentric" in this context means that for the Nobel prize, european scientists' accomplishments are considered "more worthy" than that of non-Europeans.

And thanks for bringing up how racial equality is a European tradition. How could we forget historical eurocentric bastions of equality, like the study of Phrenology and Kipling's "The White Man's Burden".


ra-di-cal equality. not ra-ci-al equality.

I mean, that concept was considerably developed by Indian thinkers. The only eurocentricism here is that poster's personal bias.

Ironically, only a Eurocentric worldview could have one believing that "racial equality is a distinctly european tradition"

There were many celebrated anti-racist movement leaders across the world and in various time periods. The most well-known of these would be the Prophet Muhammad, who famously in one of his last sermons declared "Surely all of mankind – from the time of Adam until our time – are like the teeth of a comb (all equal to one another) and there is no greatness for an Arab over a non-Arab or a non-Arab over an Arab and no greatness for a red-skinned person over a black-skinned person or a black-skinned person over a red-skinned person, except due to one’s consciousness of God."


i didn't say "racial equality", i meant the radical equality that flattens everything. i'm talking about the tradition that rejects prophets, rejects hierarchy, rejects teleology, etc.

Who were the red-skinned people the Prophet was referring to in 600 AD ?

Your username is apt for this comment. Shukran akhi.

The statistics would be different if based on country of origin, rather than current citizenship or location. Peebles, for example, completed his bachelor's at the University of Manitoba before coming to Princeton. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Peebles


You might take this way too seriously.

It's just a fun little statistic for micro-bragging rights.

As someone from another tiny country with self esteem issues, I completely get it.


That's all true, but still it's pretty obvious Switzerland is doing extremely well by any metric you can think of.


They are doing well. As would almost any nation that had enormous wealth from being a tax haven. They profit off of the work of others, as any wealthy nation does today, but they go farther than others.


That's not the reason they have "enormous wealth". I think Switzerland understood early on that it's important for them to invest in science, education and innovation because they don't have any other natural resources.

Incentivizing companies like Google to set up shop in Switzerland of course is related to the low taxes, but also access to talent with great technical schools (ETH, EPFL). Furthermore, companies know that people would love to relocate to Switzerland to work for them. This in turn leads to more money for research, academia and education in general. It's virtuous cylce.

Obviously, there are many more factors. And yes, maybe it helped that there was the bank secracy law and criminals and the Germans during WWII parked their money in Switzerland, but I would say that's not the determining factor.

Disclaimer: I'm Swiss, so probably biased.


Other WWII issues and ethics aside, it puts you ahead when other people wage war and you’re busy doing business. War was huge economic loss for the neighbours, and Switzerland was staying in peace.

I disagree. Switzerland produced real value; take a look at companies like Novartis or Roche (or even Nestle). Or the 30 Nobel prize winners, or the top notch academia they have there. You don't do all that just by being a tax haven (Malta and Cayman islands are tax havens as well, also Ireland, but neither is as successful). I have no connection to Switzerland, have only been there once, but when a society works - it works. I acknowledge that.

If you normalised winners by country wealth Switzerland would still be a top contender.

Obviously?


Nationality is often an interesting question. To quote the German wikipedia page on the nobel prize [1] (translated by deepl):

> One of the consequences of this practice is that nationality information is sometimes controversial or confusing. For example, Elizabeth Blackburn, who is also an Australian citizen but is listed in the Nobellists only as an American with an Australian birthplace. In the case of prizewinners who stood between several nations, such as the Alsatian-born Albert Schweitzer, for example, the indication of only one nationality is also perceived as insufficient or, depending on the point of view of the observer, wrong. Another reason for discrepancies are the numerous state changes in the 19th and 20th centuries. Some prizewinners, for example, mention the place of birth with the nationality of the time and today, while others mention only one of the two. An example of this is Günter Blobel, whose birthplace lies in Poland today but is listed as a place in Germany. Mother Teresa was born in Skopje, which then belonged to the Ottoman Empire and is now the capital of Northern Macedonia. However, her family was Albanian, which is why she is often seen as an Albanian. However, none of the three states is mentioned in the official list of notices, but the place of birth is shown as belonging to Turkey, presumably because this was already a common name for the Ottoman Empire before the foundation of the Turkish state. Her nationality is declared Indian because she was an Indian citizen at the time of the award.

