Australian wins Nobel Prize for Physics

7 October

Professor Brian Schmidt of the Australian National University has won the 2011 Nobel Prize for Physics, alongside Americans Saul Perlmutter and Adam Riess.

Professor Schmidt led one of two teams to make a remarkable discovery that the universe is actually blowing apart at an ever-increasing rate. This discovery turned some of our most stable notions of the universe on its head and challenges our understanding of its very composition.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard congratulated Schmidt on his award and said “it was a testament to the rigour and determination of these astronomers and their teams”.

Ms Gillard said: “They stuck with their observations and made the theory fit the facts, however revolutionary and inconvenient”.

With only 0.3 per cent of the world’s population we produce 3 per cent of its knowledge – and as this latest recognition shows, a lot is world-class. Innovation Minister Senator Kim Carr said the Prize illustrated Australia's great strength as a centre of scientific research excellence; a country where the spirit of discovery was valued.

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