Physicists Win Nobel Prize for Quantum Observation

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Journalists wait for the announcement of the laureates the 2012 Nobel Prize in Physics on October 9, 2012 at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm. (Jonathan Nackstrand/Getty)

The world of physics made quantum leaps in 2012, distinguished partly by CERN’s discovery of the Higgs boson particle and by Andrei Lindé’s idea of “eternal inflation,” which envisions Big Bangs popping off endlessly. Our attempts to understand the cosmos have grown notably, but the Nobel Prize upholds its mission to award those who “have conferred the greatest benefit on mankind.”

It was announced this morning that this year’s winners of the Nobel Prize in Physics are Serge Haroche and David Wineland "for ground-breaking experimental methods that enable measuring and manipulation of individual quantum systems." In other words, they took an important step forward in figuring out how to observe quantum particles without actually destroying them.

Michio Kaku speaks with The Takeaway from Singapore. He's a theoretical physicist and author of The New York Times bestseller "Physics of the Future."


Dr. Michio Kaku

Produced by:

Ellen Frankman

Comments [5]

GwenEllyn from Salem

I forgot to add that my current superheroes are the guys in the Chemeketa Tech Hub who are helping me daily with a new learning management system for teaching online. The powers I wish they had were to be able to fix the problems onsite with the system that comes from a major corporation.

Oct. 09 2012 02:01 PM
GwenEllyn from Salem

Thank you for the Take Away. It is interviews with Kaku that help explain news stories that make it so fun to listen to. AND - I gather women together regularly to share lists. The superhero question may be a future question!

Who would I listen to in the car without OPB and all of its fine programming? :)

Oct. 09 2012 01:57 PM
Larry Fisher from Brooklyn, N.Y.

I imagined these Quantum Computers would be like a pinball machine...I don't even know what I mean by that but it sounds right, or at least I like the idea of having a Quantum Computer rolling and rocking around my head...

Of course one day there will be a Noble Prize instead of a Nobel...and that will be for someone who uses Quantum Mechanics and proves the existence of God, (or something scientifically, morally relevant)

Oct. 09 2012 12:59 PM
Shibin from India

Here is a simple ,non technical description on the basic science upon which this years NP winning work in Medicine is based on
Please do read and leave your reply!

Oct. 09 2012 10:16 AM

A simpler, and possibly somewhat incorrect, way to explain why Heisenberg's principle still holds would be to say that the position x of the photon can be determined to be between two mirrors, but the momentum p is not known if the photon could be bouncing one way or the other.

Wikipedia expresses the principle as follows:

In quantum mechanics, the uncertainty principle is any of a variety of mathematical inequalities asserting a fundamental limit to the precision with which certain pairs of physical properties of a particle, such as position x and momentum p, can be known simultaneously.

Oct. 09 2012 09:43 AM

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