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October 2023

Nobel Prize award Chemistry-2023

-Karthik Gurumurthy 

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry for this year was awarded jointly to three scientists who revolutionized the field by discovering and developing quantum dots:

  • Moungi G. Bawendi: American, received his Ph.D. in Chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1993. He currently serves as the Lester Wolfe Professor of Chemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
  • Louis E. Brus: American, earned his Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley in 1972. He continues to work as the Samuel Ruben and Dorothy P. Ruben Professor of Chemistry at Columbia University.
  • Aleksey Yekimov: Russian, obtained his Ph.D. in Physics from the A.F. Ioffe Physical Technical Institute in 1980. He is currently the Head of the Laboratory of Semiconductor Nanostructures at the St. Petersburg State University.

Their Contributions:

These three laureates were jointly recognized for their pioneering work on quantum dots, tiny semiconductor particles with unique optical and electronic properties. Their independent discoveries and subsequent advancements in synthesizing and manipulating these particles opened up a wide range of potential applications across various fields.

  • Bawendi revolutionized the chemical production of quantum dots, making them brighter, more stable, and easier to control, paving the way for their widespread use.
  • Brus was one of the first researchers to synthesize quantum dots and played a crucial role in understanding their physical and chemical properties.
  • Yekimov independently discovered quantum dots and made significant contributions to elucidating their unique optical behavior.

Their collective work on quantum dots has had a profound impact on diverse fields, and their ongoing research holds immense promise for future advancements in various technologies, from energy generation and healthcare to electronics and communications.

Annie L' Huillier-Nobel Prize Physics 2023

-Karthik Gurumurthy

Annie L'Huillier was unreachable on the morning of the 2023 Nobel Prize in Physics.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences tried reaching L'Huillier to tell her she was one of the 2023 physics laureates. However, her phone kept going to voicemail.

Luckily, they were able to reach L'Huillier's husband. He explained that she was teaching a class on atomic physics, but she would have only a very short break just before the announcement.

During the break, L'Huillier picked up her phone and received the news about the physics prize, but she cut the call short to return to her students. Before going back to class, she turned her phone off again.

When she returned to the class, she told the students she would have to finish a few minutes early but did not give a reason.

L'Huillier ended the lecture only five minutes before the 11:45 physics announcement and left the room. Suspicious, her students decided to stay and watch the physics livestream in the lecture hall.

When L'Huillier's name was announced, her students broke into cheers. Annie L'Huillier's dedication to her students and her passion for teaching atomic physics is truly admirable. Her students must have been thrilled to witness their teacher's moment of recognition during the Nobel Prize announcement. It's a testament to her commitment to education and her contributions to the field of physics.

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Courtesy Photos: Nobel 

Anne L'Huillier teaching her atomic physics class on 3 October; Anne L'Huillier taking a call with Nobel Prize Outreach on 3 October; Anne L'Huillier's atomic physics class cheering as her name is announced during the 2023 physics announcement.


-Karthik Gurumurthy


Rokuon-ji  commonly known as "Kinkaku-ji", is a Zen temple of Shokoku-ji school of Rinzai Buddhist denomination. It's famous for its breathtaking Golden Pavilion, a three-story structure covered in shimmering gold leaf that reflects beautifully on the surrounding pond. This area used to be the Salonji family's villa. In 1397, "Yoshimitsu", the third Shogun of Ashikaga Shogunate, took it over and built the Kitayama palace  centering around the golden stupa, "Kinkaku". When the Kitayama palace was founded, it was the center of politics and culture and was used to welcome the Emperors of Japan and trading partners from China (Ming).

After he passed away, it became a temple according to his will. Rokuon-ji Temple garden, designated both a Special Historic site and a Special place of Scenic Beauty. They have retained the atmosphere of those days and maintained it really well. Throughout its history, Kinkakuji has faced its share of challenges. It has burned down several times, most notably in 1950 by a deranged monk. Each time, however, the temple was meticulously rebuilt, ensuring its stunning beauty continues to captivate visitors from around the world.  It was registered as World Cultural Heritage site in 1994.

Here are some interesting facts about Kinkakuji:

  • The Golden Pavilion is covered in approximately 200 square meters of gold leaf.
  • The pond in front of the pavilion is called Kyōko-chi (Mirror Pond) and is said to reflect the Pure Land of Buddhism.