Saturday, October 8, 2011

Off-Topic: Physics Nobel Prize

I don't go off-topic too often on Warpstone Flux.  But I think that this one deserved a plug.  The Nobel Prize in physics this week was awarded to three cosmologists, for the discovery that the Universe was not only expanding, but the expansion was happening at an accelerated rate!  When they set out to measure the acceleration, they initially thought that they were going to find a deceleration (since gravity was thought to contract the Universe back down again).  Therefore, this result was not only unexpected, but revolutionized the field of cosmological astrophysics and, moreover, suggested the existence of "dark energy".  

So congrats to Saul, Brian and Adam!  (and particularly Brian -- good on ya! and well-deserved.  You may have been surprised, but I don't think too many others in the Australian astronomical community were).


eriochrome said...

I am always interest to hear what wins the prizes each year but I also like to here how the press describe the discoveries.

This year in chemistry was for the quasi-crystal which if you listen to the press revolutionized the world's understanding of solid state materials but really it found a new class of crystals with radial instead of translation symmetry. The radial patterns had been know in mosiacs for centuries. It was a interesting find and worthy of the award but the press made it sound like it changed all of solid state science.

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