Friday, October 14, 2005

So Near Yet So Far

Nobody knows if it was supposed to be that big. But somehow it turned out to be that. The most recognizable reward for a Physicist (or for an Economist and so on). Like any other subjective award - its often not fair - but that has not taken off the glitter a bit. The Swedish Prize as it colloquially referred to, is still the ultimate laurel in the field.

And amazingly - we almost had a winner this year. Like many of the illastrious Physics programs across the country - we dont have Nobel Laureates walking down the hallway - so this indeed means a lot to an emerging program like us. The Physics Nobel this year has been partially awarded to Roy Glauber from Harvard "for his contribution to the quantum theory of optical coherence.”. UF Physics and Mathematics Professor John Klauder helped to work out the mathematical theory of this phenomenon.

Part of the citation reads: “The mathematical formalism of quantized fields was developed in parallel with Glauber’s work on their applications. E.C.G. Sudarshan drew attention to the use of coherent state representations for the approach to classical physics; at this point he refers to Glauber’s work. Together with J.R. Klauder he proceeded to develop the mathematical formalism of Quantum Optics; their approach is presented in their textbook. After the initial contributions, many authors applied Glauber’s results to the rapidly evolving experimental situation in optical physics, thus creating the field today called ‘Quantum Optics’.”

We felt that Klauder deserved more than just a mention - afterall Glauber used and extended his formalism of Coherent States in Quantum Optics. But alas that did not happen. And we still await a Nobel Prize winner from UF Physics.

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