Register FAQ Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

2018-09-05, 04:30   #2223
LaurV
Romulan Interpreter

"name field"
Jun 2011
Thailand

24×613 Posts

Quote:
 Originally Posted by rogue We Discovered Helium 150 Years Ago. Are We Running Out?
Happy birthday Helium!

2018-09-05, 07:45   #2224
LaurV
Romulan Interpreter

"name field"
Jun 2011
Thailand

265016 Posts

Quote:
 Originally Posted by rogue The New Science of Seeing Around Corners
Ha, We knew that there is a better method, but we were not sure what it was... then we sent this to the little LaurV and she replied:

2018-09-08, 06:03   #2225
ewmayer
2ω=0

Sep 2002
República de California

22·3·7·139 Posts

Quote:
 Originally Posted by LaurV Happy birthday Helium!
I suggest we all take snorts of the stuff from a balloon or tank and sing Happy Birthday in our newfound soprano voices.

------------------------

Why Brazil’s Museum Fire Matters | Scientific American - A kind of modern-day version of the burning of the great library at Alexandria by Roman forces:
Quote:
 This week, as the National Museum of Brazil filled with fire, the world learned about its vast holdings: over 20 million pieces of our history since the Pleistocene. These items—most of them now destroyed—included sarcophagi from Egypt, frescos from Pompeii, one of the oldest human skeletons found in Americas, and the largest assemblage of Brazilian archaeological material in the world. Collectively the individual items formed collections resulting from 200 years of curation, research, and care by people whose work illuminated and preserved our past. In the wake of the conflagration, there is dawning despair about further losses that can’t be counted or measured…the loss of knowledge that still hasn't been explored.
Jocelyn Bell Burnell wins $3 million prize for discovering pulsars | Ars Technica - another entry in the "WTF was the Nobel committee thinking?" pantheon. Consider the discrimination she faced just in getting an education: Quote:  Bell Burnell was born in Northern Ireland in 1943. Her father, an architect, often took her to visit the Armagh Planetarium, which he helped design, and the staff there encouraged her to pursue astronomy. The family was Quaker, a religious sect that traditionally supports women's education. There was just one problem: girls weren't allowed to study science at the local school. "It was automatically assumed that the girls did domestic science, like cookery and needlework," says Bell Burnell. "The boys did science, and there was no discussion and no other options." This upset young Jocelyn, as well as her parents, who angrily phoned the headmaster to protest. So did two other sets of parents with daughters keen to study science. The headmaster caved, and when the class next convened, the three girls were there, inexplicably seated right by the teacher's desk. "I don't think he had ever taught girls before," she says. "Clearly we were dynamite or something. Revolutions sometimes make other people uncomfortable, don't they?" She got top scores in her exams. But at 11, Bell Burnell failed the standard British examination that would have enabled her to pursue higher education. It wasn't until just a few years ago that she learned the education authorities at the time set a higher passing mark for girls than for boys, because the girls were passing the test in far greater numbers. "Women didn't have careers, they became housewives," she says. "So the authorities became concerned about the number of girls cluttering up the academic stream, when it was the boys who needed that education." (For those tempted to argue this no longer happens, just last month The Washington Post reported that Tokyo Medical University artificially lowered the entrance exam scores of women students to limit the number of female doctors in its program.) "I was quite upset by failing that exam," Bell Burnell admits, but her parents were undeterred, sending her to boarding school in England. There, she flourished under the tutelage of an inspiring physics teacher, and she continued to place at or near the top of all her classes. She majored in physics at Glasgow University and was accepted to Cambridge University as a graduate student. "But there was still this failure lurking in my psyche," she says. Ms. Burnell even went out of her way to make excuses for her omission by the Nobel committee: Quote:  Bell Burnell received her PhD in 1969. [Thesis advisor Anthony] Hewish won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1974 for the discovery of the first pulsars, sharing the honor with fellow astronomer Martin Ryle. Noticeably absent from the citation: the woman who pored through all those records and made the actual discovery. The omission infuriated many astronomers who felt Bell Burnell had been unfairly overlooked, but she herself is much more circumspect about that controversial decision, pointing out that she was still a graduate student at the time. "I believe it would demean Nobel Prizes if they were awarded to research students, except in very exceptional cases, and I do not believe this is one of them," she said during an after-dinner speech at the New York Academy of Sciences in 1977. That point is arguable, but there was another strategic reason for not awarding the prize to a lowly graduate student, according to Bell Burnell: it set a significant precedent. At the time, no astronomer had received a Nobel Prize, because there was no such prize for astronomy (nor is there one for mathematics). "It took a long, long time until the physics community recognized that there was good physics in astronomy, and it was the discovery of these pulsars that convinced them," she says. Actually, what demeans Nobel prizes is the kind of rampant discrimination in their awarding illustrated above. And the 'At the time, no astronomer had received a Nobel Prize' note in the last quoted paragraph above is ludicrous, because both Hewish and Ryle were astronomers, as the article notes a few paragraphs before. Last fiddled with by ewmayer on 2018-09-08 at 06:05 2018-09-08, 14:12 #2226 GP2 Sep 2003 A1916 Posts Quote: Originally Posted by ewmayer Jocelyn Bell Burnell wins$3 million prize for discovering pulsars | Ars Technica - another entry in the "WTF was the Nobel committee thinking?" pantheon. Consider the discrimination she faced just in getting an education:

