The winners of this year's Nobel Prize in Physics have been announced, and there are some serious commonalities between fields of research that deserve noting.
According to the highly respected body, this year's awards were given "for groundbreaking contributions to our understanding of complex systems." The prize of $1 million-plus prize was split between three different scientists who, in their own way, pushed the boundaries of physics to new frontiers thanks to their research. Half of the prize was then split in half to two respective experts in the field. Syukuro Manabe of Princeton University and Klaus Hasselmann from Germany's Max Planck Institute for Meteorology took home over a quarter of a million each for their joint efforts in the project. The two respected scientists were awarded "for the physical modeling of Earth's climate, quantifying variability and reliably predicting global warming."
The other $500,000 or so went to Giorgio Parisi, a physicist from the Sapienza Univerity in Rome, Italy. His work focused on studying "the interplay of disorder and fluctuations in physical systems from atomic to planetary scales." And while the two fields of research were separate and unique in nature, they also had certain commonalities which spoke to the current state of the environment and the efforts needed to understand humanity's right course.
According to Science News, Giorgio Parisi, Syukuro Manabe, and Klaus Hasselmann's work all achieved their means by a similar method. They isolated precise elements of a complex system, thus creating a mathematical depiction of a natural element. By breaking these complex ideas into smaller, more digestible aspects, the three researchers were able to make leaps and bounds in studying the natural world that scientists of the past could only dream of. As Brown University's physicist Brad Marston explained, "There's an art to constructing a model that is rich enough to give you interesting and perhaps surprising results, but simple enough that you can hope to understand it."
A huge round of applause for this year's winners of the Noble Prize in Physics, and be sure to check back soon for more updates from the scientific world.