Today’s physics news: Nobel Prize for Physics 2012, do Nobel prizes need a shake up?, and a government boost
Nobel Prize for Physics 2012 rewards advances in quantum optics
This year’s Nobel prize in physics has been awarded to two researchers for their work with light and matter at the most fundamental level. Serge Haroche of France and David Wineland of the US will share the prize, worth 8m Swedish krona (£750,000; $1.2m).
Why the Nobel prizes need a shakeup
In this comment piece, Jim Al-Khalili says that as the boundaries between the sciences are blurring, the Nobel prizes should think about awarding the best research, rather than pigeonholing the disciplines. As an illustration, Al-Khalili points to the discovery of the structure of DNA by Watson, a biologist, and Crick, a physicist.
Nobel prize won by Briton written off in his teens by a science teacher
A British researcher whose schoolboy ambition to become a scientist was dismissed as “quite ridiculous” by his Eton schoolmaster has won a Nobel prize for work that proved adult cells can be reprogramed and grown into different tissues in the body. Sir John Gurdon, 79, of Cambridge University, shares the prize in physiology or medicine – and 8m Swedish kronor (£744,000) cash – with the Japanese scientist Shinya Yamanaka, 50, who holds academic posts at the Universities of Kyoto and San Francisco.
Extra £200 million for capital-funding scheme
The government is to put an additional £200 million into a fund designed to boost university and industry collaboration. The Research Partnership Investment Fund will grow from £100 million to £300 million, Chancellor George Osborne told the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham. Under the scheme universities can bid for between £10 million and £35 million in public funding for capital projects, provided they can double the investment in funding from industry, charities or philanthropists.