Pure? Applied? Just good science

http://www.npr.org/2012/10/09/162599929/nobel-physics-close-enough-for-government-work

<a href="http://amacrojot.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/20121009-224113.jpg”>20121009-224113.jpg

Two scientists who invented methods to observe and measure the behavior of tiny particles, a key step toward developing powerful quantum computers, were awarded the Nobel Prize in physics today.

Working independently, American David J. Wineland of the National Institute of Standards and Technology and Serge Haroche of France developed ways to study individual particles of matter and light without destroying them, a feat that was previously thought to be impossible because quantum particles lose their special properties when anything interacts with them.

The nice part here is that wineland is the 4the Nobel prize from this lab since 1997. In the old style of thinking national labs do applied science, and the academics do the thinking (the pure science). But this shows how outdated this model. Now, everyone does both. Congratulations David, now go and get that quantum computer working.

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3 comments on “Pure? Applied? Just good science

  1. I like how these scientists were just trying to make better clocks when they discovered this whole field of quantum computing was discovered. These computers they are trying to create are amazingly powerful. I also like that the scientist David Wineland was so humble in his discoveries. I don’t mind our tax dollars used for this kind of work as opposed to being used on people that don’t work at all: hopefully this turns into something practical as well!

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  2. I wish I could understand that magnitude of quantum physics and what their studies proved, but obviously, this is incredible enough for a Nobel Prize. I wonder what this will mean for the technology and other advancements of our future. The final paragraph was particularly interesting concerning the debate between the applied science labs vs. academic scholars, and I think it is pretty cool that they were able to prove such ways of thinking wrong. I definitely would like to learn more.

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