The 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to Americans Saul Perlmutter and Adam Riess and Brian Schmidt Austral-American “for the discovery of the accelerating expansion of the universe,” announced Tuesday the Nobel Committee in Stockholm.
“They have studied dozens of exploding stars, called supernovae, and they have discovered that the universe is expanding at an ever-accelerating rate,” states the Nobel Committee.
Type 1a supernovae are standard cosmic lighthouses in the universe, exploding stars whose luminosity is known to perfection and served to measure the expansion of the universe.
“For a century it was known that the universe was expanding after the Big Bang that took place some 14,000 million years,” the statement said.
“But the discovery that the expansion is accelerating is amazing. If the expansion continues to accelerate, the universe will end in ice,” says the committee.