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Thread: If Hubble discovered that the universe was expanding, then why did Permutter get the Nobel

  1. #1 If Hubble discovered that the universe was expanding, then why did Permutter get the Nobel 
    Forum Freshman
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    May 2012
    If it was Hubble who discovered that the universe was expanding, why did Perlmutter, Schmidt and Riess win the Nobel Prize in Physics for that in 2011?

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  3. #2  
    Forum Masters Degree
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    Aug 2011
    Maybe it was just a theory before this and nobody can really test it until now?

    I think it is just like Einstein theory of relativity: he doesn't get nobel prize for relativity theory but everyone says relativity theory is true. Funnily, Einstein only get nobel prize for discovering that UV light causes metal to eject electron or something like that (aka: photoelectric effect).

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  4. #3  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Jul 2005
    They determined, through measurements of distant supernovae that the rate of expansion of the universe had speeded up. That is what the prize was awarded for.

    Check the Nobel Prize site for more information.
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  5. #4  
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    And it was a real surprise. They actually did their experiment thinking they'd discover just how much the expansion was slowing down. When they got contrary results, they did a double-take, and checked and checked again. You can read more about it here.

    "He and his LBNL team were puzzled by initial results in 1997 indicating that, not only was the universe’s expansion not slowing down, it was speeding up, contrary to all cosmological theories."

    You'll probably have heard of "the raisins in the cake" analogy for the expanding universe. The cake is space, the raisins are the galaxies. You shove the uncooked cake in the oven, and it rises and rises, then stops rising. Well, the universe doesn't seem to be quite like that. It seems to be more like a cake that bursts out of your oven then fills your kitchen and keeps on going!
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