Berkeley Lab researcher wins Nobel Prize for physics
Saul Perlmutter of Lawrence Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley has won the 2011 Nobel Prize for physics for his work with the Supernova Cosmology Project. He is the 57th University of California researcher to be honored with a Nobel Prize.
Perlmutter shares the prize with High-z Supernova Search Team members Brian Schmidt of Australian National University in Weston Creek, Australia, and Adam Riess of Johns Hopkins University and Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore. At the time of the 1998 discovery, Reiss was a postdoctoral fellow at UC Berkeley working with astronomer Alex Filippenko, who at different times was a member of both teams.
The winners’ respective teams had raced to map the universe by locating the most distant supernovae. Each team found more than 50 supernovae whose light was weaker than expected — an indication that the expansion of the universe was accelerating. “If the expansion will continue to speed up the universe will end in ice,” reads the Nobel press release.
Photos by Roy Kaltschmidt, courtesy of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory