back to article British trio win Nobel prize for physics

A trio of British scientists working in US universities have been awarded this year's Nobel prize for physics. The prize will be shared by David Thouless (82), Duncan Haldane (65) and Michael Kosterlitz (76) for their work on exotic states of matter. The men will share the 8 million Swedish kronor (£720,000) prize. Thouless …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "A trio of British scientists working in US universities have been awarded this year's Nobel prize"

    Sums up the state of UK science funding, Hammond get your wallet out.

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      The brain drain.

      We don't respect clever people enough.

      is kool 2b fik innit.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        The UK brain drain sounds much like what goes on in Oz. The politicians talk about science this and smart economy that, but it's far easier to earn way too much money just being a drill monkey or nailgun maniac. The mining boom has left a legacy of thick shits that got paid far too well and an poorly funded education sector where too many people now think the streets are paved with gold as long as they wear a fluoro jacket.

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        "We don't respect clever people enough."

        Yeah, we're "sick of experts". Apparently.

    2. tojb

      Sums up the history of UK science funding, and other things

      Thouless moved to the US in the fifties to do his doctorate with the (German, somewhat Jewish) renowned nuclear physicist Hans Bethe.

      The attractiveness of a venue for your research career is mostly determined by the environment: secure post, non-invasive bureaucracy, company of accomplished scientists you can hope to learn from.

      Resources for research and a non-insulting salary are something but they are relatively unimportant. The UK is on a relatively good footing at the moment because the US has joined it in a race to the bottom in terms of a managerialistic ("work-like") culture.

  2. Your alien overlord - fear me

    Shouldn't these guys have retired at 65?

    1. Roger Greenwood

      Top boffins never retire, they just go off the payroll:-

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge

      What are they going to do, stop thinking or stop working on a theory that they might have started five or ten years ago?

  3. Alister

    "This year’s Laureates opened the door on an unknown world where matter can assume strange states"

    or "Milton Keynes" as it's more commonly known...

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Yay! 1980s is back!

  4. Andy The Hat Silver badge

    Inaccurate reporting ...

    "Haldane discovered how topological concepts can be used to understand the properties ..."

    Get real!

    No mere mortals have a hope of understanding it! But whatever it is it's probably brilliant ... :-)

    Meanwhile, if anyone finds one, I appear to have lost the inside of my Klein bottle ...

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

      Re: Inaccurate reporting ...

      "Why did the chicken cross the Möbius strip?"

      "To get on the same side."

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is this Nobel prize credited against the UK or the US?

    1. Chris G Silver badge

      Ivan , the US a place with many regions existing in different states many of which display wierd properties

    2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      place credit

      Purely as an observation, Cambridge UK occasionally mentions how many Nobel laureates they have and a fair proportion of those were born abroad, so if the US wants to claim these three then the UK can hardly object.

      It probably ought to be credited to the institution(s) that supported them when they did most of the work.

  6. Scott Broukell

    So it's like the . . . .

    Top Ology of the Year award?

    <gets coat>

    1. Roger Varley

      Re: So it's like the . . . .

      I would also start running if I were you ...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: So it's like the . . . .

        [Splutter! Splutter!]

        Top Ology! Get the taffer!

  7. Frumious Bandersnatch

    David Thouless

    Wasn't he in Naked?

  8. Dr Patrick J R Harkin

    I don't believe "stange states" of matter explain everything.

    OK, superconductors, I give you that. And quantum entanglement, obviously. Galactic over-spinning. Event horizons. Bose-Einstein condensates. Yes, yes, yes.

    But Donald Trump? Nothing's THAT strange!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I don't believe "stange states" of matter explain everything.

      After a few pints of Theakston's Old Peculier, everything is in a "stange state".

      1. Conundrum1885

        Re: I don't believe "strange states" of matter explain everything.

        I did read somewhere that a possible approach to HTSC beyond 163K in cuprates is to replace the copper with magnesium, as the resonating valence bond theory suggests that the heavy metal oxide-oxide-metal- layering structure is more important than the elements in it.

        As Mg is *almost* identical to copper in many ways substituting Mg into YBCO copper sites could also superconduct and this has indeed been documented, with Sr substituting for Ba also giving a boost to Tc.

        The critical temperature seems to be a factor of periodic compression so the actual upper limit for cuprates may be as high as 270K.

    2. sunnyskyguy

      Re: I don't believe "stange states" of matter explain everything.

      Trump fits the standard psychological profile with many symptoms common to: a mild bipolar person with delusions of grandeur, pathological liar, illogical (uses many of Aristotle's 144 fallacies) bully syndrome, self-centered egotistic but with low self-esteem, denial of culpability, the deflector of truth, the perfector of diverting blame, the master of half-truths, the pretender of great self-integrity ( no drink and smoke is not enough) and the mistaken leader who doesn't care what others think as long as he gets his way or else you will be a victim of his revenge. but with strong opinions and never loses an argument due to his exceptionally talented/ignorant use of fallacy. He has built a political empire capability of withstanding any attack from seemingly irrational actions but are very rational from a point of view of person who will put himself above every law. Already he has thwarted Nepotism, Money Laundering in his vast empire of Trump Towers, taunting Russians to tamper Hillary's e-mail

      ... not to mention that morality and ethics are voids in his clean-cut yet fake blonde and orange personal image.

  9. EBG

    antiproton weight probe

    Nope. The experiment measured inertial mass, not gavitational mass.

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