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Reuters / Tue October 7, 2003 07:18 AM ET
Two Russians, Briton Win 2003 Nobel Physics Prize
STOCKHOLM , (Reuters) - Two Russians and a Briton who explained the nature of matter at extremely low temperatures won the 2003 Nobel Prize for Physics on Tuesday.
Alexei Abrikosov and Anthony Leggett, both now U.S. citizens, and Russian Vitaly Ginzburg worked on superconductivity, which among other applications helped in the development of the magnetic imaging scanners whose designers were awarded the Nobel medicine prize on Monday.
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said in a statement it was recognizing the trio's theories concerning two phenomena in quantum physics -- superconductivity and superfluidity.
Ginzburg, 87, was head of the theory group at the P.N. Lebedev Physical Institute in Moscow and Abrikosov, 75, now works at the Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois. Briton Leggett, 65, is at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
Abrikosov told Reuters he had begun his work over half a century ago in the Soviet Union in a scientific world that was almost unrecognizable and virtually without computers.
"All three of us have something in common - our discoveries ...were done many years ago. We are pretty old people," he said from at Lemont, Illinois, on learning of the award.
"We worked mostly in a world without computers."
Scientists said that superconductivity still had to this day potentially revolutionary applications.
"Superconductivity holds the promise of a new class of electronics device which can save big energy and lead to levitating trains and improved medical imaging," Phil Schewe, chief science writer at the American Institute of Physics, said.
The theories developed by the Russian laureates had laid the groundwork for Monday's medical prize, which recognized discoveries on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), the now familiar painless diagnostic method used by doctors to look inside the bodies of millions of patients every year.
"They developed a theory which laid the groundwork for MRI techniques," said academy member Professor Erik Karlsson.
"The Nobel prize on Monday was partly thanks to the development of this theoretical work. They made it possible to have excellent pictures of the human body."
Leggett formulated "a decisive theory" explaining how atoms interact and are ordered in the superfluid state, the Academy said.
The Nobel committee at the 264-year-old Swedish Academy proposed the names which were endorsed on Tuesday morning by the 350 Academy members meeting in closed session in Stockholm.
The prize includes a check for more than $1.3 million to be shared among the three. The winners join alumni including Albert Einstein.
The Nobel prizes, first awarded in 1901, were created in the will of Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel, inventor of dynamite, who died in 1896. They are presented in glittering ceremonies in Stockholm and Oslo on December 10, the anniversary of his death.
© Copyright 2002, RosBusinessConsulting. All Rights Reserved
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Daily Herald / Posted October 08, 2003
Argonne physicist wins Nobel
- By Stacy St. Clair Daily Herald Staff Writer
When he went to bed Monday evening, physicist Alexei Abrikosov told his wife if the phone rang in the middle of night it would mean he won the Nobel Prize.* * *
Representatives from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences were on the line, informing the Argonne National Laboratory scientist he and two colleagues had
won the Nobel Prize in physics."After that, all this mess started," Abrikosov said amid a day of interviews, receptions and a celebratory dinner. The committee lauded Abrikosov, 75, and Russian scientist Vitaly L. Ginzburg, 87,for their theories about superconductivity, the ability of some materials to conduct electricity without resistance.
Anthony J. Leggett, 65, was honored for explaining one kind of superfluidity, a peculiar behavior shown by extremely cold liquid helium. Leggett, a British-born American citizen, is a professor at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
Though Abrikosov has not worked with either Ginzburg or Leggett, he knows both through the small fraternity of world-renowned physicists.
"I think the Nobel Prize Committee has good taste," the Russian immigrant said.
If Abrikosov seemed giddy, he had reason to be. He has been waiting more than a half-century for science's highest honor, having been nominated several times.
"I feel now relief," he said. "I had lost hope of winning...But I thought my life is good even without (the Nobel Prize)."
While working as a physicist in the former Soviet Union in 1952, Abrikosov became the first to propose the concept of "type-II superconductors."
The discovery eventually led to, among other things, the development of magnetic resonance imaging, more commonly known as MRI.
At the time, however, colleagues scoffed at his findings. They said his theory on superconductivity was impossible.
But Abrikosov believed in his work. While bed-ridden with a serious flu and strep throat, he constructed a theory of magnetic properties now known as the Abrikosov vortex lattice.
"They doubted such a thing existed, but I would not put it in the trash basket," he said.
Decades later, the discovery has made Abrikosov a star in physics circles. "The critical work for which he won the prize is celebrity work," said Kathryn Levin, a University of Chicago physics professor.
