Of the ten years that I have been awarding the Physics prize this is
the most special. The Australian Physics community is still
celebrating the award of the 2011 Nobel Prize for Physics to an
Australian, Brian Schmidt from the Australian National
University. This is almost 100 years since previous Australian
physicists, a father and son team of Lawrence and William Bragg,
received theirs in 1915.
Brian Schmidt was part of a team that made an extraordinary
discovery. They found that the galaxies are flying apart at an ever
increasing speed. Something out there is fueling this acceleration,
but what? We have bravely labeled this as "Dark Energy". This is to go
with the "Dark Matter" we need to find inside galaxies to keep them
from flying apart.
It is said that if we estimate all of the energy in our universe,
around 74% is "Dark Energy", 22% is in "Dark Matter", and the known
visible universe is just 4%! All this is discussed in this
wonderful book by Bryan Gaensler, one of the premier Australian
astronomers and outstanding speakers. I've invited him to give a
public lecture in Perth and
he will do so in September. So look out for that.
Given that we know almost nothing about everything that matters,
we need bright young scientists to help us out, and get the next Nobel
Prize for an Australian physicist.
I figure our first victim, I mean candidate, might be your best
year-11 physics student of last year.
It gives me great pleasure to
award this book prize to ...
mailto: Igor Bray