Skip to comments.The Nobel Prize in Physics 2005 is awarded to Roy J. Glauber, John L. Hall and Theodor W. Hänsch
Posted on 10/04/2005 3:03:18 AM PDT by AdmSmith
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the Nobel Prize in Physics for 2005 with one half to
Roy J. Glauber Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA
"for his contribution to the quantum theory of optical coherence"
and one half jointly to
John L. Hall JILA, University of Colorado and National Institute of Standards and Technology, Boulder, CO, USA and
Theodor W. Hänsch Max-Planck-Institut für Quantenoptik, Garching and Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich, Germany
"for their contributions to the development of laser-based precision spectroscopy, including the optical frequency comb technique".
New light on modern optics
As long as humans have populated the Earth, we have been fascinated by optical phenomena and gradually unravelled the nature of light. This year's Nobel Prize in Physics is awarded to three scientists in the field of optics. Roy Glauber is awarded half of the Prize for his theoretical description of the behaviour of light particles. John Hall and Theodor Hänsch share the other half of the Prize for their development of laser-based precision spectroscopy, that is, the determination of the colour of the light of atoms and molecules with extreme precision.
Just like radio waves, light is a form of electromagnetic radiation. Maxwell described this in the 1850s. His theory has been utilised in modern communication technology based on transmitters and receivers: mobile telephones, television and radio. If a receiver or a detector is to register light, it must be able to absorb the radiation energy and forward the signal. This energy occurs in packets called quanta and a hundred years ago Einstein was able to show how the absorption of a quantum (a photon) leads to the release of a photoelectron. It is these indirect photoelectrons that are registered in the apparatuses when photons are absorbed.
Thus light exhibits a double nature – it can be considered both as waves and as a stream of particles. Roy Glauber has established the basis of Quantum Optics, in which quantum theory encompasses the field of optics. He could explain the fundamental differences between hot sources of light such as light bulbs, with a mixture of frequencies and phases, and lasers which give a specific frequency and phase.
The important contributions by John Hall and Theodor Hänsch have made it possible to measure frequencies with an accuracy of fifteen digits. Lasers with extremely sharp colours can now be constructed and with the frequency comb technique precise readings can be made of light of all colours. This technique makes it possible to carry out studies of, for example, the stability of the constants of nature over time and to develop extremely accurate clocks and improved GPS technology.
Technical description: http://nobelprize.org/physics/laureates/2005/adv.html
No cosmology this year, but 75 % to the land of free.
Next up, Uncle Al Schwartz and qz.pdf As he says, "The full parity Eötvös experiment in quartz is COMPLETED in PR China as you read this. The Chicom SOB claims the results for himself. Piss on Jun Luo of Huazhong University." http://www.mazepath.com/uncleal/
Thanks for the ping. I don't know much about the areas in which those guys work, but the physics prize certainly deserves deployment of my science list. I'm cranking up the ping machine ...
Absolutely great to hear that laser optics won a Nobel again. The last person to win it from the same area was Steve Chu from Stanford for optical trapping in '96. This area holds the solution to some of our greatest fundamental problems in science and the spin-off benefits to medical research, optical storage, microscopy and lithography is tremendous.
Again, great news to begin the day.
Did it mention that these three were against the war in Iraq and we should close Gitmo?
Sorry... my bad.
My old grad. quantum mechanics prof., Roy Glauber! Hot diggety damn! Well deserved prize! I thought he'd never get it!
Thanks for the ping!
Nope, no cosmology. I was hoping that Stephen Hawking and/or John Wheeler would win it before they shed this mortal coil, but I don't see that happening at this point.
Well if you have chance, send him congratulations from all of us!
Wow !!! Jan Hall won the Nobel prize.
I can't believe somebody who deserves the Nobel Prize as much as Jan actually won the Nobel Prize !
For a long time they wouldn't give the physics prize for purely theoretical work. Einstein didn't get his Nobel until they found a way to stretch the interpretation.
Didn't Einstien disagree with wave theory?
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No, he disagreed with the uncertainty principle. However, every argument he tried to use to refute it, Niels Bohr would rebut ... including by the use of Einstein's own theory that connects gravitation and time dilation. (After that one, Einstein pretty much shut up about it, although AFAIK, he was still unhappy about the principle, famously quoting "God does not play dice with the universe.")
This is the second Nobel to a CU-Boulder prof in five years. Is CU that great of a physics powerhouse? Maybe I should have paid more attention in my intro physics class there.
Actually third, Eric Cornell and Carl Weiman split that other prize, so Jan's the third. They used to have another laureate, Tom Cech from the chem department, but he left a few years ago.
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