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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Oct. 17, 2005 / 14 Tishrei, 5766

Norway's Nobel agenda

By Jeff Jacoby

Jeff Jacoby
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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Scientists have known since the early 20th century that quantum theory applied to light — sometimes it behaves like waves, sometimes like a stream of particles.

But it wasn't until Roy Glauber's work in the early 1960s that physicists began to understand the mathematical architecture that underlay light's double nature. In particular, a paper he published in 1963 made it possible to explain in theoretical terms how the hot light emitted by an incandescent bulb differed from the focused beam of a laser.

Glauber's insights spawned a host of practical applications. From the ultraprecise measurement of time to the accurate determination of the color emitted by molecules to — someday, perhaps — the invention of 3-D holographic movies, much of modern optics's cutting edge can be traced back to Glauber's work. For his 1963 paper, he came to be known as the ''father of quantum optics" and was honored by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences with the Nobel Prize in Physics. In 2005.

If good things come to those who wait, a Nobel Prize must be a very good thing indeed. According to Alfred Nobel's will, the annual prizes were to go to those who had conferred the greatest benefit on mankind ''during the preceding year." Yet the Swedish committees that award the science, literature, and economics prizes routinely choose honorees whose greatest work was done years, even decades, earlier. Glauber was 38 when he published his seminal paper; only now, at 80, has he become (with John Hall and Theodor Hansch) a Nobel laureate in physics.

At 84, Thomas Schelling is older and has waited even longer. One of this year's two winners in economics, Schelling was hailed by the Nobel committee for his pathbreaking analysis of game theory in ''The Strategy of Conflict," a book he published in 1960. His fellow recipient, Israeli mathematician Robert Aumann, is being honored for a body of work stretching back to 1959.

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Most of this year's other Nobel recipients have also waited quite a while for that phone call from Stockholm. It was more than 20 years ago, for example, that Barry Marshall and J. Robin Warren, the newest laureates in medicine, proved that gastritis and stomach ulcers are caused by a bacterium, thereby overturning the conventional wisdom that blamed such ailments on stress. One of the winners of the chemistry prize is Yves Chauvin, whose breakthrough discovery came in 1971.

Harold Pinter, this year's Nobel laureate in literature, published his first play, ''The Room," in 1957. Whatever one thinks of his strident politics, Pinter has long been considered one of the great dramatists of the 20th century.

In short, the Swedish committees that choose the Nobel laureates in physics, chemistry, medicine, literature, and economics have again selected persons of undoubted accomplishment whose work has stood the test of time. The Swedes may not move as fast as Alfred Nobel envisioned. But the prizes they confer tend to stand the test of time as well.

Then there is the peace prize, which this year went to Mohamed ElBaradei and the International Atomic Energy Agency he heads. Unlike the other Nobels, the peace prize is awarded not by Swedish scientists and scholars but by a committee of Norwegian politicians. That no doubt explains why the choice so often seems political.

The selection of ElBaradei and the IAEA certainly can't be a reward for results. The international nuclear watchdog failed to uncover Iraq's nuclear weapons program before the 1991 Gulf War. It missed Libya's nuclear activities, which Moammar Khadafy voluntarily gave up after Saddam Hussein was toppled in 2003. ElBaradei was shocked when Pakistan's global nuclear black market came to light — which underlined, as The Economist noted, ''how little he and his agency had known about an enormous operation that had been going on right under his inspectors' noses." They found out about Iran's nuclear program only after Iranian dissidents told them where to look.

Then again, ElBaradei was a vocal opponent of the US war in Iraq, and the Norwegians are not above using the peace prize to send a message to the United States.

When they gave the prize to Jimmy Carter in 2002, the committee chairman emphasized that it was intended to be ''a kick in the leg" of the Bush administration. This year, the committee insisted that any nuclear threat from rogue regimes ''be met through the broadest possible international cooperation" — a condemnation in advance of any US decision to deal with Iran unilaterally if worse comes to worst.

The five Swedish Nobels are almost always rewards for true achievement. The one Norwegian Nobel too often smacks of an agenda. What a pity that the peace prize isn't chosen in Stockholm too.

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Jeff Jacoby is a Boston Globe columnist. Comment by clicking here.

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