3 win Nobel Prize in Physics for work to understand cosmos

Clay Curtis
October 9, 2019

Mayor and Queloz won "for the discovery of an exoplanet orbiting a solar-type star". "We can be very sure that as we discover new aspects of the expanding and evolving universe, we will be startled and amazed once again". "We are in this for the joy of research, the fascination, the love of science". Since then the universe has been expanding, becoming larger and colder and it was barely 400,000 years after the Big Bang that it became transparent and light rays were able to travel through space.

Mayor and Queloz were credited having "started a revolution in astronomy" notably with the discovery of exoplanet 51 Pegasi B, a gaseous ball comparable with Jupiter, in 1995 - a time when, as Mayor recalled - that "no one knew whether exoplanets existed or not".

This year's Nobel Prize in Physics has been awarded to three scientists in Switzerland and the US.

"We opened a new window in astrophysics - we demonstrated that there are other planets like the ones we have orbiting our solar system", he said.

Asked what he would tell young scientists, Peebles said they should follow their passion.

"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". In one of the best examples of "life imitating art", a Nobel Prize announcement might have contained what can easily be related to the TV sitcom and it was all kinds of perfection.

As for the whirlpool question from Peebles' lecture in 1971: since Princeton is in the northern hemisphere, if the professor had a large enough Value-Added Tax, the water would drain clockwise. Peebles said he plans to give some money to charity and his family.

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Canadian-American scientist James Peebles, who won the Nobel Prize for Physics Oct. 8, 2019, speaks at the 43rd annual Donald R. Hamilton Lecture at Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey, U.S. April 12, 2018. Queloz also fielded inevitable questions about the possibility of extraterrestrial life.

The Big Bang theory describes the universe from its very first moments, nearly 14 billion years ago, when it was extremely hot and dense. Controversy stalks the Nobel prizes for peace and literature in a way it rarely does for science.

"While James Peebles' theoretical discoveries contributed to our understanding of how the universe evolved after the Big Bang, Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz explored our cosmic neighborhoods on the hunt for unknown planets".

The trio will receive the prize from King Carl XVI Gustaf at a formal ceremony in Stockholm on December 10, the anniversary of the 1896 death of scientist Alfred Nobel who created the prizes in his last will and testament.

Americans William G. Kaelin Jr. and Gregg L. Semenza and Britain's Peter J. Ratcliffe won the Nobel Prize for advances in physiology or medicine on Monday.

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.

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