I’m too busy to write much on the blog just this moment, and besides, there’s nothing of great interest I can think of that need’s writing about. So, I’ll take up commenter Shantanu’s suggestion and try and stir up a little trouble with two quick topics related to the Nobel Prize.
Norman Dombey recently posted on the arXiv Abdus Salam: A Reappraisal. PART I. How to Win the Nobel Prize which more or less seems to argue that Salam didn’t deserve his 1979 Nobel. He describes a lot of history I didn’t know, but I’m not completely convinced. Part of the argument seems to be that he stole the idea from Weinberg, and didn’t even know the importance of what he had stolen, but my impression was that no one, not even Weinberg, thought very much of the unified electroweak theory at the time. A quick look at the paper in his collected papers that I take to be the 1968 one that justified the Nobel to him appears to discuss the crucial points: a gauge theory with Higgs mechanism.
Unfortunately I don’t have more time now to look into this history carefully. If someone expert on this history has comments on the Dombey claims, that would be interesting.
One way to win the prize is to do revolutionary work. This year’s prize will be announced October 4, and for the past few years I haven’t had much in the way of thoughts about obvious candidates. After reading Richard Panek’s The 4% Universe early this year and learning more of the story of the discovery of the acceleration of the universe, I’m pretty sure that sooner or later there will be a Nobel Prize for that, maybe this year. Those better informed than me can speculate about what the exact names will be that will go on the prize.