3 Americans Win Nobel for Finding Expanding Universe

Americans independently made same discovery
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 4, 2011 6:55 AM CDT
Updated Oct 4, 2011 7:42 AM CDT
A slide is projected as the Swedish Royal Academy of Sciences announces that three scientists have jointly won the 2011 Nobel Prize in physics for discovering the Universe's accelerating expansion.   (Getty Images/AFP)
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(Newser) – The universe isn't just expanding, it's expanding faster every day. Three American scientists who made that discovery have won the Nobel Prize in Physics today for their efforts, the AP reports. The men were split between two competing research teams during the 1990s, with Saul Perlmutter on one and Adam Riess and US-Australian scientist Brian Schmidt on another.

All arrived at the same conclusion in the same way, however: In studying supernovas, they found that the exploding stars were further away than they ought to be—indicating that the universe was expanding faster than their calculations could account for, and hence faster than it had been. "For almost a century the universe has been known to be expanding as a consequence of the Big Bang," the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said. "However the discovery that this expansion is accelerating is astounding."

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