Can an Indian get a Nobel this year?

  • Vanita Srivastava, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Sep 29, 2014 21:42 IST

An Indian origin researcher has made it to the list of this year’s list of potential scientists likely to win the Nobel prize for Physics.

Dr Ramamoorthy Ramesh, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley is one of 27 scientists and economists who appear on the 2014 edition of the list, issued by Thomson Reuters, on Saturday. The Nobel Prize for Physics will be announced on October 7.

Dr Ramamoorthy’s name figures with the names of James Scott (University of Cambridge) and Yoshinori Tokura (University of Tokyo) as potential candidates for their contributions to ferroelectric memory devices and multiferroic materials.

An alumnus of Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore Dr Ramamoorthy went to University of California, Berkeley for a Ph.D. in Materials Science in 1987.In 2004 he joined the University of California faculty in the Materials Science and Engineering and Physics departments.

“ My work is in the broad area of complex oxides.. I got into this field right after my PhD when the field of Hi-Tc Superconductivity had just broken out. In 1989, at Bellcore, I started a basic program on ferroelectric thin films for memories.. almost by accident, we stumbled onto oxides that exhibited the "colossal magnetoresistance" effect.. this led to a worldwide research activity on the fundamental physics of these materials.. then in 1999, we started looking into the confluence of electricity and magnetism through Multiferroic materials... The original idea was to control magnetism by electricity to enable a broad range of low power electronics.. of course, we have to figure out the fundamentals first,” Dr Ramamoorthy, who hails from Chennai told HT.

For these estimations the main point which is taken into account, is that which nominee’s research has been cited the most, by the scientific community. These forecasts were started in 2002 by Thomson Reuters and so far, rightly guessed 35 Nobel Prize winners.

On how was he feeling - nervous, excited - he said while quoting a sholaka from Bhagwada Gita: “ This is just a prediction. We should not take it very seriously. If I get it, it will be dedicated to humanity, to science and to the young people of the world. If I do not, then I have to take it on an equally good stride?"

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