By Kaden Pradhan
London, United Kingdom
The Nobel Prize in Physics has been awarded to Alain Aspect, John F. Clauser, and Anton Zeilinger, “for experiments with entangled photons, establishing the violation of Bell inequalities and pioneering quantum information science.” The three pioneered research on entangled particles–spatially separate entities that behave as a single unit. Applications of quantum physics are increasingly prevalent in everything from quantum computers to A.I. Consequently, the science behind them needs to be better understood. These three physicists have contributed significantly to our understanding of how quantum particles behave.
The Nobel Prize in Chemistry has been awarded to Carolyn R. Bertozzi, Morten Meldal, and K. Barry Sharpless, “for the development of click chemistry and bioorthogonal chemistry.” Click chemistry is an emerging field that investigates when molecular units can ‘snap’ together—a little like molecular Lego. Sharpless coined the idea in 2000; Later, he and Meldal developed a highly efficient click reaction now widely used in chemical engineering and pharmacology. Bertozzi applied this model to biological organisms, resulting in groundbreaking bioorthogonal reactions.
The Nobel Prize in Physiology / Medicine has been awarded to Svante Pääbo, “for his discoveries concerning the genomes of extinct hominids and human evolution.” Pääbo completed the extremely difficult task of mapping the Neanderthal genome, enabling us to understand ancient changes in genes and how these evolutionary mutations affect modern immunology and anatomy. Amazingly, Pääbo discovered a new type of hominin, Denisova. Even more astoundingly, he birthed an entirely new scientific field, paleogenomics.
The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, more commonly referred to as the Nobel Prize for Economic Sciences, has been awarded to Ben S. Bernanke, Douglas W. Diamond, and Philip H. Dybvig, “for research on banks and financial crises.” Their analysis demonstrated how to make the banking system more robust. By encouraging banks to act as ‘medians’—to accept a large number of deposits from savers—we inadvertently make banks more vulnerable to fluctuations. Where authorities provide deposit insurance, the lending system becomes more secure.