Canadian-American cosmologist James Peebles and Swiss scientists Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz won the Nobel Prize in Physics 2019 on Tuesday for shedding light on the evolution of the universe and discovering planets orbiting distant suns.
Peebles of Princeton University in the United States received half of the prize of 9 million kronor ($ 910.000), while the mayor and Queloz of the University of Geneva in Switzerland split the other half.
"This year's winners have transformed our ideas about the cosmos," the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said in a statement accompanying the award.
“While James Peebles' theoretical discoveries contributed to our understanding of how the universe evolved after the Big Bang, Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz explored our cosmic neighborhoods in search of unknown planets. Their discoveries forever changed our conceptions of the world. ”
Among Nobel laureates, physics often took center stage with winners with some of the biggest names in science such as Albert Einstein, Marie Curie and Niels Bohr, as well as innovative inventors such as radio pioneer Guglielmo Marconi.
Using tools and theoretical calculations, Peebles was able to interpret the radiation plotted since the universe's infancy and thus discover new physical processes, the academy said.
It said that the mayor and Queloz announced the first discovery of a planet outside our own solar system, the so-called "exoplanet", initiating a revolution in astronomy. More than 4.000 exoplanets were found in the Milky Way.