Exoplanets and the evolution of the cosmos receive the Nobel Prize in Physics

The scientists James Pleebes, Didier Queloz and Michel Mayor are the architects of changing our perspective on the universe.

We have always wondered how big the universe is and what is beyond the Earth. Those questions had no answer until a few years ago thanks to scientists such as the American James Peebles, and Swiss experts Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz who have received the 2019 Nobel Prize in Physics.

James Peebles has received the award for “his theoretical discoveries in physical cosmology,” and, on the other hand, Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz for “the discovery of an exoplanet orbiting a solar-type star.”

The expansion of the cosmos and its current vision

Peebles used “microwave background radiation,” which he predicted, to create a conceptual framework on how huge the universe is.

“Their discoveries have laid the groundwork for the transformation of cosmology in the last fifty years,” explain the members of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm.

This model has served to develop the Big Bang theory, describing the universe since its inception, more than 10 billion years ago, when it was extremely dense and hot. Since that time the universe has been expanding, getting bigger and colder.

400,000 million years ago the great explosion occurred and that caused the cosmos to become transparent and thus light could travel through space. Today our planet is still surrounded by that ancient radiation.

The results of their research showed us that we only know 5% of the content of the universe that is part of the matter that forms the planets and stars. While the rest is part of the so-called “dark matter” and energy that we still do not know.

A casual discovery

The Nobel Prize in Physics has also been awarded to Swiss scientists Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz.

To tell their feat we have to go back to October 1995. While they were investigating the Milky Way they discovered a planet outside our solar system, exoplanet, which orbits around a sun-like star.

This fact marked a before and after in astronomy, and since then more than 4,000 so-called exoplanets have been found in the Milky Way.

With this search, another question we might ask ourselves could be solved and that is the possible existence of life outside our planet.

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