Published: Wed, October 09, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

‘Big Bang Theory’ gets shout out to Nobel Prize announcement

‘Big Bang Theory’ gets shout out to Nobel Prize announcement

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences revealed its three Nobel winners in Physics today, splitting the award between Princeton University's James Peebles; and astronomy research duo Michel Mayor of the University of Geneva and Didier Quelozof the University of Geneva and the University of Cambridge.

James Peebles, professor at University of Princeton, U.S.A., receives one half of the prize for his insights into physical cosmology, which helped lay the foundation for our understanding of the birth, evolution, and composition of the universe.

Born in St. Boniface before it became part of Winnipeg, Peebles completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Manitoba and said part of his childhood was spent building or taking apart thing such as the clocks in his family's home.

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.

To detect the first exoplanet around a solar-type star, Mayor and Queloz relied on one of the fundamentals of optics - the Doppler shift of the wavelength of light emanating from the star 51 Pegasi.

The prizes come with a 9-million kronor ($918,000) cash award, a gold medal and a diploma that are conferred on December 10 - the anniversary of Nobel's death in 1896 - in Stockholm and in Oslo, Norway. They say he recognized the importance of the cosmic radiation background that was left over from a huge explosion billions of years ago.

The Nobel Committee said: "Lithium-ion batteries have revolutionized our lives and are used in everything from mobile phones to laptops and electric vehicles". An early version said Peebles took part in news conferences Friday.

"The awards and prizes, well, they are charming and very much appreciated, should enter science because you are fascinated by it".

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"I could barely breathe", Queloz told The Associated Press.

Together, these discoveries led to a "lightweight, hardwearing battery that could be charged hundreds of times before its performance deteriorated", the committee said in a news release.

This handout photo obtained October 8, 2019 shows Professor James Peebles speaking during the 43rd annual Donald R. Hamilton Lecture at Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey.

"The cosmology community has always expected Jim to eventually get a Nobel Prize because his work is so seminal to the field". The University of Waterloo's Donna Strickland picked up the honour in 2018 for her "method of generating high-intensity, ultra-short optical pulses". This year will see two literature Prizes handed out because the one last year was suspended after a scandal rocked the Swedish Academy.

"This year's Nobel laureates in physics have painted a picture of the universe far stranger and more wonderful than we ever could have imagined", he said.

The winners of the Nobel Prizes in Chemistry, Literature, Economic Sciences and the Peace Prize are all due to be announced over the next few days.

Of the more than 600 Nobel Prize medals in science awarded, 20 have gone to women.

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