- Title: USA: Faster expanding universe work wins physics Nobel
- Date: 5th October 2011
- Summary: BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, UNITED STATES (OCTOBER 04, 2011) (REUTERS) DR. ADAM RIESS, THE CO-RECIPIENT OF THE 2011 NOBEL PRIZE IN PHYSICS AND A PROFESSOR AT JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY SPACE TELESCOPE SCIENCE INSTITUTE, WALKING IN A PARKING LOT (SOUNDBITE) (English) DR. ADAM RIESS, PART OF TEAM RECEIVING THE NOBEL PRIZE FOR PHYSICS SAYING: "I couldn't believe it I was really stunned. It was about 5:30 in the morning and my son who is 10 months old was kind of making a lot of noises, I was sort of awake listening to him and then the phone rang and it was Swedish sounding people and I knew it wasn't IKEA calling and they told me it was was from the Nobel Prize committee and congratulated me for winning. It's amazing and it really is a testament to hard work by my colleagues, I work with great colleagues and powerful facilities. People may not appreciate these are not the kinds of discoveries you work at with pencil and paper you use very powerful cutting edge facilities like Hubbell Space Telescope across the street there, ground based telescopes in Chile and new telescopes that are being built these are the tools were use to probe the universe so we're just very fortunate to work with these great instruments." WIDE OF RIESS SPEAKING WITH REPORTERS (SOUNDBITE) (English) DR. ADAM RIESS, PART OF TEAM RECEIVING THE NOBEL PRIZE FOR PHYSICS SAYING: "Well, you know how there's raisin bread you can buy at the supermarket, you could look at the universe like a loaf of raisin bread and it's rising in the oven, and the galaxies, and we live on one of them, are like the raisins. And when you sit there inside a rising loaf or raisin bread, you see all the other raisins are moving away from you realize the loaf, the universe is expanding. But what will happen next has been a deep question and the expectation was that the gravity of the loaf, the universe, would tend to slow down and halt that expansion and so we went out to observe that in 1998 and instead what we saw was that it was speeding up, the loaf was getting bigger and bigger all the time. We don't really understand why that is except that Einstein is still given us the best explanation. Einstein had suggested back in 1916 that the gravity of space could be repulsive not attractive and that that could have this effect on the universe so stuck with a way to explain this Einstein is giving us our best explanation that this dark energy, the kind of stuff he talked about, fills the universe about 70 percent of the universe." WIDE OF RIESS SPEAKING WITH MEDIA RIESS WALKING INTO BUILDING RIESS POURING CHAMPAGNE VARIOUS OF RIESS TOASTING CHAMPAGNE AND CELEBRATING WITH COLLEAGUES
- Embargoed: 20th October 2011 13:00
- Location: Usa, Usa
- Country: USA
- Topics: Science
- Reuters ID: LVACUJJGV0N5SBKY8IK2Z1CGO1CH
- Story Text: The discovery that the expansion of the universe is speeding up won the Nobel physics prize on Tuesday (October 3) for three astronomers whose observations of exploding stars transformed our view of the world, and of how it may end.
Honoring two global teams of stargazers who shook cosmology to its foundations in 1998, the Nobel Committee said Americans Saul Perlmutter, Brian Schmidt and Adam Riess had shown how the universe that emerged from the Big Bang may fly apart so far, cooling as it goes, that it "will end in ice."
Their work gave birth to the theory of dark energy, a kind of inverse gravity, that causes the expansion to accelerate. Up to three quarters of the universe seems to comprise dark energy -- but just what it is a matter of speculation, notably at facilities like the Large Hadron Collider at Geneva. Many hope an answer could reconcile apparent anomalies in physics.
Co-winner Dr. Riess, a professor at John Hopkins University, told Reuters he was "stunned" when he won the award.
"I couldn't believe it I was really stunned. The phone rang and it was Swedish sounding people and I knew it wasn't IKEA calling and they told me it was was from the Nobel Prize committee and congratulated me for winning" Riess said outside of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.
The teams studied dozens of exploding stars, or supernovae, expecting to confirm theories dating back to the 1920s that the universe has been expanding for 14 billion years since Big Bang but at an ever slower rate. "The discovery came as a complete surprise, even to the laureates themselves," the Nobel panel said.
Riess, who was still in his 20s when the research was published, added, "It's amazing and it really is a testament to hard work by my colleagues, I work with great colleagues and powerful facilities."
Riess and Schmidt will share half of the 10 million Swedish crowns ($1.5 million) prize money. Perlmutter won the rest.
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