California physics professor wins astronomy honor

June 22, 2006

A U.S. physics professor has been awarded the Shaw Prize in Astronomy for discovering that the expansion of the universe is accelerating.

Saul Perlmutter, a professor at the University of California-Berkeley and a member of the physics division of the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, led the international Supernova Cosmology Project.

Perlmutter shares the $1 million prize with Adam Riess of NASA's Space Telescope Science Institute and Brian Schmidt of Australia's Mount Stromlo Observatory. The presentation ceremony will be held Sept. 12 in Hong Kong.

The Shaw Prizes, called the Nobel Prizes of the East, have been granted annually since 2004 in the fields of astronomy, medicine and life sciences, and mathematical sciences. The prizes were established by Run Run Shaw, a Hong Kong motion picture and television producer and are administered by the Shaw Foundation.

"I'm delighted that the Shaw Foundation has decided to recognize research aimed at learning the history and fate of the universe," said Perlmutter. "It's a wonderful reminder to people of how exciting it is to be alive at a time when it's possible to address these ancient philosophical questions with experimental means."

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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