For the past 3 years (2021, 2020 and 2019), I have tried to predict the Nobel laureates, with mixed results. Let me try again this year. Last year, I thought the prize would go to atomic-scale quantum devices or quantum encryption. There is a chance it will be, this year, for condensed matter physics-related subjects. Instead of repeating the same names again until it eventually becomes true, I think this year topological insulators and the quantum spin Hall effect have a chance of getting it. Eugene Mele, Charles Kane and Laurens Molenkamp have made seminal contributions.

I also think it could go to Jun Ye and Hidetoshi Katori, who were awarded this year the Breakthrough prize for their contribution to optical lattice atomic clocks.

Here is a short list of potential awardees this year:

  • Eugene Mele, Charles Kane and Laurens Molenkamp for the quantum spin Hall effect in topological insulators
  • Jun Ye and Hidetoshi Katori for atomic clocks
  • Anne L’Huillier, Paul Corkum and Ferenc Krausz for ultrafast lasers and the physics enabled by attosecond techniques
  • Agnès Barthélémy, Ramamoorthy Ramesh and Nicola Spaldin for multiferroics and magnetoelectric materials
  • Clare Grey might be a contender for her contributions to the characterisation of batteries and supercapacitors
  • Michel Devoret and Daniel Estève experimentally demonstrated the concept of qubits, although it might be a bit early as applications are still in their infancy.

And you, who do you think will get it this year? Engage on twitter!