Ulf Danielsson, member of the Nobel committee talks during the announcement of the winners of the 2019 Nobel Prize in Physics during news conference at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm, Sweden, on Tuesday Oct. 8, 2019. The 2019 Nobel Prize in Physics is awarded to James Peebles, Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz. (Claudio Bresciani / TT via AP)

The Latest: Astronomy work that won Nobel seen as broad move

October 08, 2019 - 9:03 am

STOCKHOLM (AP) — The Latest on the Nobel Prize in Physics (all times local):

2:30 p.m.

A University of Cambridge astronomer says the work that earned three scientists the 2019 Nobel Prize in Physics "highlights astronomy as the grandest of the environmental sciences."

Emeritus Professor Martin Rees said the work recognized Tuesday reflects an apparent broadening of the Nobel committee's criteria for the physics prize.

He says astronomy typically has been included when a discovery involves a new element of physics, such as neutron stars or gravitational waves.

The scientists won this years' physics prize for their contribution to the understanding of the evolution of the universe and "Earth's place in the cosmos."

One half was given to James Peebles "for theoretical discoveries in physical cosmology," and the other half to Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz "for the discovery of an exoplanet orbiting a solar-type star."

Rees said in a statement that Queloz and Mayor's discovery of the first planet orbiting an ordinary star "has led to the discovery of many thousands of other planetary systems."

He called Peebles "the most influential and respected leader of empirical cosmology" spanning half a century.

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2 p.m.

A member of the Swedish Science Academy has recited the first lines of the theme song of TV show "The Big Bang Theory" that "our whole universe was in a hot, dense state. Then nearly 14 billion years ago expansion started ..."

At a news conference where the winners were announced, professor Ulf Danielsson used a transparent cup with black coffee, poured milk in it and added a pinch of sugar to illustrate the work of the laureates of the 2019 Nobel Prize in Physics— James Peebles, Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz.

He added, "This is the dark energy, then a fair amount of cream, this is the dark matter, and then just a tiny little bit of sugar. This is the ordinary matter, this is what science has been all about for thousands of years."

Danielsson went on, "We had thought that other solar systems would be similar to our own. We were wrong."

Peebles was cited "for theoretical discoveries in physical cosmology" while Mayor and Queloz "for the discovery of an exoplanet orbiting a solar-type star."

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12:30 p.m.

Two Swiss scientists are celebrating their Nobel Prize in Physics for discovering a planet outside our solar system orbiting a solar-type star.

The University of Geneva has quoted Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz as saying that "this discovery is the most exciting of our whole career and for it to be rewarded with a Nobel Prize is simply extraordinary."

Mayor and Queloz announced their discovery of the planet, known as 51 Pegasi B, 24 years ago. Mayor recalled that "no one knew whether exoplanets existed or not. Prestigious astronomers had been searching for them for years, in vain!"

Canada-born James Peebles, who won the other half of the award "for theoretical discoveries in physical cosmology," was asked what he would tell young scientists. He told a news conference that "you should enter it for the love of science. You should enter science because you are fascinated by it."

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11:45 a.m.

Three scientists have won the 2019 Nobel Prize in Physics for their contribution to the understanding of the evolution of the universe and "Earth's place in the cosmos."

One half of the award was given to James Peebles "for theoretical discoveries in physical cosmology," and the other half jointly to Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz "for the discovery of an exoplanet orbiting a solar-type star."

They will share a 9-million kronor ($918,000) cash award, a gold medal and a diploma. The laureates will receive them at a ceremony in Stockholm on Dec. 10.

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9:35 a.m.

The 2019 Nobel Prize in Physics will be awarded Tuesday, a day after two Americans and one British scientist were awarded the award for Physiology or Medicine.

This year, the Nobel week will include an award in chemistry — to be announced Wednesday — two literature laureates, the coveted Nobel Peace Prize and the economics award.

This year's double-header Literature Prizes will be awarded Thursday and the Peace Prize will be announced on Friday. The economics prize will be awarded on Oct. 14.

The 2018 literature prize was suspended after a scandal rocked the Swedish Academy. The body plans to award it this year, along with announcing the 2019 laureate.

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Read more stories on the 2019 Nobel Prizes by The Associated Press at https://www.apnews.com/NobelPrizes

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