With his avuncular manner and penchant for storytelling, Abrikosov defies the stereotype of the boring scientist. At his press conference Tuesday, he told colorful
tales about a detested Azerbaijani physicist and the failed Soviet coup in 1991.
Abrikosov, however, had left the Soviet Union three months before the coup. Sensing the country was on the verge of economic and political collapse, he left in April 1991 and began work at Argonne in Lemont. He later became a U.S. citizen, a point he stressed Tuesday by wearing an American flag tie to the news conference.
"I am a citizen of this country first and foremost," he said.
Abrikosov intends to use his share of the $1.3 million prize as a nest egg. He came to the United States at 62 - the age most people think about retiring - without any savings.
"In a communist country, you cannot save money," he said. "This solves my financial problems."
Leggett was born in London and educated at Oxford, where he studied Greek and Latin, literature and philosophy.
"In my childhood and even in my early student years, the very last thing I thought about becoming was a physicist," he said Tuesday.
But he said his training in philosophy has made him a better scientist. "In some ways philosophy ... gives you a new vision of the world and you learn to ask questions in the kind of way that I think I might not have had I not been through the philosophical training," he said.
Leggett's colleagues and students say his philosophical approach makes him unique.
"He has great intuition," said graduate student Parag Ghosh. "He can talk physics. He can make so much sense to any common man as a physicist." "He's always raising different questions than you'd ever think of," said Gordon Baym, himself a prize-winning physicist. "He tests his philosophy background, and that really shows in the types of questions he asks."
Leggett was honored for explaining one kind of superfluidity, a peculiar behavior shown by extremely cold liquid helium.
THE MOSCOW TIMES / Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2003. Page 1
Physicist, 87, Takes Nobel in Stride
- By Alla Startseva , Staff Writer
In his office on Leninsky Prospekt, 87-year-old physicist Vitaly Ginzburg was preparing for a weekly staff seminar Tuesday morning when a call came through from Stockholm.
When the voice at the other end of the line said in English that he had won the Nobel Prize for Physics, Ginzburg thought it was a joke at first.
But later Ginzburg realized that it was true, as colleagues at the Academy of Sciences' Lebedev Physics Institute, who'd seen the news on the Internet, rushed in to offer congratulations.
He had indeed won the $1.3 million award for work on superconductivity and superfluidity, jointly with fellow Russian Alexei Abrikosov, who now works at the Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois, and British scientist Anthony Leggett also from the University of Illinois, who are both now U.S. citizens. The award came more than 50 years after Ginzburg first started researching superconductivity, the ability of some materials to conduct electricity without resistance when chilled to very low temperatures. The invention of magnetic imaging scanners, which built on the pioneering work of Ginzburg, Abrikosov and Leggett, also won the Nobel Prize for Medicine awarded by the 264-year-old Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences on Monday. For Ginzburg, the award was quite a surprise. "They have been nominating me for about 30 years, so in that sense it didn't come out of a blue sky," Ginzburg was quoted by The Associated Press as saying Tuesday. "But I thought, 'Well, they're not giving it to me, I guess that's it.' I had long ago forgotten to think about this." Colleagues said that Ginzburg took the news in stride. "Of course, he was glad," said Yuly Bruk, the institute's scientific secretary. "But he was very quiet about it. He didn't seem to expect it or hope for it." Another colleague said that Ginzburg, who turned 87 on Saturday, had thought the prize "would be a lot more beneficial to younger people." Ginzburg graduated Moscow State University in 1938 and first began work at the prestigious Lebedev Physical Institute, which can now boast seven Nobel laureates, in 1940. The last Russian citizen to win a Nobel Prize for Physics was Zhores Alfyorov, head of the Physical-Technical Institute. Before him, it was Pyotr Kapitsa, who won in 1978. Ginzburg's main scientific breakthrough came in 1950, at the age of 34, when he devised a "theory of superconductivity," which he worked on with another Russian scientist, Lev Landau. Their work became known as the Ginzburg-Landau theory. "In his 63 years at the institute, Ginzburg has also worked on theoretical subjects as diverse as radioastronomy, universe, radiation, optics and astrophysics. But superconductivity and superfluidity were always his favorite subjects," Bruk said. Ginzburg's work has been described as the starting point for the work of Abrikosov, 75, also began his work over half a century ago as a Soviet scientist. Leggett, meanwhile, applied ideas about superconductivity to explain how atoms behave in one kind of "superfluid" in the 1970s. "All three of us have something in common: our discoveries ... were done many years ago. We are pretty old people," Abrikosov told Reuters from Lemont, Illinois, on learning of the award. Leggett, the youngest of the trio at 65, said he was very surprised by the pre-dawn telephone call informing him of the award, and said he knew his co-winners quite well. "I guess it had occurred to me