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Ingrid Gregor | DESY | Germany

View Blog | Read Bio

Nobel Dreams

With all the excitement about the LHC startup and the first paper, other things were falling a bit behind recently. But not all Quantum Diarists are 100% working on the LHC and have to get back to the normal business while keeping a close eye on what is happening at CERN. I am actually right now exactly at that place to do something down-to-earth thing like packing up “my” telescope. After running 22 weeks at CERN with 11 different users from LHC to Linear Collider groups, the telescope is packed into two big boxes to be shipped to DESY for its well-deserved hibernation. The hibernation time is actually rather short, as we will have to put it back together at DESY before the February test beam. Since the packing up and finding all the bits and pieces went a bit faster than originally planned, I had the chance to go to an interesting event in the main auditorium (only the first half day).

The From the PS to the LHC: 50 Years of Nobel Memories in High-Energy Physics.” On the agenda of the 1 ½ days symposium are alone 13 Nobel laureates from Jack Steinberger to Steven Weinberg, and many other very interesting speakers. I have never seen that many Nobel laureates in one place in my life. Ok, seeing Nobel laureates is not something I do every day anyway… so far I have heard talks of two (Richard Taylor and Martinus Veltman), already some years ago and not at the same time. The nice thing is, that there are that many Nobel prize winners in particle physics which are still healthy enough to come to CERN for such a symposium. And these are not the only laureates. In the last 50 years very regularly this highest possible science award went to particle physicists – showing also the importance of this field for fundamental research. I listed the awards below and hope I did not forget anybody. And I am very curious who is going to be the next laureate in particle physics!!

Donald Arthur Glaser for the invention of the bubble chamber.

Robert Hofstadter for his pioneering studies of electron scattering in atomic nuclei and for his thereby achieved discoveries concerning the structure of the nucleons.

Sin-Itiro Tomonaga, Julian Schwinger, and Richard P. Feynman
for their fundamental work in quantum electrodynamics, with deep-ploughing consequences for the physics of elementary particles.

Luis Walter Alvarez for his decisive contributions to elementary particle physics, in particular the discovery of a large number of resonance states, made possible through his development of the technique of using hydrogen bubble chamber and data analysis.

Murray Gell-Mann for his contributions and discoveries concerning the classification of elementary particles and their interactions.

Samuel Ting and Burton Richter for their pioneering work in the discovery of a heavy elementary particle of a new kind.

Sheldon Lee Glashow, Abdus Salam, and Steven Weinberg for their contributions to the theory of the unified weak and electromagnetic interaction between elementary particles, including, inter alia, the prediction of the weak neutral current.

James Cronin and Val Logsdon Fitch for the discovery of violations of fundamental symmetry principles in the decay of neutral K-mesons.

Carlo Rubbia Simon and van der Meer for their decisive contributions to the large project, which led to the discovery of the field particles W and Z, communicators of weak interaction.

Jack Steinberger, Leon Lederman and Melvin Schwartz
for the neutrino beam method and the demonstration of the doublet structure of the leptons through the discovery of the muon neutrin.

Jerome I. Friedman, Henry W. Kendall, and Richard E. Taylor for their pioneering investigations concerning deep inelastic scattering of electrons on protons and bound neutrons, which have been of essential importance for the development of the quark model in particle physics”

Gerardus ‘t Hooft and Martinus Veltman for elucidating the quantum structure of electroweak interactions in physics.

David J. Gross, H. David Politzer, and Frank Wilczek for the discovery of asymptotic freedom in the theory of the strong interaction.

Makoto Kobayashi and Toshihide Maskawa for the discovery of the origin of the broken symmetry which predicts the existence of at least three families of quarks in nature.

AND (also 2008)
Yoichiro Nambu for the discovery of the mechanism of spontaneous broken symmetry in subatomic physics.