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    Nobel Physics
    Posted on Thursday, October 07, 2004 @ 21:38:17 GMT by vlad

    Science posted by David Appell in Technology Review daily weblog (Oct 5, 2004): Todayís New York Times article didnít explain it very well, but the Nobel Prize in Physics awarded this morning is for the discovery of ďasymptotic freedom,Ē a bizarre property of quarks and gluons. Unlike every other force discovered to date, quarks and gluons experience something quite different--a force that is negligible at small distances and that grows larger with distance. Amazingly, as two quarks are separated in space, their force of attraction increases. Thatís completely unlike anything seen in the gravitational or electromagnetic realm.

    Why does this matter? Of course, it matters if youíre looking to understand the very fundamental construction of the universe. But it also matters if youíre trying to understand the collisions of very large atomic nuclei such as uranium, where whatís thought to happen is the construction of a quark-gluon plasma.

    Itís difficult, at the moment, to see a practical application for the work on asymptotic freedom. But it would hardly be the first time a Nobel on an obscure process has led to new developments. The 1971 Prize to Dennis Gabor for holograms is a case in point. A couple of prizes in quantum electronics (1956, 1964) have proved their worth in the computer revolution. Even prizes like that of 1936, for the discovery of the positron, while once theoretical and abstract, have proven themselves prescient with the development of the positron-emission tomograph and perhaps even the positron-electron bomb. This yearís prize has the same feel to it Ė that 30 years from now engineers will be deciding what to do with it.

    Source: http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/blog.asp?blogID=1596&trk=nl



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    "Nobel Physics" | Login/Create an Account | 1 comment | Search Discussion
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    Re: Nobel Physics (Score: 1)
    by vlad on Thursday, October 07, 2004 @ 21:44:48 GMT
    (User Info | Send a Message) http://www.zpenergy.com
    STOCKHOLM, Oct. 5 (Xinhuanet) -- US scientists David J. Gross, H. David Politzer and Frank Wilczek won the 2004 Nobel Prize in physics on Tuesday for explaining how the basic building blocks of nature, quarks, interact to make a coin spin or build the entire universe.

    "The discovery which is awarded this year's Nobel Prize is of decisive importance for our understanding of how the theory of one of nature's fundamental forces works, the force that ties togetherthe smallest pieces of matter -- the quarks," the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences' citation said.

    The American scientists have brought physics one step closer to fulfilling a grand dream, to formulate a unified theory comprisinggravity as well -- a theory for everything, the jury said.

    Their work on the strong force acting between quarks inside theproton and the neutron within an atomic nucleus helps explain an everyday phenomenon like a coin spinning on a table, read the Academy citation.

    Gross, 63, from the University of California, Politzer, 53, from the California Institute of Technology and Wilczek, 53, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology made important theoretical discoveries "concerning the strong force, or the 'color force' as it is also called," according to the foundation.

    The "strong force" is the dominant force inside the nucleus that acts between the quarks inside the proton and the neutron, the foundation said.

    Their discoveries, published in 1973, led to the theory of quantum chromodynamics, or QCD.

    Source: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2004-10/05/content_2055628.htm


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