Nobel Prize in Physics 2019 celebrates Earth's cosmic context

Elias Hubbard
October 9, 2019

Swiss star-gazers Michel Mayor, 77, and Didier Queloz, 53, both of the University of Geneva, were honoured for finding an exoplanet - a planet outside our solar system - that orbits a sun-like star. "Our view of our place in the universe will never be the same again".

"You should enter science because you are fascinated by it".

"He's taught us things like what the universe looked like 100 seconds after the Big Bang". The planet, 51 Pegasi b, is located about 50 light-years from Earth in the constellation Pegasus.

"Through his work and new ways to observe and measure our universe, cosmology evolved into a science of precision", Larsson said.

An exoplanet is a planet outside the solar system. "I only spoke to her briefly and said, 'I got it, ' and she sounded she was so surprised that her knees nearly gave way".

"To tell you the truth, people mentioned the Nobel Prize early on when we made the discovery 20 years ago, and after some time it has been said".

Ulf Danielsson, another member of the Nobel Prize Committee, explained the importance of Peebles' contribution to physical cosmology.

James Peebles, an emeritus professor at Princeton University. Mayor and Queloz's discovery revolutionised planet hunting and led to a wave of discoveries in places that astronomers hadn't considered exploring -astronomers now know of more than 4,000 exoplanets.

Professor Martin Rees of the University of Cambridge said this year's awards also seemed to show a "welcome broadening of the Nobel criteria".

This wobble is caused by the gravitational effects of a planet tugging on its host star and is observable via the changing nature of the star's light.

Using theoretical tools and calculations, Peebles was able to interpret trace radiation from the infancy of the universe and so discover new physical processes, the academy said.

That can't quite be said for Peebles' theoretical work.

"This year's laureates have transformed our ideas about the cosmos", the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said today when awarding the nine million Swedish crown ($AUD1.35 million) prize.

This year's Nobel Prize is worth 9 million kronor ($918,000).

They will receive their prize - a medal, a certificate, and a cash award of about $900,000, according to Time - in December.

The physics prize was announced a day after two Americans and one British scientist were awarded the award for Physiology or Medicine.

On Friday the action moves to Norway where the Peace Prize is awarded, with bookies predicting a win for Swedish teen climate activist Greta Thunberg on betting sites such as Ladbrokes.

The winners of the Nobel Prizes in Chemistry, Literature, Economic Sciences and the Peace Prize are all due to be announced over the next few days. No prize was awarded previous year amid sexual harassment and abuse allegations against Jean-Claude Arnault, the husband of an academy member and a recipient of academy funds, according to the Washington Post.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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