ANALYSIS: Prospects for LIGO Nobel Prize

Science Magazine is just out with a major thrust on prepping the world to expect LIGO’s Rainer Weiss to receive the Nobel Prize:

The discovery makes Weiss, a physicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, a sure bet to win a Nobel Prize, his peers say.

And Weiss is waiting for it:

Weiss, 83, acknowledges the prospect with some apprehension. “It will fuck me up for a year,” he predicts as he nimbly steers his silver Volkswagen Beetle ragtop through Cambridge traffic. “That’s what it did to John Mather.”

The report also includes an anticipatory character certification on Weiss (he would not scam):

Weiss is also known for speaking his mind. “He is absolutely 100% committed to honesty both in his physics and in life,” says Peter Saulson, a LIGO physicist at Syracuse University in New York, who worked with Weiss at MIT in the 1980s. Dirk Muehlner, a retired physicist in Alamo, California, and one of Weiss’s early graduate students, shares that sentiment. “He’s totally honest. There’s no bullshitting for Rai. There’s no performance.”

And there is also the fact that Weiss narrowly escaped getting the Nobel Prize once (so this time they must make it right):

In 2006, Americans John Mather and George Smoot shared the Nobel Prize in Physics for, respectively, measuring the spectrum and detecting the fluctuations. Some physicists say Weiss should have shared that award. “It was a near miss,” Syracuse’s Saulson says.

But seriously, the above assessment is realistic.

Consider this: The Nobel Committee looks at only the nominations, recommendations, evaluations etc that it receives through its own prescribed channels. These are limited strictly to the scientific establishment. The Committee will not look at Internet dissidence, for example. So everything the Committee will have in front of it will be very strongly positive, and from very powerful physicists – very many of them. There will not be a trace of doubt anywhere that the Committee will be aware of. And there will be a very strong sense of urgency. One prospective awardee is reportedly in critical health.

And consider this also: In 2012 and again in 2016, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (which also awards the Nobel Prize) gave out their Crafoord Prize for black holes. Those citations make it clear that the Academy is most favorably disposed towards black hole discoveries.

So it is difficult to see why the LIGO Nobel Prize will not go through.

Rainer Weiss is a serial science scammer: First his CMB balloon experiment scam, then the COBE satellite scam, and now the LIGO scam. He is a scourge upon our scientific civilization.

And yet he will be enshrined in the highest pantheon of science. And why not? He will have people of his ilk there. He will fit right in.

Lord have mercy!


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