> Since the Nobel Peace Prize has already been awarded several times to laureates who have worked towards a solution to a conflict over the nationality of a region, the indication of nationality already runs the risk of being regarded as tendentious. For example, when the 14th Dalai Lama Tendzin Gyatsho was awarded the nationality Tibet was declared, although this state only exists in the form of an exile government. In 1998 and 1976, the state received awards for its efforts to settle the conflict in Northern Ireland. Here the Nobel Institute chose Northern Ireland as its nationality, although this region was never an independent state and no party to the conflict sought to establish one. The Nobelstiftung, on the other hand, names the United Kingdom as its nationality after its current formal affiliation.

[1]: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nobelpreis#Nationalit%C3%A4t_d...


This has nothing to do with national borders. In US, UK and Germany the Nobel's don't come from all over the country but from very small areas.

If Princeton/Newyork/Boston declared independence tomorrow those new countries would be at the top of the list too.

Where cash concentrates Science happens.


National borders do actually have a relevance for Switzerland IMO because it involves serious hurdles, particularly today, for many people to move there so it often isn't just a haven for the best-educated and/or wealthiest people in a region.

Switzerland has relatively strict immigration policies, always maintaining a layer of separation from the EU/EEA and other developed countries though that's less true for EU/EEA countries today, but it still has nowhere near the freedom of movement from other countries that is the case between the rest of the US and Princeton/NY/Boston, or the rest of the UK and London, etc.


Switzerland is part of the EU free movement zone, so European citizen can settle in Switzerland automatically is they find a job.

Right, that's why I mentioned that it's less the case today, but that freedom of movement is always at risk of being cancelled much more easily than a country leaving the EU. There has already been a referendum that passed that would have done so. Also, non-Swiss Europeans can be expelled for certain criminal convictions and (as you mentioned) need to be able to support themselves financially which aren't generally the case between EU states except in extreme circumstances.

It seems to be a combination of things: cash, investment into education, political will, peaceful political climate.

The Bay Area/SV dominates tech because of a bunch of decisions made starting around the 1850s to turn California into a world player.


Maybe you mean 1940s? The Bay Area benefited from fairly massive government subsidies to the Military Industrial Complex in California. WW II shifted military attention to the West Coast and San Francisco Bay was a major Naval Base. The Atomic Energy Commission took over and expanded Lawrence Berkeley Lab and established Livermore Lab. The aerospace industry moved to California due to the continuous availability of good flying weather and proximity to aluminum sources based on hydropower. This was mainly to southern CA, but a lot of aerospace electronics came from the Bay Area. NASA also established Ames Research Center. Plus, as its congressional delegation grew in size and influence, and during the Reagan years, Federal money continued to flow into the state.

In the 1850s there was the Gold Rush, which was unplanned. Around 1900 the southern CA oil boom made it the largest oil producing state in the US.


Look up the history of Stanford to see early investments in the infrastructure of the Bay area. I agree post-war was when the rapid expansion happened but many of the important foundations were laid using gold money and railroad money. Similarly Caltech in the South land shows work prior to world war II. La was already in aerospace powerhouse when world war II happened.

Thanks for pointing out the oil boom I left that out because I forgot


People matter, compare vs the oil rich Gulf states.


If Bronx High School of Science (8 graduates have Nobels---7 physics, 1 chemistry) were its own country and we dramatically overestimate the total number of students who have graduated by multiplying current student population (about 900) by (2019-1935) = 75600 alumni all-time total living and dead, we get one prize per ~10k people. More realistically it's about one prize per 5k graduates or maybe another factor of two better.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Bronx_High_School_of_S...