Quote:
 But at 11, Bell Burnell failed the standard British examination that would have enabled her to pursue higher education. It wasn't until just a few years ago that she learned the education authorities at the time set a higher passing mark for girls than for boys, because the girls were passing the test in far greater numbers. "Women didn't have careers, they became housewives," she says. "So the authorities became concerned about the number of girls cluttering up the academic stream, when it was the boys who needed that education." (For those tempted to argue this no longer happens, just last month The Washington Post reported that Tokyo Medical University artificially lowered the entrance exam scores of women students to limit the number of female doctors in its program.)
And today there are too many Asians cluttering up the academic stream, and universities like Harvard artificially lower their "personality trait" scores to limit the number of Asian students on campus.

Plus ça change...

Yeah, I know this has become a Trump administration talking point. Doesn't matter. In this specific case, they're not wrong.

2018-09-08, 19:02   #2227
Dr Sardonicus

Feb 2017
Nowhere

120168 Posts

Quote:
 Originally Posted by ewmayer Jocelyn Bell Burnell wins \$3 million prize for discovering pulsars | Ars Technica - another entry in the "WTF was the Nobel committee thinking?" pantheon.
If you mean scientific luminaries whose achievements merited but never received a Nobel, "pantheon" is a good word for that. But if you mean an extensive list of failures by the Committee to give Nobel Prizes for outstanding work, maybe "panoply" would be better.

I am ever bemused by the fact that Albert Einstein's Nobel was for his paper on the photoelectric effect. That paper did a great deal to promote the development of quantum physics, to which Einstein had a strong aversion. He never got a Nobel either for his theory of Special Relativity (published the same year as his paper on the photoelectric effect), or his theory of General Relativity.

Quote:
 Actually, what demeans Nobel prizes is the kind of rampant discrimination in their awarding illustrated above. And the 'At the time, no astronomer had received a Nobel Prize' note in the last quoted paragraph above is ludicrous, because both Hewish and Ryle were astronomers, as the article notes a few paragraphs before.
WRT astronomy, there is also the Nobel awarded to Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar for whom the Chandrasekhar limit is named -- the mass (about 1.44 solar masses) above which gravity overcomes "electron pressure" so a star's collapse does not stop at the "white dwarf" stage. Instead the collapse continues either to a neutron star or a black hole.

OK, he was an astrophysicist, not an astronomer, but hey -- physics is physics, and his award-winning work was directly related to pulsars.

2018-09-08, 21:01   #2228
ewmayer
2ω=0

Sep 2002
República de California

22·3·7·139 Posts

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Dr Sardonicus If you mean scientific luminaries whose achievements merited but never received a Nobel, "pantheon" is a good word for that. But if you mean an extensive list of failures by the Committee to give Nobel Prizes for outstanding work, maybe "panoply" would be better.
Yes, I was referring to the list of luminaries - before Bell, other deserving women spring instantly to mind, e.g. Lise Meitner and Rosalind Franklin. I'm sure there are plenty more.

Quote:
 I am ever bemused by the fact that Albert Einstein's Nobel was for his paper on the photoelectric effect. That paper did a great deal to promote the development of quantum physics, to which Einstein had a strong aversion. He never got a Nobel either for his theory of Special Relativity (published the same year as his paper on the photoelectric effect), or his theory of General Relativity. WRT astronomy, there is also the Nobel awarded to Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar for whom the Chandrasekhar limit is named -- the mass (about 1.44 solar masses) above which gravity overcomes "electron pressure" so a star's collapse does not stop at the "white dwarf" stage. Instead the collapse continues either to a neutron star or a black hole. OK, he was an astrophysicist, not an astronomer, but hey -- physics is physics, and his award-winning work was directly related to pulsars.
With Einstein, the Nobel committee had the luxury of having any of the 3 topics of his famous 'annus mirabilis' - Brownian motion, Photoelectric Effect and Special Relativity - to choose from. Since SR - which is really just the notion that the by-then-well-known Lorentz transformations were more than a mathematical curiosity but that in fact the universe really did behave that way - was considered quite radical at the time, they picked one of the safer topics, basically a "we're not sure which of these will prove most important in the future or in fact whether all will prove true, but we are sure that he deserves a Nobel for at least one of them" choice. I thought he deserved a 2nd Nobel for General Relativity, which would have provided the perfect opportunity for the Nobel committee to remedy the earlier 'safe topic' choice. Note - getting back to the 'overlooked women' that there are also those who claim his first wife Mileva was in fact a key collaborator in the SR work, but nothing in their correspondence or her other scientific work indicates she was anything more than an emotional support, IMO.

