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The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2019 (nobelprize.org)
97 points by spazz 13 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 9 comments

John Goodenough is 97 years old and still moving the state of the art forward...

https://cen.acs.org/people/profiles/Podcast-97-lithium-ion-b... (article also mentions he studied with Zener after whom Zener diodes are named)

Middle-aged startup founders are kids!

Recent discussion on this article: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=20894044

From 2017: "Dr John Goodenough’s story suggests some people become more creative with age"



> article also mentions he studied with Zener after whom Zener diodes are named

I have noticed this phenomenon myself a lot. If you're in science, look at the Wikipedia pages of people who are today big names in your field and I can almost guarantee you'll find somebody even more famous as their PhD supervisor.

I think it's things like "rock stars" get to pick the best students, those students having good role models, having it easier to land a position when your thesis advisor is some bigwig, but also that science has been expanding exponentially so a much larger fraction of the oldies were bigwigs who did big discoveries in their fields.

(my own thesis advisor shared an office with Josephson back in the day (Josephson junctions, which led to SQUIDS, NMR/MRI). That was before Josephson got the Nobel, as IIRC the youngest physics laureate ever, and before he went mad and started peddling Uri Geller style mind-over-matter claptrap.)

Smart people clump together, and there are network effects.

He is even still supervising a PhD student! [1]

I have enormous admiration for those who know they have more to contribute and just keep pushing, rather than retiring.

[1] https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/professor-john-goodenough...

The title is very uninformative, so:

This year it was won by John B Goodenough, M Stanley Whittingham and Akira Yoshino for their work on the chemistry which enables the Lithium-Ion battery.

IMO Lithium-Ion batteries enabled a whole lot of computer devices: smartphones, watches, laptops. The world would not be the same without those batteries.

They're also instrumental for electric cars, which, provided cleaner electricity generation, might have a massive positive impact on the environment

Interesting that they also awarded a person (Yoshino) doing a very practical aspect of the work (making it commercially viable), which is typically out of the scope of fundamental discoveries these awards target. As I understand it, anyway.

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