This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site you agree to our use of cookies. To find out more, see our Privacy and Cookies policy.
Skip to the content

Share this

Free weekly newswire

Sign up to receive all our latest news direct to your inbox.

Physics on film

100 Second Science Your scientific questions answered simply by specialists in less than 100 seconds.

Watch now

Bright Recruits

At all stages of your career – whether you're an undergraduate, graduate, researcher or industry professional – can help find the job for you.

Find your perfect job

Physics connect

Are you looking for a supplier? Physics Connect lists thousands of scientific companies, businesses, non-profit organizations, institutions and experts worldwide.

Start your search today


A quick Nobel quiz

By Matin Durrani

DSCN1913.JPG<br src=”” width=162 height=227>
Martinus ? ? Veltman

It’s Friday afternoon here at Physics World HQ, and my colleagues and I were just looking at the programme for the 2010 Nobel Laureate Meeting in Lindau, Germany — an annual bash where Nobel prize-winners and students from around the world meet up to chew the fat and think big thoughts.

This summer’s meeting features laureates from all disciplines but there are stacks of physicists among them.

The programme looks great — but what caught our eye was that German organizers have very kindly included the middle names of all the laureates who are speaking.

So here’s our quiz for today. Just for fun, it’s your job to guess the middle names of the following laureates. In each case we’ve given a clue.

John Mather — shared the 2006 prize with George Smoot for their work on the anisotrophy of the cosmic background radiation (CMB)
Clue: think English Civil War.

George Smoot — see above
Clue — think The Great Gatsby

Robert Wilson — shared the 1978 prize for discovering the CMB
Clue — think a US president with the same last name.

James Cronin — shared the 1980 prize for symmetry violation in K-mesons
Clue — think a Nobel prize-winning biologist with the same first name.

Martinus Veltman — shared the 1999 prize for electroweak interactions
Clue — he has two middle names. Er, think Latin.

Robert Laughlin — shared the 1998 prize for fractional quantum fluids.
Clue — what he does if he puts money on it.

Add your comments below. I’ll update the blog in a day or two with the answers. In the meantime, no Googling — where’s the fun in that?

Update: Monday 31 May
OK so here are the answers: John Cromwell Mather, George Fitzgerald Smoot, Robert Woodrow Wilson, James Watson Cronin, Martinus Justinus Godefriedus Veltman, Robert Betts Laughlin.

This entry was posted in General. Bookmark the permalink.
View all posts by this author  | View this author's profile

Comments are closed.


  • Comments should be relevant to the article and not be used to promote your own work, products or services.
  • Please keep your comments brief (we recommend a maximum of 250 words).
  • We reserve the right to remove excessively long, inappropriate or offensive entries.

Show/hide formatting guidelines

Tag Description Example Output
<a> Hyperlink <a href="">google</a> google
<abbr> Abbreviation <abbr title="World Health Organisation" >WHO</abbr> WHO
<acronym> Acronym <acronym title="as soon as possible">ASAP</acronym> ASAP
<b> Bold <b>Some text</b> Some text
<blockquote> Quoted from another source <blockquote cite="">IOP</blockquote>
<cite> Cite <cite>Diagram 1</cite> Diagram 1
<del> Deleted text From this line<del datetime="2012-12-17"> this text was deleted</del> From this line this text was deleted
<em> Emphasized text In this line<em> this text was emphasised</em> In this line this text was emphasised
<i> Italic <i>Some text</i> Some text
<q> Quotation WWF goal is to build a future <q cite="">
where people live in harmony with nature and animals</q>
WWF goal is to build a future
where people live in harmony with nature and animals
<strike> Strike text <strike>Some text</strike> Some text
<strong> Stronger emphasis of text <strong>Some text</strong> Some text