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 ...

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