Who Won the 2016 Nobel Prize in Physics?

10 Mar 2017



The 2016 Nobel Prize in physics was awarded to David J. Thouless, F. Duncan M. Haldane, and J. Michael Kosterlitz for their discovery of topological phase transitions, and topological phases of matter.


"Topological" means that an object can be bent or stretched without changing shape, but if ripped or glued, the object will change shape. An example of this in science would be a wormhole.


These Nobel Prize winners also discovered superconductors and superfluids. A superconductor is a conductor that can swap electrons with zero resistance. A superfluid is something with zero viscosity.  


After their Nobel Prize, a hunt for new and exotic phases of matter started. This can help advance material science and potentially help in tackling many problems across various branches of science.  


Also, superfluids are something that could possibly advance hydraulics. Hydraulics the branch of engineering, takes advantage of the low viscosity of certain fluids because it has zero viscosity.  Superconductors can be useful in electro-magnetics due to the fact that they are excellent conductors, electrons can flow through freely with zero resistance and there isn't a lost that you would have with regular conductors. The problem is the wires might become more heavy, fragile, and worse for the environment do to the fact that glass, plastic, or rubber will have to double or even triple coat the wires. Just touching the wire when it is not coated could possibly kill someone. So, before we use it, it is likely that we would have to discover or create better insulators at a cheap and reliable price. It is possible that the insulators would cost millions of dollars just to create a laptop. It’s  also possible it could lead to computers being shrunk down to the size of an iPhone, an iPhone could be the size of an iPod.    

In addition, the 2016 Nobel prize in chemistry was awarded to Fraser Stoddart, Jean-Pierre Sauvage, Ben Feringa for their work with nano-bots the researchers programmed the nano-bots to create different shapes. The reason they were rewarded was their contribution to nanotechnology.  This is important because that means nano-bots if further developed could possibly one day be used in surgery, civil engineering, environmental science, also in organic, inorganic chemistry,  zoology, industry, and, social anthropology.  



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