When the Nobels are handed out, some get left out

David Epstein in Seed Magazine:

SudarshanwebE.C. George Sudarshan [shown in picture at right], a physics professor at the University of Texas at Austin, is the grumbling giant of 2005.

In early October, the Royal Swedish Academy awarded the Nobel Prize in physics to three scientists for their work in quantum optics. Roy J. Glauber, a Harvard physics professor, was the lone theoretician honored. His research describes the behavior of light using quantum mechanics, paving the way for the field of quantum optics. Glauber’s achievement, according to the Nobel citation, “served to bring out the distinction between the behavior of thermal light sources,” like light bulbs, and “sources such as lasers”…

In a 1963 paper, Glauber laid the foundation for a quantum-mechanical explanation, which, that same year, Sudarshan extended to explain any quantum state of light. The theory is referred to as the “Glauber-Sudarshan representation” in the Nobel citation.

Sudarshan and a small group of physicists have written letters to the Nobel Committee claiming that the representation is actually more “Sudarshan” than “Glauber.”

More here.