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It’s the second daily dispatch from the 58th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings by Beatrice Lugger, Managing Editor of

Previous entry here.

International Dialogue
They come from all over the world to join this meeting and to communicate with each other. And what happens? They stare at their computers, read emails and Skype. But good luck—some of them are still used to the usual way of communication.

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How Long Nobel Laureates Live
Lots of the young researchers are interested in this question (I’ve learned the youngest is only 21 years old). Ivar Giaever revealed one of the mysteries of the Nobel Prizes: To get the prize is not so difficult—and the award is kind of a guarantee for a long life. Two scientists have studied the statistics of total lifespan of Nobel laureates and “mere” nominees. The result: the laureates live longer. “So it is worthwhile to win it,” said Klitzing (laureate in physics 1985).

Openness on the Panels
Laura writes about the morning panels of Monday, June 30th: “You see, the laureates are completely free with their lectures. They tell us anecdotes of their lab life, give hints for upcoming research fields and talk about their new theories and studies.”

Who Wonders About Quantum Mechanics?
In the press conference at noon the laureates have been asked what quantum mechanics means today and if it still is something strange. William Phillips answered this question in his style: “Whoever isn’t surprised by quantum mechanics hasn’t understood what it means.” But he told us about a new and reasonable idea. What would happen if schoolchildren weren’t taught classical physics with gravity and so on at first, but rather quantum behavior of the smallest particles? Maybe they wouldn’t wonder at all?

More Topics From Today

Theodor Hänsch talked about his steps to building a quantum lab on a chip. Microfabricated magnetic traps, waveguides, and other elements for the manipulation of ultracold atoms can be combined to form a quantum laboratory on a microchip. Devices such as miniaturized atom lasers, atom interferometers, and atomic clocks have been implemented in this way. Atom chips are also offering intriguing perspectives for quantum simulations and quantum information processing. Recent experiments at Munich will be reviewed.

And the Lectures in Brief
Theodor Hänsch has given views into his recent work on the operation of a quantum laboratory on a microchip. Maybe necessary for quantum computers. Well, so far lasers are our friends. We use them in GPS, for eye surgeries and more. We need them. For researchers, they are tools for cutting, measuring, mapping, energy transmission—and with the help of laser spectroscopy, they can always look closer into the interior of atoms. The latest initiative of the Max-Planck-Institute is the 80 Attosecondlaserlight.

Klaus von Klitzing presented new electronic circuitry, which will no longer be based on silicon but carbon. He means not diamond or pencil lead, but rather nanotubes and graphene (monoatomar layers of carbon).

i-1651bb1b4e0f0a528f32ef786466acad-Hall Haensch Philips Klitzing.jpgLaureates Hall, Hänsch, Phillips, and Klitzing.

Peter Grünberg reported about his studies of standing spinwaves and surface waves in layered magnetic structures and the Giant Magnetoresistance (GMR) thereafter.

i-aff4f2bdb98c6b70d6093b70653a213f-Klitzing, Giaver, Grnberg.jpgLaureates Klitzing, Giaever, and Grünberg

Ivar Giaver recollected some of the events that led to his discovery of superconducting tunnelling and gave us some of the fun and excitement of that area.

William D. Phillips talked about the intersection of condensed matter and atomic physics and how laser cooling of atoms may produce bosons and fermions.

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Laureate Douglas D. Osheroff is interviewed by Team Sb—watch the ScienceBlogs homepage for video footage.