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Blog

A quick Nobel quiz

By Matin Durrani

DSCN1913.JPG<br src=”http://physicsworld.com/blog/veltman.jpg” 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.

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