this year Nobel Prize in Physics The Nobel Committee has focused on our understanding of complex systems and the development of ways to predict how they will behave – from the world of atoms to the global scale.
Half of the prize is shared by two climatologists: Japan’s Seokuro Manabe from Princeton University in the USA and German Klaus Haselmann from the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg.
Manabe is a pioneer in climate research and was among the first to realize that an increase in the carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere would lead to higher temperatures at the Earth’s surface. In the 1960s, he developed climate models that took into account for the first time how the movements of air masses change when the temperature increased.
Warmer air rises and carries water vapor. Like carbon dioxide, steam acts as a greenhouse gas that drives it Global Warming. Manabe’s view of this dynamic is the basis for all climate models that scientists use today.
Like Manabe, Haselman has made important contributions to the development of climate models that can predict the effects of global warming. Not least, his insights into ocean warming helped models communicate in the long run Climate change With the changes in the weather we are seeing. In addition, his models have led to important evidence that global warming is caused by human activity.
Researcher in mathematics
The second half of this year’s Nobel Prize also goes to research in complex systems – but in an entirely different field. Italian Giorgio Baresi of Sapienza University in Rome received the award for his work on mapping seemingly chaotic structures in materials.
Unlike crystals, for example, where atoms are enclosed in rigid lattice structures, some materials have a more complex structure where the atoms are unordered. For example, they may have a different rotation or a different magnetic orientation.
Thus, in an iron-copper alloy, iron atoms, acting as small rod magnets, can point in all possible directions.
Iron atoms affect each other in their magnetic fields, and in a three-dimensional structure, the orientation of the atoms appears to be completely random. But thanks to Paris’ mathematical formulas, the structure of matter can be described.
The mathematics developed by Parisi can also be used in completely different fields, such as brain research and the development of self-learning computers.
The Nobel Prize Committee stresses that the three laureates have in common that by understanding physical phenomena in detail, they have succeeded in creating models that can predict their effects on a larger scale.
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