Wait for 20 years to win a Nobel prize!

Last Updated: Sunday, April 13, 2014 - 04:14

Zee Media Bureau

Washington: Considering the fact about the time dilation in Nobel Prize Awards, a study found that expiring laureates may die waiting for their medal.

It said candidates often have to wait more than 20 years in order to get this highest of scientific accolades.

According to a Correspondence by Santo Fortunato of Aalto University in Finland and colleagues, such nail-biting delays are becoming the norm- to the point that aspiring laureates may themselves have expired by the time the medal is due to be presented.
Before 1940, Nobel prizes were awarded more than 20 years after the original discovery for only about 11 percent, 15 percent and 24 percent of physics, chemistry and physiology or medicine prizes, respectively.

But by 1985, delays of this order were featuring in 60 percent, 52 percent and 45 percent of the awards in these respective fields. And the wait could be much longer in some cases.

For instance, noted Indian-American astrophysicist Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar shared the 1983 Nobel prize in physics for his work on stellar structure and evolution that was done in the 1930s.
Professor Fortunato and co-authors find that average waiting times are continuing to increase exponentially.

As the wait lengthens, so the average age at which laureates are awarded the prize goes up.

By the end of this century the predicted average age among prizewinners for receiving the award could even exceed his or her life expectancy.

The study is published in the journal Nature.

Fortunato said that now, since Nobel prize cannot be awarded posthumously, this lag threatens to undermine science`s most venerable institution.

With Agency Inputs



First Published: Sunday, April 13, 2014 - 04:14

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