From June 29th through July 4th, 25 Nobel laureates and over 550 young scientists from all over the world are gathering in Lindau, Germany, at the 58th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings. This year’s meeting is dedicated to physics.
Beatrice Lugger, managing editor of ScienceBlogs.de, is in Lindau and will be sending her impressions of the meeting daily through July 4.
ScienceBlogs.de is also undertaking a German-language blog covering the meetings, here. Additionally, keep an eye out for short video interviews, in English, of Nobelists at Lindau on the ScienceBlogs homepage. Here are the firstand second daily dispatches.
It was midnight, the band played “Sex Bomb,” and all were shaking. Physicists dance as long as they can. We have fact-checked this. Even after the band stopped playing, some didn’t want to leave. The get-together-evening was a lot of fun. More dancing physicist photos here.
Climate Debate: A Lot of Hot Air
Laura and Wolfgang, bloggers at the ScienceBlogs.de blog on the Meetings, report on the Climate Panel:
Most of the panelists themselves said: “I’m no expert.”
Today eight Nobel laureates spoke with Hans Joachim Schellnhuber of the PIK in Potsdam about climate change and energy challenges. As an idea by the organizers of the Lindau Nobel Laureates Meeting, this sounded great at first. Some of the leading thinkers in physics coming up with new ideas. But as we had to learn this noon, they are not experts on climate change, and even experts have their problems, as we know.
We learned: Nuclear fusion is not an option (Jack Steinberger); biofuels are bad (Hartmut Michel); Norway gets warmer, but so what? (Ivar Giaever); we need more research (Klaus von Klitzing); usable powers are nuclear or solar (Carlo Rubbia); the public should not fear nuclear power plants (Douglas Osheroff)…and there’s a 60 percent chance that climate change really is made by humans. Beatrice speculates that it’s all a lot of hot air.
The Coldest Place In the Universe
This afternoon the scientific leader at CERN, Jos Engelen, and the Leader of the Large Hadron Collider Project, Lyn Evans, gave insights with a live stream and a discussion with Nobel Laureates. Florian of ScienceBlogs.de reports:
“The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is really a huge thing! A 34-mile tunnel, gigantic detectors—and all this must be cooled in order to function optimally. And ‘cool’ doesn’t mean that there are a few air conditioners. The whole machine has to be cooled down to 1.9 Kelvin to operate efficiently.”
This is even colder than space with a temperature of 2.7 Kelvin. So CERN will be the coldest place in the universe. More about astrophysics, cosmology and CERN in the lectures tomorrow!
Macroproteins look like dreadlocks combined in secret, complicated ways, and huge effort is needed to get insight into their structures. This was the topic of this morning’s lecture by the Nobel laureates Johann Deisenhofer, Hartmut Michel, and Robert Huber, who where honored with the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1988, for determining the three-dimensional structure of a photosynthetic reaction center.
Finally, you can now check out Monday’s highlights on video.