2021 Nobel Prize in Physics was announced

Since 2016, the trophy of the Nobel Prize in Physics has been raised by three physicists, and this year is no exception.

On October 5th, the Nobel Prize in Physics was jointly awarded to Japanese meteorologist Syukuro Manabe, German meteorologist Klaus Hasselmann, and Italian physicist Giorgio Parisi (Giorgio Parisi).

Although three people won the prize, the Nobel Prize this time actually laid a "double yolk". Different "egg yolks" represent a different field of research.

Shuro Manabe and Klaus shared half of the bonus. Shuro Manabe laid the foundation for the establishment of contemporary climate models in the 1960s, and Klaus answered why the climate model works in a changing and chaotic weather. The question is still reliable. They won the Nobel Prize for their pioneering work in climate modelling. Everyone took a quarter of the prize money.

It is Italian physicist George Parisi who enjoys half of the prize. As a theoretical physicist, he studies quantum field theory, statistical mechanics and complex systems. This time he won the award because he discovered the interaction between disorder and fluctuation in physical systems ranging from atoms to planetary scales. One of the most important contributions of complex system theory.

▲ Winners of the 2021 Nobel Prize in Physics

Is the earth warming up? They found it was because of humans

Global warming is a term that everyone knows today, but to verify how much influence humans have in the process of global warming, we have to look at the two "meteorologists" who won the Nobel Prize in Physics this year. .

In the 1960s, Shuro Manabe discovered a numerical model that can reproduce and predict the climate of the entire earth on a computer based on the laws of physics. For the first time, this model clearly demonstrated the impact of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration on climate. Turning the attention of the international community to global warming led to the establishment of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Ten years after the advent of Manabe Shuro's model, Klaus Hasselman once again created a model that links weather and climate together, thus answering why the climate model is still reliable in the changing and chaotic weather The problem. He also discovered how to recognize the imprints of natural phenomena and human activities on the climate. These findings have been used to prove that the increase in atmospheric temperature is closely related to the carbon dioxide emitted by humans.

In 1967, the two meteorologists jointly published the paper "Atmospheric Heat Balance for a Given Relative Humidity Distribution", which ended the discussion about whether carbon dioxide was the culprit of global warming, and at the same time established a climate model that first produced physical real results. They explained the causes of climate change with the numerical value of the changes in the earth's energy balance caused by human or natural changes.

▲"Atmospheric heat balance with a given relative humidity distribution"

That is to say, although people have only been exposed to the concept of global warming in the 21st century, scientists have already proved the relevance of global warming and human activities 30 years ago, providing people with solutions to the problem of global warming. Certain theoretical basis.

It is worth mentioning that this is the first time that the Nobel Prize has been given to meteorologists. Before Shuro Manabe and Klaus Hasselman received the Nobel Prize in Physics as meteorologists, the relationship between meteorology and the Nobel Prize was that in 2007, it awarded the Nobel Peace Prize to the government. The Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) commends them to warn the world of the importance of global climate change.

In the final analysis, the "fate" of the Nobel Prize and meteorology still comes from global warming.

▲ IPCC

The Nobel Prize is popular and won, but most people don’t understand

Unlike a physicist who gave a meteorologist a small upset, George Parisi who took half of the prize money was a hot scholar predicted by the outside world before the award was announced.

Just take a look at his research field, you know that you still have a long way to go to understand his research contributions.

As a theoretical physicist, his work has had a huge impact on all branches of physical science, covering particle physics, critical phenomena, disordered systems, optimization theory and mathematical physics. In 1977, George Parisi and another scholar Guido Atarelli discovered the evolution equation together, which can accurately describe the distribution of quarks and gluons in protons and atomic nuclei.

▲ George Parisi

He is also a scholar who has made important contributions to disordered and complex systems. In 1980, he analyzed the replication method of the spin glass theory ("glass" is actually synonymous with long-range disorder), and proposed that the discovery of replication symmetry breaking is one of the most important achievements in the field of disordered systems. His discovery tells the world how random phenomena are governed by hidden rules.

Of course, the above paragraph may be a bit difficult to understand. It is better to understand his research through the scholar's own metaphor from the preface in the book "Spin Glass Theory and Other Theories" by George Parisi.

Studying rotating glass is like watching a human tragedy in a Shakespearean play. If you want to make friends with two people at the same time, but they hate each other, this can be frustrating. This is especially true in classic tragedies. On the stage, when friends and enemies with strong emotions meet, how can the tension in the room be minimized?

Not too interesting, not too optimistic.

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