Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Nobel Prize Devalued

As the science world awaits announcement of this year's Nobel Prizes, we recall that this year's prize amount is smaller. The Swedish foundation that awards the Nobel Prize is having financial issues: For Nobel Winners a Smaller Cash Prize On 2011 the Physics prize went to 3 scientists who in 1998 claimed to have discovered an accelerating universe. They split 1.4 million dollars 3 ways, with Adam Riess and Brian Schmidt getting only 350,000 each. That is not enough to buy a house in Maryland. All three men were part of large collaborations, of which the dozens of other collaborators get nothing. Starting this year the total prize will be only about 1.2 million. Only two women have ever won the Physics prize, in 1903 and 1963. If the Nobel committee waits past 2023 they will have broken the record. However, by then the world's economy may have improved enough to restore the Prize at least to its old value. The 2011 Prize was highly unusual in that it was given to the appearance of acceleration. There are many possible explanations that do not involve acceleration, from giant cosmic voids to (this writer's hypothesis) the speed of light slowing down. The 3 Nobel winners are at a loss to explain why they found indications of acceleration. Calculation of Lunar Orbit Anomaly GM=tc^3 predicts that light is slowing down. A child could figure it out.

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