that it was a possibility I might get the Nobel Prize, but I didn't think it was particularly probable," he said. "I'm pleased to be sharing the prize with them." This year the Nobel committee notified Abrikosov, who had been nominated several times before, that he was a candidate. "And since this had never happened before, I saw this as a good sign," he said. "I now feel relief." The $1.3 million prize money will be shared equally among the three winners. A self-deprecating Ginzburg said his share of the $1.3 million prize money, a fortune to him, would be spent on his family. "I have great-grandchildren and at least I can give it to them," Reuters quoted him as saying. "A tennis player can earn this amount for just one game. For me, of course, it's a huge amount of money, as it is for anyone in Russia who isn't a crook or a business tycoon
© Copyright 2002, The Moscow Times. All Rights Reserved
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Gateway to Russia / 11 October 2003 15:45
Russian sciences promised extra funding in 2004
Российский бюджет на науку в 2004 г. будет значительно больше, чем в 2003
St Petersburg , 11 October: The Russian sciences budget in 2004 will be considerably larger than this year's and will amount to R46bn [about 1.5bn dollars]. The figure includes about R11bn for the Russian Academy of Sciences, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Aleksey Kudrin, who made a working trip to St Petersburg, told journalists today. "Fundamental science remains a definite priority for the federal authorities. Financial funds for its support and development will be steadily increased over the next few years," he said when answering a question from ITAR-TASS. The academic community has had reservations about the property tax imposed on the Russian Academy of Sciences, Kudrin said. Some scientists believe that the property tax will cause additional problems to scientific institutions already having a difficult time, he said. "As finance minister, I would like to reassure the scientific community that the federal budget is a guarantee of stability. All expenses accruing from the property tax will be fully offset, according to a previously agreed schedule," Kudrin said.
© ITAR-TASS news agency
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Newsfromrussia.com / 2003-10-11
Russian science to be amply financed
Russian Vice Premier, Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said science would receive additional financing. * * *
The deputy prime minister told a press conference after a meeting with chairman of the presidium of the Russian Academy of Sciences' St.Petersburg-based research center, Nobel prize winner, academician Zhores Alfyorov that in 2004 the financing of science in Russia would be significantly increased.
"Budget funds allocated for science in the Russian Federation in 2004 amount to 46 billion roubles (approx 1.5 billion dollars), including for Russian Academy of Sciences institutions - some 11 billion. With time this volume will be significantly increased," he believes.
"Responsibility for the fundamental science lies with the federal authority," the minister stressed.
"With due account taken of delimitation of powers between the levels of authority, when each of them will have to answer for their own targets and expenditures, the federal authorities will be able to pay more heed to science in the future," Kudrin said
New York Jewish Times / October 5, 2003
Russian, Dutch Scientists Optimistic About Outlook for Cooperation
- by Andrei Poskakukhin, RIA Novosti
HAGUE, October 5, 2003 - The two-day symposium devoted to the 10th anniversary of Russian-Dutch cooperation in scientific research and technologies closed in Hague. It was attended by about 100 scientists from both countries.* * *
Russian-Dutch cooperation has achieved the greatest success in chemistry, said member of the Russian delegation, First Deputy Minister of Industry, Science and Technology Andrei Fursenko. It includes creation of special membranes to divide chemical components, creation of nanocomposites, theoretical research of new materials with pre-determined magnetic and mechanical properties. The Russian Academy of Sciences and the Dutch Institute of Applied Research cooperate successfully in these areas.
The parties have started very interesting work in the sphere related to security problems and anti-terrorist fight, the deputy minister pointed out. They conduct successfully joint research of the biology of the Caspian Sea ecosystem, studies of the influence climate changes have on the ecosystems of South Siberia and Central Asia, works on genetics. Apart from joint projects in exact sciences, they develop cooperation in the cultural sphere, for example, the history of arts.
The Russian and Dutch parties agreed to sign a new joint memorandum on cooperation in scientific research in April 2004.
They also discussed scientific and technical cooperation between Russia and the European Union. The parties agreed that by the time of Netherlands' chairmanship in the EU in the second half of 2004 Russia would prepare its proposals on defining priorities in cooperation between Russia and the EU in science and technologies, Fursenko pointed out.
Interfax-China / 29.10.2003 06:32:00 GMT
Sino-Russian Science Park established in Moscow
В Москве организован новый Китайско-российский научный парк
Shanghai, (Interfax-China) - Chinese IT solutions provider Banner Co., Ltd. has announced the opening of a new Sino-Russian Science Park based in Moscow. Banner is an arm of the Harbin Institute of Technology.
