C.S. Wu and the lack of a Nobel Prize

March 8, 2010 at 8:47 am 4 comments

If you can understand German, you should read a new entry at Diax’s Rake called Chien-Shiung Wu zerbricht die Physik (“Chien-Shiung shatters physics”). Jörg Rings describes succinctly the principles of her famous experiment demonstrating parity violation in the weak interactions – for which she did not receive the Nobel Prize.

C.S. Wu photo

I find this essay from Jörg particularly well-timed for today, which is International Women’s Day.

NIST has a nice exhibit called The Fall of Parity where you can learn more about C.S. Wu’s experiment, and Columbia University gives a short blurb about her career there.

For public activities in particle physics to honor female physicists, see the links and other information I posted some days ago, here.

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Entry filed under: Outreach.

One cavity resonating, the other not OPERA measured the cosmic muon charge ratio

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Joerg  |  March 8, 2010 at 9:07 am

    Thanks for linking 🙂

    Yes, the timing was no coincidence! It is unfortunate enough that so few women had the chance to become scientists, even more troubling is that the Nobel-worthy achievements of many female physicists has not been recognized.

    Reply
  • 2. Michael Schmitt  |  March 8, 2010 at 9:10 am

    I hope that academic institutions around the world will eradicate this weird reluctance to recognize those female scientists who are excellent. Today’s activities will at least remind people to think about it for a short while.

    Reply
  • 3. Deepak  |  March 10, 2010 at 7:59 am

    Just last night I was thinking how useless the Nobel prizes are as a “global” award. How many women and minorities has the Nobel committee overlooked? C. S. Wu, E. C. G. Sudarshan …. the list is much longer.

    The prize as a symbol of excellence in physics is an oxymoron. In my opinion it has little value except for the cash award of course 😉

    Reply
    • 4. Michael Schmitt  |  March 10, 2010 at 8:28 am

      I suppose the idea is to correct the awarding of the prize so that it is more equitable in the future. This can only be done by analyzing the mistakes and biases of the past – and present.

      Reply

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