And 20% of the laureates are Jewish, while Jewish population comprises less than 0.2% of the world's population

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Jewish_Nobel_laureates


And 96% are men although men comprise only 49% of the population. Just saying...go men!


This is terribly enlightening. I'm an Ashkanazi Jew of average intelligence, but there seems to be some stigma that Jews - especially Ashkanazi [1] - are brilliant. I'm constantly judged by a very high standard because of that. Be there no mistake, I keep that standard, but due to Anki and Ankidroid and not due to my intellect.

I wonder if there is a self-fulfilling prophecy about that. The 96% statistic hints that because men are traditionally associated with the hard sciences, men typically win the Nobel prizes. What percentage of senior scientists and researchers are women, I wonder, and does that percentage correspond with their representation at the Nobel prizes?

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ashkenazi_Jewish_intelligence


I'm Ashkenazi as well. Don't know if it makes you feel better but there are way worse stigmas on us than intelligence, so I wouldn't worry about that particular one too much :)

Well...first thanks for ankidroid...

Second, maybe jews are on the list because of that pressure put on them to succeed constantly. Would be interesting study.


You may be interested in this suggrestion put forward by a music critic in this week's UK Spectator.

https://www.spectator.co.uk/2019/10/do-jews-think-differentl...

I think it's not paywalled if you don't live in the UK.


> Among the bigger countries, Switzerland has the most per capita Nobel prizes.

Be wary of any "per-capita" statistics. Statistically, averages work only if distributions are symmetric. Mean is a poor indicator of an asymmetric distribution.

So, the question is - Do we have symmetric distributions for talent within each geographical area? We see similar arguments in sport but the assumption of symmetrical (normal) distributions for talent within a geographical area is most likely not the case [0]. There are many other factors like income, population density and "coaching" centers that lead to existence of asymmetric distributions. Hence, "per capita" statistics are quite meaningless and mask the real factors that contribute to Nobel Prize winners.

Primarily, the proportion of GDP to research and scientific activity are a better measure to compare countries against [1]. That ensures that most predictive factors are accounted for.

[0] https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.0274...

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3968020/


> Statistically, averages work only if distributions are symmetric.

I'm not really sure what you mean by that but I don't think you're correct. The law of large numbers applies to any distribution with finite first moment.

You're probably right in that factors like wealth (and wealth distribution rather than per-capita wealth) affect a country's scientific output. But your stats argument is a bit wobbly :)


It’s a more general statement that applies to say orange production as various plants only grow well in specific climates. Basically, if you’re looking at total calories consumed that is mostly a function of population size, but large samples don’t average out inherent differences.

> I'm not really sure what you mean by that but I don't think you're correct.

Can you explain, in context to what I said - what exactly is incorrect? I am very well versed with the theory of Law of Large numbers. The question is - "Why does the Law of Large Numbers tell us that per capita is a the right metric to compare Nobel Prize output of different countries?"


All he’s saying that the further mean and median are from each, the more importsnt it is that we think about what an average implies about the sample.

Well the median number of nobel prizes in any country is pretty obviously zero...

Another fun fact which show the strong relation between Mathematics and France, which is still strong in the XXe century: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_number_of... (France is dwarfing other countries in Field Medals per capita).

It is quite amazing how US keeps attracting top talent in the world. Look at the born in description . https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Nobel_laureates_by_cou...


It would probably be more fair to attribute the Nobel prize "nationality" to the university/country at which the scientist was working at the time they made their discovery.


Or the one where they went to school or the one where they did their undergrad or the one where they got their PhD or what if they worked for 5 years of the project in country A and then finished the last year in country B?

No attribution is perfect, but they might still be useful.


You can say the same for the Olympics as well. Ultimately there's no single "fair" system, just different labels, and country that issued your passport is what most people/organizations choose to go with.


Why does anyone care about someone's nationality when they win a Nobel prize?


You don't care about their nationality, you care about what country you can associate them with. You then want to use it a measuring stick for that country's university and research system. It is of course not a perfect scale, but you take what you can get.