The new park is located on the campus of the Moscow Power Engineering Institute (MPEI). Banner and MPEI will jointly develop the park, which has already begun recruiting Chinese companies in fields such as IT, energy, material sciences, and electronic integration, among others.
According to a statement from Banner, this park is the first science park China has ever established overseas. The agreement to build the Sino-Russian Science Park was signed in July 2002, during the 6th Sino-Russian Science and Technology Cooperation Committee meeting in Harbin.
©2003 Interfax-China Ltd. All rights reserved
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Reuters / Thu Oct 2,10:45 AM ET
Scientists Say Warming Could Cut Crops
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Scientists said on Thursday that global warming could slash Russia's crucial grain harvests if President Vladimir Putin and other world leaders refuse to endorse the U.N. pact.
About 1,000 scientists at a World Climate Change Conference in Moscow ending on Friday were sharply divided over Putin's belief that Russians could benefit overall from a world with less bone-chilling winters.
But some experts say that agricultural output in the key southern grain areas could be hit by a forecast decline in rains even though a warmer climate will extend growing areas further north as the permafrost thaws in Siberia.
"Climate change will generally not benefit Russia," said Joseph Alcamo of the University of Kassel in Germany. Harvests in the south might be hit by more frequent droughts, he added.
Oleg Sirotenko of the All Russian Institute for Agricultural Meteorology said that Russian grain harvests would dip by about two percent in 2020-30 from current levels due to disruptions from global warming.
Fodder crops, however, would benefit, he added.
Putin said on Monday that he needed more time to decide whether to ratify the U.N.'s Kyoto Protocol, which hinges on Russian ratification to take effect.
Kyoto seeks to rein in emissions of gases like carbon dioxide released by cars and factories. The gases are blamed for blanketing the planet and driving up temperatures.
And Sergei Shoigu, Russia's Emergencies Minister, said that climate change was likely to trigger more floods, forest fires and industrial emergencies. He said that thawing permafrost in Russia's north would destabilize buildings.
But others said that Kyoto is based on dubious science.
"I believe that the Kyoto Protocol was developed without sufficient scientific basis," said Yuri Izrael, director of Russia's climate institute.
Russia faces a choice between backing Kyoto along with its main trading partners in the European Union, or rejecting it like the United States. Kyoto will not enter into force without Russia's approval.
With bewildering predictions of the impact of Kyoto, Putin may instead be holding out for guarantees of cash from the EU and Japan.
Russia's smokestack industries have collapsed since Kyoto's baseline year of 1990, meaning that its emissions have fallen 30 percent when other rich nations are facing costly curbs.
Russia can hope to export some of its spare quotas in a market that could be worth billions of dollars a year, though a U.S. pullout has undermined likely prices.
And Russia may be worried that a shift to renewable energies under Kyoto would undermine the value of its oil and gas exports. Russia is the world's biggest oil exporter behind Saudi Arabia.
Russia has a veto on Kyoto because the pact will only enter into force if nations representing 55 percent of the emissions by developed nations sign up. So far, countries representing 44 percent have ratified, Russia has a 17 percent stake and the United States 36 percent.
© Copyright 2003 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
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newsfromrussia.com / 19:23 2003-10-21
Russian scientist wins NATO research partnership prize
Russian scientist Andrei Larichev has won the prize of the NATO research partnership programme.
Российский ученый Андрей Ларичев получил премию
НАТО для проведения исследований по созданию новой системы отображения, применяемой для изучения сетчатки человеческого глаза
Larichev works at the Laser and Information Technologies Institute, based in the town of Shatura in the Moscow region, of the Russian Academy of Sciences, RIA Novosti was told on Tuesday at the NATO information office in Moscow. Another prize winner is Dr.Leonard Otten of the Kestrel Corporation, Albuquerque, New Mexico, US.
They have won the prize for the development of a new high-resolution imaging system, used in the study of human retina. Work was done on grant from the NATO programme Research for Peace.
NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson will personally hand in the prize at the awarding ceremony in the NATO Brussels headquarters on October 22, says the communique, which has come to hand at RIA Novosti. The prize money is 10,000 euros to each winner. The sum can be used to back their further research work. They will also get a special crystal cup and a certificate.
The image quality in the Larichev-Otten system for the first time shows in the live human retina specifics earlier observed in only cut sections. Many eye diseases which deteriorate, and even cause full loss of eyesight can now be studied in the clinic, says the communique.
Two main results achieved by the researchers are, first, former military research done and methods used by Russian researchers find application in the non-military sphere; second, the new imaging device has a vast application potential for biometrics, enabling high-precision personality identification in the fight against terrorism, says the NATO information centre.
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