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Hutton Honors College

 — Indiana University

An Undergraduate Lunch with
Adam Riess, 2011 Nobel Laureate in Physics

March 20, 2013

Physicists concluded that with the "Big Bang" 13.7 billion years ago the universe began expanding and was continuing to do so although at a slower rate in recent times. In the late 1990s, contrary to current theory, Adam Riess and Brian Schmidt leading one group and Saul Perlmutter leading a competing group made a fascinating, unexpected, and still puzzling discovery that won them the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics: The expansion of the universe is speeding up! Other groups have since confirmed their measurements and their discovery that some mysterious new process is causing galaxies to recede from one another at an increasing rate. Although the exact cause is not known, astrophysicists have given it a name—"dark energy."

Students joined Adam Riess for lunch and an informal conversation about the mysteries of "dark energy" and other interesting issues in science and science policy.

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Riess is the Thomas J. Barber Professor in Space Studies at Johns Hopkins University, a Distinguished Astronomer and senior member of the science staff at the Space Telescope Science Institute, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

His many awards include the Albert Einstein Medal, the MacArthur "genius" grant, the Shaw Prize in Astronomy, and the Gruber Cosmology Prize (shared).

IU professor of physics Gerardo Ortiz, pictured on the right, hosted Riess during his visit to campus as the 2013 Konopinski Lecturer.

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