How The Work of Three Physics Nobel Laureates Changed The Way We Think of Cosmos

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Anika Manchanda
Anika, a voracious reader and a literature student, believes in the power of written word and loves to spend her time sketching and painting.

On Tuesday, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences recognised the work of three scientists for “contributions to our understanding of the evolution of the universe and Earth’s place in the cosmos”, by awarding them with the 2019 Nobel Prize for Physics.

According to a report, one half of the prize was awarded to James Peebles “for theoretical discoveries in physical cosmology”, the other half was received jointly by Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz “for the discovery of an exoplanet orbiting a solar type star”.

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With the vast expanse of universe known to man, there are even far greater extraterrestrial spaces currently being explored. It is only through the incessant efforts of some of the most intelligent brains of the world that science is beckoning mankind towards the path of progress.

A look at how the work of the three Physics Nobel Laureates has shaped our understanding of the cosmos

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James Peebles, a Canadian-born scientist, who now holds the title of “Albert Einstein Professor of Science” at Princeton, received his education from the University of Manitoba and later from Princeton. His work revealed that all the matter surrounding us constitutes only five percent of the total, while the remaining ninety-five percent is the dark matter and energy. In his “Standard Cosmological Model”, the universe is dominated by mysterious forms of matter and energy. According to a TOI report, his works and calculations also paved way for understanding the history of the universe following the Big Bang.

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In 1995, Michel Mayor and his then-student Didier Queloz shared their discovery of a planet orbiting a solar-type star. The exoplanet called 51 Pegasi b, which is almost 50 light years away from Earth and reportedly as bigger as Jupiter, was detected through its tiny gravitational pull on its star. According to the report, their discovery revolutionized the way planets were discovered in unprecedented places.

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