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Nobel prize in physics awarded for work on cosmology

James Peebles, Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz will share the prize for ‘improving our understanding of evolution of universe and Earth’s place in the cosmos’


Published: October 08, 2019 16:53:19 | Updated: October 09, 2019 16:18:52


James Peebles, Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz

The Nobel Prize in Physics of this year has been jointly awarded to James Peebles, Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz for their work in furthering our understanding of the universe.

In a ceremony in Stockholm on Tuesday, one half of the prize was awarded to Peebles for "theoretical discoveries in physical cosmology," and the other half to Mayor and Queloz for "the discovery of an exo-planet orbiting a solar-type star."

"This year's Nobel Prize in Physics rewards new understanding of the universe's structure and history, and the first discovery of a planet orbiting a solar-type star outside our solar system," tweeted the Nobel committee, report The Guardian and CNN.

"The discoveries have forever changed our conceptions of the world."

One half of the 9 million Swedish krona ($910,000) prize will be given to James Peebles at Princeton University “for theoretical discoveries in physical cosmology”.

The other half will be awarded jointly to Michel Mayor at the University of Geneva and Didier Queloz at the University of Geneva, Switzerland and the University of Cambridge, UK.

Over two decades Peebles developed a theoretical framework that forms the basis of our understanding of the history of the universe, according to the committee.

His models reveal that we only know about 5 per cent of the content of our universe, with the remaining 95% consisting of unknown dark matter and dark energy, according to a press release.

"This is a mystery and a challenge to modern physics," reads the release.

Mayor and Queloz focused their research on looking for unknown worlds in the Milky Way, and in 1995 discovered the first planet outside our solar system.

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