Well, it looks like I was right to not try and guess this year’s Nobel Prize, since it has been awarded for work in an area of physics I know nothing about. None of the commenters here managed to guess correctly either. The prize goes to Glauber, Hall and Hänsch for work in the field of optics.
Roy Glauber is 80 years old now, and taught the first quantum field theory course I ever took. At the time I was an undergraduate at Harvard and the course was way over my head. All I remember from it now is that it involved a lot of writing down and manipulating long formulas involving mode expansions and annihilation and creation operators. I did end up with some facility in doing this, but didn’t much understand what it all meant. Buried somewhere in my office should be notes for that course, perhaps I’ll try and dig them up and take a look at them, since I suspect I can probably now appreciate much better what Glauber was trying to teach than I could way back then.
Congratulations to Glauber, Hall and Hänsch!