Predictions for the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics

After the whirlwind of a day that accompanied the announcement of the Medicine Prize, I’m sure many hope that things will be a lot calmer for today’s Physics Prize announcement. The announcement will be made at 11:45 CET, and as usual you can see the live webcast and find out the names of the new Laureates as soon as it happens on, or follow the action on Twitter using the #NobelPrize hashtag. You can also follow blow-by-blow action of the news over at The Guardian’s liveblog. Let’s see if we can get the subject of physics trending before it gets swamped by coverage of the new iPhone announcement.

So who could be in the running for this year’s Physics Prize? As mentioned in a previous post, Thomson Reuters made their picks based on citation data, and top of their list is Alain Aspect, John F. Clauser and Anton Zeilinger for “their tests of Bell’s inequalities and research on quantum entanglement.” It’s a choice that ZapperZ at the Physics and Physicists blog agrees with.

On the other physics blogs, Metadatta lists a few options, before opting for Yakir Aharonov and Michael Berry for their work on quantum topological and geometrical phases. And over at Chad Orzel’s Uncertain Principles his annual betting pool is throwing up a few other names too, including Vera Rubin, Marc Davis and Joel Primack for Cold Dark Matter theory.

If you’re a Quora fan you can add to this thread, which admittedly is not seeing much action. Or you can add to the names being predicted on Twitter, using the #nobelphysicspredictions hashtag.

If you see any more predictions, do please drop me a comment and I’ll include them on the list.

UPDATE: Physics World’s blog polled its viewers, with over half of them predicting that this year’s prize will go to quantum information (with the most likely people being Anton Zeilinger, Dave Wineland and Alain Aspect), followed by neutrino oscillations.


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