For instance, this prize tells you that Switzerland, the UK and the US (or more specifically Geneva, Cambridge and Princeton) seem to be doing something right and that it might be a good idea to change your university system a little in their direction.


> You then want to use it a measuring stick for that country's university and research system.

But why?


That is my second paragraph.


Most academics will have studied and worked in many countries by the time they achieve something major. Nobody's the product of a single country like that. These people have been educated and worked in Canada, the US, the UK, Switzerland...


Sure, but then you would want to read about "Canada, the US, the UK, Switzerland..." and would be asking why these countries and not for example Belgium or Japan.

Any way you attribute this has some problems, as does trying to condense it to one country. Still just because something is not perfect does not mean it is not useful.

For example, France and Germany have very different systems and culture and you see that reflected in Nobel prizes and Fields medals. At that point you can then discuss which differences are "good" or "bad" by which metric.


People are often patriotic. You feel a certain connection to someone who comes from your country.

But yeah, I agree. One fun example:

I am Faroese. On a technicality, Faroe Islands _could_ be considered the highest rank, at 1 laureate for a population of 49,489[1].

Niels Finsen was born in the Faroe Islands to Icelandic and Danish parents. His higher education and scientific studies were conducted in Denmark.

So an ethnically Icelandic-Dane, Faroese-born, who studied in Denmark.

Does this count as a Faroese Nobel Laureate?

[1]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_Nobel_lau...


Wait. I thought it's wrong to say "Faroe Islands", because the "oe" already means "Island". So how is this?

Wow, yeah that's true! I have never thought about it before.

From Wikipedia:

"In Faroese, the name appears as Føroyar. Oyar represents the plural of oy, older Faroese for "island". Due to sound changes, the modern Faroese word for island is oyggj. The first element, før, may reflect an Old Norse word fær (sheep), although this analysis is sometimes disputed because Faroese now uses the word seyður (from Old Norse sauðr) to mean "sheep". Another possibility is that the Irish monks, who settled the island around 625, had already given the islands a name related to the Gaelic word fearrann, meaning "land" or "estate". This name could then have been passed on to the Norwegian settlers, who then added oyar (islands).[12] The name thus translates as either "Islands of Sheep" or "Islands of Fearrann".

In Danish, the name Færøerne contains the same elements, though øerne is the definite plural of ø (island).

In English, it may be seen as redundant to say the Faroe Islands, since the oe comes from an element meaning "island". Most notably in the BBC Shipping Forecast, where the waters around the islands are called Faeroes. The name is also sometimes spelled "Faeroe"."[1]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faroe_Islands#Etymology


usual human nature?

german won nobel prize -> germans are smart -> im german -> i must be smart


Surely no one's that dumb!

You should meet my father. Hungarian patriot. Our many Nobel prizes make him so proud! With the only minor stain to the story that most of them were Jews.

Note that these counts include Nobel prize for peace which skews the ratings a bit.

If we looked at science and literature only the results would look different. Obviously, assuming the main point of this ranking is to measure a favourable ecosystem for science and literature.


Don't take any of their awards seriously.

It's become a politicized award rather than merit.

Ignore and move on.


If jooz were a nationality they would likely win. They hold 26% of the prizes in physics. Remarkable considering they are 0.2% of the world population. Source https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Jewish_Nobel_laureates

Rich privileged people get to do cutting edge science. How is that surprising?


Quanta has started their coverage.

https://www.quantamagazine.org/nobel-prize-in-physics-to-jam...

Here’s yesterday’s article for the Nobel in Medicine:

https://www.quantamagazine.org/nobel-prize-awarded-for-cells...


Peebles has been a giant in cosmology over the past 50 years, when cosmology has gone from really speculation to precision measurements. There's a decent argument that he should have been included in the 1978 prize with Penzias and Wilson. He's getting old and this might be the last time the committee could sweetie him in.

If Trinity College, Cambridge were an independent country, its 34 Nobel Prize winners would put it fifth in the world rankings, ahead of Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, and Japan, and behind only the US, UK, Germany, and France.

