Peebles, Mayor, Queloz win Nobel physics prize for discoveries in astronomy

Nobel Medicine Prize awarded to three scientists for discovering how cells adapt to low oxygen supply

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.

The nominees in all categories - whose names are never announced and can not be revealed until 50 years have passed - are picked by members of academies, university professors, scientists, previous Nobel Laureates, and members of parliamentary assemblies.

Peebles is the author or co-author of five books, including "Physical Cosmology" and "Finding the Big Bang".

The Swiss astronomer, jointly with his colleague Michael Mayor, discovered the first-ever extra-solar planet, 51 Pegasi b, unofficially dubbed Bellerophon and later formally named Dimidium, on 6 October 1995. His theoretical tools assisted science in understanding the dark components of our Universe better. In an interview with swissinfo.ch a decade ago, when asked about this possibility, Mayor said: "as a scientist I feel unable to answer that question".

Peebles thanked the Nobel committee for the award but said his advice to young people wanting to go into science would be not to be lured by the prospect of such prizes.

The prize, whose past recipients include Albert Einstein and Marie Curie, will be announced on Tuesday. Peebles said he plans to give some money to charity and his family.

"This year's Laureates have transformed our ideas about the cosmos", the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said on awarding the 9 million Swedish crown ($910,000) prize.


The Canadian scientist, James Peebles, has been awarded half of the 9m Swedish kronor (£740,000) prize announced by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm on Tuesday for his theoretical discoveries about the evolution of the universe.

Isabel Sander, a second-year physics and astronomy student at the University of Manitoba, said knowing she attends the same school a Nobel Prize victor once did is inspiring.

"He's known to be a big thinker", says Christopher O'Dea, a physics professor at the University of Manitoba, "Peebles has been retired for (********************************************************) years, but he says he has a "relaxed rate" because he enjoys it".

"The cosmology community has always expected Jim to eventually get a Nobel Prize because his work is so seminal to the field".

The trio will receive the prize from King Carl XVI Gustaf at a formal ceremony in Stockholm on December 10, the anniversary of the 1896 death of scientist Alfred Nobel who created the prizes in his last will and testament.

This year's Nobel prize season kicked off on Monday with the Medicine Prize awarded to Americans William Kaelin and Gregg Semenza, and Britain's Peter Ratcliffe. The sixth one, the peace prize, is handed out in Oslo, Norway on the same day. But the comedy series' influence is far beyond just the small screen as it received an unexpected nod on Tuesday during this year's Nobel prize victor announcement.

The 2018 literature prize was suspended after a scandal rocked the Swedish Academy.

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