The 2010 Nobel Prizes will be announced this week, and thanks to the power of streaming media you can watch the proceedings live on your desktop.
As the inventor of dynamite and 355 other innovations, Alfred Nobel amassed a fortune during his lifetime. To the surprise of many, Nobel’s last will requested that his fortune be used to create a series of prizes for those who confer the “greatest benefit on mankind” in physics, chemistry, peace, medicine, and literature. If you are curious about Nobel, click on the video frame to watch a slide show about his life and the Prize that has celebrated the greatest thinkers of our times.
To bring this all into the context of HPC, I think it is important to note that the theme of SC10 this year is The Future of Discovery. And with that in mind, I somehow found this remarkable quote today thanks to a Tweet by @ajlopez. It comes from a Nobel lecture by Richard P.Feynman in 1965: The Development of the Space-Time View of Quantum Electrodynamics:
It always seems odd to me that the fundamental laws of physics, when discovered, can appear in so many different forms that are not apparently identical at first, but, with a little mathematical fiddling you can show the relationship. An example of that is the Schrödinger equation and the Heisenberg formulation of quantum mechanics. I don’t know why this is – it remains a mystery, but it was something I learned from experience. There is always another way to say the same thing that doesn’t look at all like the way you said it before. I don’t know what the reason for this is. I think it is somehow a representation of the simplicity of nature.”