Source: https://www.trin.cam.ac.uk/alumni/famous-trinity-alumni/nobe...


Speaking of which, if the École normale supérieure (100M€ budget/year) was its own country, it would rank only behind the US in terms of Fields medals : 11 vs 12.

I am not such a fan of this one, they essentially gave two separate half-prizes this year. James Peebles’ contribution to science was not related to exoplanets, nor was the exoplanet discovery related to cosmology. Instead, they could have waited a year, and given them sequentially. Has this ever happened before in Nobel history? Will this lead to an era where one hundred $10,000 Nobels are handed out each year? ;)

>Has this ever happened before in Nobel history?

In recent years the nobel committee has been grouping unrelated prizes in the same field.

For example the parasitology prize a few years ago for treating two different parasite diseases (roundworm/malaria).

I think its a good thing. It takes two similar discoveries, neither of which are big enough to warrant a solo prize and combines them to give credit to a field which has made advances. I was working in a parasitology department at the time and people were losing their minds about how awesome it was that the field was acknowledged on a world stage.


There is a rule that you can't award a prize to more than 3 people.

I remember when the Higgs was confirmed at CERN, there was a lot of discussion over who (if anyone) should get the prize for that. CERN has something like 2500 permanent, scientific employees, plus 12000 users. So is it appropriate to give the prize to someone who is ultimately a project manager or administrator?

It's an interesting question as science moves from a few great thinkers to huge projects with 100+ contributors...


I think those accomplishments are large enough to have PR teams, or at least many people who can spread the word, and they may be outside the domain of where Nobel prizes are needed. The Nobel given for the Higgs discovery could not raise anyone's esteem for the LCH team, because the team was so large that everybody who would hear about a Nobel prize had already heard of the LHC.

This often happens, and it's why the committee distinguishes between splitting and sharing the prize. The first physics split by separate citations was 1903 Becquerel / Curie+Sklodowska-Curie, though their citation explicitly mentions how it's related to Becquerel's work.

But as early as 1961 Hofstadter and Mössbauer split the prize for two separate things that can be grouped together as "well... nuclear physics" in the same way as these prizes are "... SPACE!".

It's happened a lot in the past. Often the split allows them to cover two things that are only really related on a superficial level. Just going through the list:

1963: Wigner (symmetry) / Goeppert-Meyer + Jensen (nuclear shells)

1970: Alfvén (MHD) / Néel (anti/ferromagnetism in solid state)

1973: Esaki + Giaever (semi/superconductors) / Josephson (Josephson effect)

1978: Kapitsa (low T) / Penzias+Wilson (CMB)

1983: Chandrasekhar (stellar evolution) / Fowler (nuclear abundances)

1986: Ruska (electron microscope) / Binnig+Rohrer (scanning-tunneling microscope)

1989: Ramsey (masers) / Dehmelt+Paul (ion traps)

1994: Brokhouse (neutron spectroscopy) / Shull (neutron diffraction). This one is weird because they also get a joint citation for using neutrons to study materials.

2000: Alferov+Kroemer (heterostructures) / Kilby (integrated circuit)

2002: Davis Jr.+Koshiba (cosmic neutrinos) / Giacconi (cosmic x-rays)

2005: Glauber (coherent states) / Hall+Hänsch (laser spectroscopy)

2008: Kobayashi+Maskawa (CKM matrix) / Nambu (spontaneous symmetry breaking). I think most physicists I know agree that this one should really have been two prizes, one shared K+M+Cabibbo (C in CKM) and one shared Nambu+Goldstone.

2009: Kao (fiber optics) / Boyle+Smith (CCDs)

2018: Askin (optical tweezers) / Mourou+Strickland (chirped pulse amplification)


It happens all the time. 2000 is an obvious example.

Still cant believe the economics profession managed to convince people it deserves a seat at the table of the hard sciences


It's not actually one of the Nobel prizes as set up by Alfred Nobel. The full name is the "The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel".

