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Md. Professor Wins Share Of Nobel Prize

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Nobel Prize recipient Adam Riess, center, flanked by his wife Nancy and President of Johns Hopkins University, Ronald Daniels at Tuesday's press conference in Baltimore.
Elliott Francis
Nobel Prize recipient Adam Riess, center, flanked by his wife Nancy and President of Johns Hopkins University, Ronald Daniels at Tuesday's press conference in Baltimore.

Adam Riess, a professor of astrophysics at Johns Hopkins University, is the co-recipient of this year’s Nobel Prize in Physics. Riess will share the award with fellow American Saul Perlmutter and Australian Brian Schmidt. The trio was part of two teams of scientists who discovered our universe is expanding at an increasingly faster rate.

Riess says the discovery, made by analyzing supernovas came a decade ago, shortly before he and his wife Nancy were about to begin their honeymoon: "I took a break from the work, which I was working on feverishly cause I knew it was something good, and I get behind the computer to respond to this set of emails to tell people why this evidence was good enough, and she looks up and says 'Adam, seriously, on our honeymoon, you’re going to send an email?'"

Although the discovery earned Reiss the 2011 Nobel Prize, he says the work on his revelation is just beginning. "There is so much more to do, because we have created so many more questions then we’ve answered," he says. "It’s so much more of a richer field then when we got started in it that it’s going to take a lot of really smart people to take this beyond us."

As for what he plans to do now that he's received one of the most prestigious honors in his field, "I think I’ll go home, maybe have a glass of champagne and be with friends and family," Riess says. Riess is the 35th faculty member, fellow, or graduate from Johns Hopkins to win a Nobel Prize.

As part of the Nobel Prize, the team of scientists will share a $1.5 million award.

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