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Nobel Prize in physics: 2019 winners made significant cosmological discoveries

Nobel Prize in physics: 2019 winners made significant cosmological discoveries

This was the 113th Nobel Prize in Physics awarded since 1901, of which 47 awards have been given to a single laureate.

While Peebles' theoretical framework has provided the key to unlocking the secrets of the CMB, it has also left cosmologists with an even bigger question - one that revolves around the composition of the Universe.

He shares the prize, valued at about $1.5-million, with Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz, two Swiss researchers who were among the first to discover the planets beyond our solar system.

Ulf Danielsson, a member of the Nobel Committee, said: "Both these prizes tell us something essential, something existential about our place in the Universe".

The Nobel Physics Prize for research was on Tuesday awarded to Canadian-American cosmologist James Peebles and Swiss astronomers Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz for encouraging the growth of the "understanding of our place in the Universe".

"Now I'm learning about things that [Peebles] discovered, things the generations of scientists before me have discovered", he said. Didier Queloz, born in 1966, is Professor at University of Geneva, Switzerland and University of Cambridge, UK.

Akira Yoshino was confident the discoveries he worked on would win the Nobel Prize, but he didn't expect it to happen quite so soon.

Canadian-born James Peebles, 84, an emeritus professor at Princeton University, won for his theoretical discoveries in cosmology. "Do you think there is life on other planets?"

More news: Trade conflicts fuel synchronised global slowdown

Mayor and Queloz announced the first discovery of a planet outside the solar system in October 1995, a success the academy said kicked off "a revolution in astronomy", with more than 4,000 exoplanets having since been found. He said that he believes that the discovery will be a process, but that "it will show up".

James Peebles, a 2019 Nobel laureate in physics, was awarded the prize for his theories about what happened soon after the Big Bang.

The prize consists of a gold medal, a diploma and the sum of nine million Swedish kronor (about $914,000 or 833,000 euros).

"I was not working alone", Peebles said by telephone during a news conference in Stockholm. He said the award equally with Whittingham from Britain and Yoshino of Japan.

Neil Turok, who worked with Peebles at Princeton and now serves as director of the Centre for the Universe at the Perimeter Institute in Waterloo, Ont., described his former colleague as an unsung hero of the field, famous in the world of cosmology but seldom recognized outside of it. Their gold medals and diplomas will be conferred in Stockholm on December 10 - the anniversary of prize founder Alfred Nobel's death in 1896.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said last year's winners had "harnessed the power of evolution".

This year, the Nobel week will include an award in chemistry - to be announced Wednesday - two literature laureates, the coveted Nobel Peace Prize and the economics award. Controversy stalks the Nobel prizes for peace and literature in a way it rarely does for science.

The announcement of the winners of this year's Nobel in physics began with a nod to an unlikely cultural reference: the opening lyrics to the show's theme song.


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