Top quark and Bell's inequalities top PhysicsWeb Nobel poll
Oct 8, 1999
The 1999 Nobel Prize for Physics is likely to go to the physicists who discovered the top quark at Fermilab according to an informal PhysicsWeb poll. Research on Bell's inequalities was also tipped by PhysicsWeb readers, although the award would come too late for John Bell, who died in 1990. Other popular choices would be the observation of neutrino oscillations by the SuperKamiokande experiment in Japan, or the invention of the semiconductor laser - although this discovery is claimed by several labs in the US and Russia. The real winner will be announced by the Nobel Foundation next Tuesday.
Every year the Foundation asks 3000 physicists to nominate individuals for the prize, and compiles a short-list of 250 candidates. These names are then whittled down to a list of 30, from which the winners are chosen. Last year's prize was awarded for the experimental discovery of the fractional quantum Hall effect, and its theoretical explanation.