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Tech

Physicist says 'imagination' key to Nobel win

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Tech

Physicist says 'imagination' key to Nobel win

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COMING UP:Physicist says 'imagination' key to Nobel win

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00:00:00
>> If you're a topologist,>> Topology. It's a branch of mathematics you've probably never heard of, but the research of three physicists in that field revolutionizing the study of unusual states of matter and earning the trio the Nobel Prize on Tuesday. The Nobel committee using a cinnamon bun, a pretzel and a bagel to explain the hard to grasp concept.
00:00:22
As the physicists conceived of new ways to change the shape and surface of ultra thin materials which could affect their electrical properties. But the exciting part of their discoveries is that they could pave the way to creating super fast quantum computers, one of the holy grails of science.
00:00:39
Physics professor Duncan Haldane is one of the three prizewinners.>> We really haven't understood the form, the amount of marvelous things that quantum mechanics can do. What this has shown us, especially these new topological materials that the prize is mainly for, is that it does things which we never dreamed of and could actually be tremendously useful for all kinds of new technologies.
00:01:07
If you can't imagine something marvelous, you're not gonna find it, so I think that's the barrier to discovering what can be done is actually imagination. I'm very happy that I played some role in discovering new ways to think about things.>> Many believed that this year's prize might go to the first physicist to detect gravitational waves, the ripples in the fabric of space time, which had been theorized a century ago by Albert Einstein.
00:01:36
But that breakthrough may have come too late for the Nobel committee.>> I knew there was always some possibility, but I actually didn't think anything would be happening now. I was wondering who it would be this year and that certainly didn't expect to get it then anyway, yeah.
00:01:57
>> British born Haldane, David Thouless, and Michael Kosterlitz who all work at American universities will split the nearly $1 million prize.