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Nobel physics prize honours accelerating Universe find (2 Americans, 1 Australian share prize)
BBC ^ | 10/04/2011 | Jason Palmer

Posted on 10/04/2011 11:04:57 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

Three researchers behind the discovery that our Universe's expansion is accelerating have been awarded this year's Nobel prize for physics.

Saul Perlmutter and Adam Riess of the US and Brian Schmidt of Australia will divide the prize.

The trio studied what are called Type 1a supernovae, determining that more distant objects seem to move faster.

Their observations suggest that not only is the Universe expanding, its expansion is relentlessly speeding up.

Prof Perlmutter of the University of California, Berkeley, has been awarded half the 10m Swedish krona (£940,000) prize, with Prof Schmidt of the Australian National University and Prof Riess of Johns Hopkins University's Space Telescope Science Institute sharing the other half.

Prof Schmidt spoke to the Nobel commitee from Australia during the ceremony.

"It feels like when my children were born," he said.

"I feel weak at the knees, very excited and somewhat amazed by the situation. It's been a pretty exciting last half hour."

The trio's findings form the basis of our current understanding of the Universe's origins, but raises a number of difficult questions.

In order to explain the rising expansion, cosmologists have suggested the existence of what is known as dark energy. Although its properties and nature remain mysterious, the predominant theory holds that dark energy makes up some three-quarters of the Universe.

But at the time the work was first being considered, no such exotic explanations were yet needed.

"It seemed like my favourite kind of job - a wonderful chance to ask something absolutely fundamental: the fate of the Universe and whether the Universe was infinite or not," Prof Perlmutter told BBC News.

He led the Supernova Cosmology Project beginning in 1988, and Prof Schmidt and Prof Riess began work in 1994 on a similar project known as the High-z Supernova Search Team.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: nobelprize; physics; universe

1 posted on 10/04/2011 11:05:01 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

In all fairness, shouldn’t there be at least one Islamic recipient to honor the groundbreaking work in physics and cosmology being done throught the Muslim world?

2 posted on 10/04/2011 11:09:01 AM PDT by 17th Miss Regt
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To: SeekAndFind

The universe used to be slowing down.

3 posted on 10/04/2011 11:18:53 AM PDT by nixonsnose (Let's see all you lawyers argue your way out of hell.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Psalm 104
1. My soul, bless the Lord. My G-d, You are very great, You are attired with majesty and beauty.
2. You enwrap Yourself with light like a garment; You extend the heavens like a curtain.

4 posted on 10/04/2011 11:23:03 AM PDT by ari-freedom (I'm a heartless conservative because I love this country.)
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To: SeekAndFind

It’s growing too fast!!!! QUICK! TAX IT!!!!! We can worry about regulating and subsidizing it later!!!!!

5 posted on 10/04/2011 11:42:22 AM PDT by edh (I need a better tagline)
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To: nixonsnose

That was before global warming.

6 posted on 10/04/2011 11:48:32 AM PDT by Mr. Lucky
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To: ari-freedom

RE: You extend the heavens like a curtain.

Boy that is one humongous unfurling curtain right there.... :)

7 posted on 10/04/2011 11:51:49 AM PDT by SeekAndFind (u)
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To: SeekAndFind

Its seems well deserved, but if they are giving Nobel Prizes for cosmology, shouldn’t they honor Stephen Hawking? You can’t give a Nobel Prize to the dead* and Hawking could go at any time.

*Okay, they accidentally just did that with the medicine Nobel prize. But ordinarily, it doesn’t happen.

8 posted on 10/04/2011 11:56:04 AM PDT by Our man in washington
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To: Our man in washington

Hawking is a Carl Sagan type

9 posted on 10/04/2011 12:55:09 PM PDT by BereanBrain
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