It was set up by the Swedish central bank to free ride on the good reputation of the actual prizes. Their motivation was to push economic policies beneficial to themselves (mainly promoting the political independence of central banks in the beginning).


The bank paid to establish it, but it is run by the Nobel Foundation, and the winners are selected by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (which also selects the winners for chemistry and physics), and it follows the same rules as the original prizes.

I don't think anyone is looking at the Nobel prizes to categorise sciences.

The 'table of hard science' according to Alfred Nobel also includes medicine (not science, but we'll let it pass), literature (really not science), and peace (really really not science).

Anyway, the Nobel Prize for economics is not actually a Nobel prize anyway.


Medicine is interesting.

Some of it is hard science, with peer-reviewed papers, experiments and statistics. There is even some overlap with chemistry.

Some of it is engineering. Doctors are closer to engineers than they are to scientists. They have a problem (a sick patient who needs help), constraints (time, availability, cost, ...), tools (drugs, diagnosis tools, ...), and need to turn all that into a solution.

Some of it is craftsmanship. Surgeons are like mechanics for the human body, a job requiring dexterity and practical thinking.

Some of it is care. With nurses needing as much empathy as they need practical skills.


Receiving the prize of $1MM and everyone referring to you as Nobel laureate feels a lot like winning a Nobel prize to me.

I (almost) have a masters degree in Physics, and think Economics absolutely is a hard science.

It's also probably the most important science, since it deals with issues central to human life and prosperity.

I mean, I love exoplanets too, but they'll never affect how we understand society and change the understanding and direction of human civilization.


I agree that economics is more relevant to the average person than astrophysics, but I don't see what that has to do with its being a hard science. Physics has testable hypotheses and experimental verification. The attempts at this in economics put it at the absolute low end of the soft sciences, as far as I can tell.

> I don't see what that has to do with its being a hard science

I agree. I meant to make two separate claims.

> The attempts at this in economics put it at the absolute low end of the soft sciences, as far as I can tell.

Economics has many subfields. The major division is between microeconomics and macroeconomics.

I think a lot of the "soft science" reputation the field has comes from the Macro side. This is a very tough field to study, since the study object (the world economy) is sentient, extremely intelligent, and adapts to any new findings. It can certainly be seen as a partially failed science as a result.

Macro gets the headlines, but the Micro side is what I'm impressed by. We have an enormous amount of knowledge accumulated over the last 200 years, and understand society and markets immensely more than before Adam Smith started thinking about this stuff.


But Mathematics is an even more important field, arguably the most important of all, and it doesn't even have a Noble sidebar.

Every science relies an math.


That's a pretty good point considering Turing award winners (computer science) get so little media exposure compared to Nobel winners. Same for Field medal winners...


I always wonder why some Scandinavian group just didn't start a math or comp sci prize in honour of Alfred Nobel like economics.


I wouldn’t call CS a hard science, it should be grouped with liberal arts like math.

It's not a real Nobel prize...

Why’s that? I would consider economics a hard science.

The study of resource allocation cannot be a hard science?


Comics, no photos? These are real people. Come on, did they read too many Google PR campaigns? Or watched too many Marvel movies?

"The curve shows how many spots there are of each size in the background radiation."

"The first peak shows that the universe is geometrically flat, i.e. two parallel lines will never meet."

Can somebody explain this, please?


Is the nobel prize taxable? If you live in St. Lucia do you pay ANY tax on it?

That depends entirely on where you are and who you have to pay taxes to. In Canada, it would be a windfall (like a lottery prize), and therefore not taxable.

Does discovering an exoplanet really qualify for Nobel Prize?

It wasn't just a matter of pointing a telescope at a lucky star. They had to invent new spectroscopic tools to find anything.

Moreover, the avalanche of exoplanets their discovery heralded has changed questions fundamental to astronomy like "Why is our Solar System this particular way" into questions about ensembles, as in "In what proportion of planetary systems do we get rocky inner planets in the habitable zone and outer gas giants".


Im wondering why there hasnt been more critical coverage. Has to be more impressive accomplishments in physics

Evidently!



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