Hubble constant wins professor prestigious prize
[ Research Review 0809 ]
Measuring the size and age of the universe has won University of Melbourne Professor Jeremy Mould and his international colleagues the prestigious 2009 Gruber Prize for Cosmology, announced by the Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation in the United States.
Professor Jeremy Mould of the University of Melbourne‚€™s School of Physics shares the prize worth $US500,000 with Wendy Freedman, Director of the Observatories of the Carnegie Institution of Washington in Pasadena, California, and Robert Kennicutt, Director of the Institute of Astronomy at the University of Cambridge in England.
The award recognises the astronomers‚€™ leadership in the definitive measurement of the Hubble constant, which explains the expansion rate of the universe since its beginning, thus connecting the universe‚€™s size with its age.
The findings of the Hubble Space Telescope Key Project in 1999 have since been confirmed and recognised as one of the most important measurements in astronomy.
The expansion rate of the universe has been hotly debated since Edwin Hubble‚€™s original discovery in 1929 that galaxies were rushing away from each other at a rate proportional to their distance, i.e. the further apart, the faster the recession.
‚€œWe were able to greatly improve the accuracy of the measurement‚€Ě says Professor Mould. ‚€œWe are receiving this prize now because a lot of additional work has confirmed our findings, allowing the prize givers to be very confident of our results.‚€Ě
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