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  • 2007 Gruber Cosmology Prize Awarded to Dark Energy Discoverers
Jul 2007
GruberPrize.jpgSaul Perlmutter of the University of California, Berkeley, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Brian Schmidt of the Australian National University -- and 51 of their colleagues -- will share the Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation's 2007 Cosmology Prize for their discovery that the universe is getting bigger, faster. They will receive the $500,000 prize at a Sept. 7 ceremony at the University of Cambridge in England. Working independently, both Perlmutter's Supernova Cosmology Project and Schmidt's High-z Supernova Search Team simultaneously came to the same accelerating universe conclusion in 1998. It led to the idea of an expansion force, dubbed dark energy, and suggests that the fate of the universe is to just keep expanding, faster and faster, which has "radically changed our perception of cosmic evolution," the Gruber Prize citation said. "It's rare that a scientific prize is able to include a very large number of those in the community whose work actually became the underpinnings of the discovery being celebrated. Yet with the exception of a few notable contributors, that's the case here -- and that's terrific," Perlmutter said in a statement. Today Perlmutter and Schmidt continue to explore the implications of their work, Schmidt by planning the SkyMapper project, a telescope to map the southern sky, and Perlmutter by working on a satellite mission that would study supernovae and the nature of dark energy.

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