2011 Nobel Prize in Physics Awarded to Scientists Featured in The 4 Percent Universe by Richard Panek

BOSTON – The winners of this year’s Nobel Prize in Physics are the subjects of THE 4 PERCENT UNIVERSE: Dark Matter, Dark Energy, and the Race to Discover the Rest of Reality, (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Jan. 2011 and out next week in paperback).

The three U.S.-born scientists, Saul Perlmutter of the University of California, Berkeley, Brian Schmidt of the Australian National University in Weston Creek, and Adam Riess, an astronomy professor at Johns Hopkins University and Space Telescope Science Institute, won the Nobel Prize in Physics today for their studies of exploding stars that revealed the expansion of the universe is accelerating.

According to author Richard Panek, an award-winning journalist and the recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship, “The stunning discovery here is that the universe is doing the opposite of what these scientists expected—the expansion is speeding up under the influence of some force that, on the cosmic scale, is overpowering gravity.” 

THE 4 PERCENT UNIVERSE describes the rivalries of the scientists in the race to explain dark energy.

“In his journalistic yet artful style, Panek guides you through the quirky discoveries that established the existence of dark matter and dark energy…you also get to meet the quirky cosmologists who got us there,” said Neil deGrasse Tyson, American Museum of Natural History, author of Death by Black Hole.

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