SIAM News Blog

The 2012 Ig Nobel for Physics

Letters to the Editor

By Alain Goriely

To the Editor:

I read with great pleasure the article on Joseph B. Keller and the 2012 Ig Nobel for physics (SIAM News, December 2012). Keller is a man known for his intellect, creativity, and professional integrity (and a personal academic hero of mine). Readers may want to know that the 2012 Ig Nobel prize for physics was shared with Raymond E. Goldstein, Patrick B. Warren, and Robin C. Ball for a delightful paper on the shape of ponytails (Physical Review Letters, 2012). The 1999 Ig Nobel for physics was shared with Len Fisher for calculating the optimal way to dunk a biscuit. While it is certainly true that Wilkins won the Nobel prize for the determination of the structure of DNA in 1962, readers will appreciate the fact that it was shared with Watson and Crick.

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