Top Physics Discoveries of 2006

Sharpest manmade thingOver at the American Institute of Physics my colleague Phillip Schewe and his team have been putting together their pick of the physics discoveries for 2006.

Their number one choice had to be the new ultra precise measurement (0.76 parts per trillion uncertainty) by Gerald Gabrielse and his colleagues at Harvard University of the electron’s magnetic moment closely followed by the refinement by the same team of the fine structure constant that reveals that the electromagnetic force allowing atoms to hold on to their electrons is lower than previously thought.

Other top physics discoveries included new evidence that dark energy, the hypothetical mechanism for the accelerating expansion of the universe, was present even in the early universe; elemental discoveries of 118 and 116.

Next on the list are

  • The world’s sharpest object
  • The best direct test of Einstein’s (in)famous E=mc2 formula
  • The first direct measurement of turbulence in space
  • A new measurement of the cosmic microwave background radiation
  • The first study of matter-antimatter chemistry
  • Advances in “two-dimensional light”, plasmonics
  • Advances in “two-dimensional carbon”, graphene
  • Gravityy wave model
  • 2006 Nobel prize in Physics for George Smoot and John Mather

More details on the PNU site here.