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Posted at 7:00 AM ET, 03/ 8/2010

How does outer space smell?... Quiz a Nobel laureate

By Valerie Strauss

If you’ve ever had a hankering to ask Nobel laureate Albert Fert a question about his discovery of Giant Magnetoresistance (and let’s face it, who hasn’t?), here’s your chance.

You already missed the opportunity to quiz John C. Mather, who won the Nobel in Physics in 2006.

The people behind the Nobel Prizes are offering us regular folks a chance to directly question some of the brilliant winners.

Last year, people asked Mather questions by video and he answered the same way: “What did the echos of the Big Bang sound like?” (Answer in part: like a “roaring noise”), and “What does outer space smell like,” (Answer in part: “like a chemistry lab”).

You can see all the questions and answers here.

Fert is taking questions until March 19th, and the answers will be posted, by video, starting in April. Upload your video or text questions by visiting the Nobel Prize YouTube channel and clicking on “Post a video response" on the upper right hand side of the page. Video questions can be filmed using webcams, digital cameras or even mobile phones, and suggestions on how to do it--such as keeping it short and concise--are there, too.

Three other laureates will take questions this year.

Fert won the Nobel in physics in 2007 for his discover of Giant Magnetoresistance, which, according to the Web site, forms the basis of the memory storage system found in your computer. Learn more about Fert here.

For more on Mather, who was awarded the Nobel for work that essentially confirmed the Big Bang theory of the creation of the universe, click here.


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By Valerie Strauss  | March 8, 2010; 7:00 AM ET
Categories:  Intelligence  | Tags:  ask a nobel laureate, nobel laureates  
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