Brainy Quote of the Day

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Where there are two or more gathered, politics is in the midst...

Physicists get political over Higgs

"The authorship question is fraught because the mechanism was developed independently by three groups within a matter of weeks in 1964. First up were Robert Brout and François Englert in Belgium, followed by Peter Higgs in Scotland, and finally Tom Kibble in London, along with his colleagues in the United States, Gerald Guralnik (at the time in London) and Carl R. Hagen.

"'There are six people who developed the mechanism in quick succession and who hold a legitimate claim to credit for it,' says particle physicist Frank Close at the University of Oxford, UK."

Apparently, there's a limit of 3 that the Nobel committee can award the prize at one time. So, the first three just have to like the Bee Gees, "stay alive" (OK, the pun was very BAD) to collect.

Professor Luigi Foschini on his blog The Event Horizon postulates if the focus has gone from "research benefiting all mankind" to a kind of "retirement/career" reward. For a certain friend of mine, I'm confident the average will dramatically drop with his inclusion!

The sad part: this is an argument over a particle that a lot of documentaries have been filmed, a lot of papers and books have been written: this is the "Holy Grail" of String Theory, yet the participants arguing haven't found the particle yet at the Large Hadron Collider. It still may be many years out.

It again proves how human scientist can actually be and behave.

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