Re. Chandrasekhar, he also did important work in the area of my PhD work, hydrodynamic stability. (His astrophysics work also added the related topic of hydromagnetic stability.)

Last fiddled with by ewmayer on 2018-09-08 at 21:03

2018-09-08, 23:29   #2229
GP2

Sep 2003

5·11·47 Posts

Quote:
 Originally Posted by ewmayer Yes, I was referring to the list of luminaries - before Bell, other deserving women spring instantly to mind, e.g. Lise Meitner and Rosalind Franklin. I'm sure there are plenty more.
Rosalind Franklin died at age 37, and Nobel prizes aren't awarded posthumously. Alas.

2018-09-09, 00:33   #2230
ewmayer
2ω=0

Sep 2002
República de California

101101100111002 Posts

Quote:
 Originally Posted by GP2 Rosalind Franklin died at age 37, and Nobel prizes aren't awarded posthumously. Alas.
Yes, I conflated two pet peeves re. the Nobels - sexism and recipient-must-be-living-ness - here. Among recent examples of the inanity of the latter criterion are Peter Higgs, whose hypothesizing of the particle which now bears his name was only Nobel-ized when he was in his mid-80s.

2018-09-09, 01:24   #2231
retina
Undefined

"The unspeakable one"
Jun 2006
My evil lair

189E16 Posts

Quote:
 Originally Posted by ewmayer Among recent examples of the inanity of the latter criterion are Peter Higgs, whose hypothesizing of the particle which now bears his name was only Nobel-ized when he was in his mid-80s.
I don't expect they will award prizes for something that isn't proven. So the lesson here is if you want to win a Nobel don't hypothesise something that will take many decades before proof is found. You might be dead before it is proved, or simply be too old to enjoy the rewards.

2018-09-09, 01:57   #2232
Dr Sardonicus

Feb 2017
Nowhere

2×17×151 Posts

Quote:
 Originally Posted by ewmayer Yes, I conflated two pet peeves re. the Nobels - sexism and recipient-must-be-living-ness - here. Among recent examples of the inanity of the latter criterion are Peter Higgs, whose hypothesizing of the particle which now bears his name was only Nobel-ized when he was in his mid-80s.
In passing over women for awards, Nobel Committees appear to be acting in an arbitrary and capricious fashion. In not awarding posthumously, they are just following the rules. Fields Medals are only awarded to young mathematicians.

When it comes to awards not granted, I believe the Nobel Committees are outdone by the Board of Longitude, which refused to award the Longitude Prize to anyone. John Harrison, who designed and built the first practical marine chronometer, surely deserved it. He did receive compensation, due in part to having lived to a ripe old age. From the Wikipedia page on John Harrison,
Quote:
 Harrison began working on his second 'sea watch' (H5) while testing was conducted on the first, which Harrison felt was being held hostage by the Board. After three years he had had enough; Harrison felt "extremely ill used by the gentlemen who I might have expected better treatment from" and decided to enlist the aid of King George III. He obtained an audience with the King, who was extremely annoyed with the Board. King George tested the watch No.2 (H5) himself at the palace and after ten weeks of daily observations between May and July in 1772, found it to be accurate to within one third of one second per day. King George then advised Harrison to petition Parliament for the full prize after threatening to appear in person to dress them down. Finally in 1773, when he was 80 years old, Harrison received a monetary award in the amount of £8,750 from Parliament for his achievements, but he never received the official award (which was never awarded to anyone). He was to survive for just three more years.

2018-09-09, 20:45   #2233
ewmayer
2ω=0

Sep 2002
República de California

22×3×7×139 Posts

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Dr Sardonicus When it comes to awards not granted, I believe the Nobel Committees are outdone by the Board of Longitude, which refused to award the Longitude Prize to anyone. John Harrison, who designed and built the first practical marine chronometer, surely deserved it. He did receive compensation, due in part to having lived to a ripe old age. From the Wikipedia page on John Harrison,
For the history around that story, I highly recommend Dava Sobel's Longitude to anyone who's not yet read it.

 Similar Threads Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post ewmayer Lounge 39 2015-05-19 01:08 ewmayer Science & Technology 41 2014-04-16 11:54 cheesehead Soap Box 56 2013-06-29 01:42 cheesehead Soap Box 61 2013-06-11 04:30 Dubslow Programming 19 2012-05-31 17:49

All times are UTC. The time now is 14:51.

Sun Dec 5 14:51:28 UTC 2021 up 135 days, 9:20, 1 user, load averages: 1.44, 1.40, 1.24