October 10, 2005

Nobels explained

Posted by Arcane Gazebo at October 10, 2005 1:57 PM

Chad Orzel has posted his explanations of this year's physics Nobels: here's the post on Glauber and here's the one on Hall and Hänsch. I don't have much knowledge of quantum optics so this was pretty helpful.

Also, check out last week's open thread here for Jolene's explanation of the chemistry prize; she was a student of one of this year's laureates. I have no way to link to individual comments on my blog so you'll have to scroll past some scheduling chatter to find it.

The economics prize is covered at Marginal Revolution: Aumann is discussed here and Schelling here; Tyler Cowen was Schelling's student.

Tags: Physics, Science

Interesting that the Nobel was awarded to game theorists.

The new Jeremiah Spur epic has game theory at its core, I am happy to report.

That is to say, game theory as understood by one who has an undergradutate degree in economics degree. Plus a law degree.

Someone who practiced tax law for twenty years.

Who now runs real estate investment money for institutional investors.

And, um, who writes crime novels.


Posted by: JSpur | October 10, 2005 6:56 PM

I like game theory, although I do remember the term in which the class that caused most of my all-nighters was a Hum class---PS/Ec 172 (aka non-cooperative game theory), which started the term with 35 people and finished it with 7, all of whom were very sophisticated mathematically. (Everybody left was either a math, applied math, or physics major, and all the physicists were very theoretically inclined people. We even ended up using a bit of operator theory and math 110 stuff, even though only Ec 11 or PS 12 were "required".) The course was taught by a visiting prof from Princeton, who decided that Caltech students could skip several levels. (Nobody cracked 80% in that class, as I recall.) My understanding is that this particular iteration of that class has become infamous; usually, this class is taught in a much milder fashion. I really liked the class, but it was certainly a royal pain in the ass.

Posted by: Mason | October 10, 2005 8:57 PM

I took the voting rules class (don't remember the course number, but it was a PS). The class started with about ten students and finished with two. Fortunately the prof skipped some of the topics that required very advanced math.

Posted by: Arcane Gazebo | October 11, 2005 2:43 PM

How about you do a similar breakdown for the, um, other Nobels? :)

Posted by: Lemming | October 11, 2005 4:50 PM

The testicle one is the best Ig Nobel from this year. :)

Posted by: Mason | October 11, 2005 5:11 PM

Tastes certainly vary - there are at least three other Igs that I consider superior to the testicles. Those being the Literature, Economics, and Fluid Mechanics prizes. :)

Posted by: Justin | October 12, 2005 3:12 PM

On a conceptual level, I fail to understand how anybody could vote against testicles. Even if you disagree, you should vote for the testicles anyway as a matter of spirit. :)

Posted by: Mason | October 14, 2005 1:55 AM

Hrm, there should be joint categories: Testicles in Literature. Testicles in Economics. Testicles and Fluid Mechanics.

Posted by: Lemming | October 14, 2005 3:01 PM

There was once a Physics Today article called something like "Lubrication Theory: Soft Matter in a Tight Spot"

Sometimes you just gotta' love physicists...

Posted by: Mason | October 14, 2005 5:44 PM
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