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Since the year 1901, The Nobel Prize, named after Alfred Nobel is awarded once every year in five fields of work- Chemistry, Literature, Peace, Physics and Physiology or Medicine.
The Nobel Prize in Physics is considered to be the most prestigious award in the field of Physics and is conferred in Stockholm by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences to the scientists who have made the most sterling contributions in the field of Physics.
Announcement of The Nobel Prize in Physics 2019 was made by Professor Goran K. Hansson, Secretary-General of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, on Tuesday, the 8th October 2019.
The accolades have been won one half by cosmologist James Peebles, the other half jointly by astronomers Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz. Each laureate earns a gold medal, a diploma, and a document stating the prize money awarded (the 9 million Swedish Kroner to be shared in the above proportion).
This year’s laureates have enhanced our knowledge and transformed our ideas about the cosmos. James Peebles’ insights in physical cosmology contributed to an understanding of how the Universe evolved after the Big Bang. His theoretical framework has strengthened scientific research over the last 50 years and is even presently leading us to the hidden secrets of our Universe. It is believed from his studies that our stars, planets and us constitute only a meager 5% of the content of this Universe. Modern physics now has to unravel the mystery of the rest of its structure and history- the 95% unknown dark matter and energy, from newer physical processes. Interesting, isn’t it?
And in 1995, Michel Mayor’s and Didier Queloz’s first discovery of an exoplanet orbiting outside our solar system in the Milky Way made way in the discovery of over 4000 exoplanets ever since. The search is still underway with scientists exploring our cosmic neighborhoods, in the hunt for unknown planets. We could discover newer worlds in different sizes, forms, orbits, and habitats. Who knows, there could be life out there.
These discoveries have offered enriching insights and directions for humanity and the stalwarts have been rightfully lauded by the Nobel Foundation.