Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Nobel Prize in Physics 2011

It's Physics Day in Nobel Week.  This is a biggie.  It's the one Albert Einstein won, after all. 

(Drumroll) And the winners are--

"The 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics is awarded "for the discovery of the accelerating expansion of the Universe through observations of distant supernovae" with one half to Saul Perlmutter and the other half jointly to Brian P. Schmidt and Adam G. Riess."

Anybody else thinking of the scene from Annie Hall when a young Woody Allen mutters morosely that the universe is expanding, and his distraught mother yells, "What is it your business?  Brooklyn is not expanding!" 

Well, it turns out it's expanding at an even faster rate than we once thought.  Listen to a phone interview in which Adam G. Riess remembers the moment he realized what his data was revealing. (And he gives a classy hat tip to fellow Laureate Einstein.  "Maybe he should be getting the Nobel Prize again!") 

The stars--distant supernovae and otherwise--have stories well worth the exploration.  Read more about Laureates' stellar explorations here.

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