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Adam Reiss
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Astronomer
    (December 16, 1969- )
    Born in Washington, District of Columbia
    Led the High-z Supernova Search Team
    Based on observations of distant supernovae, determined that the expansion of the universe is accelerating
    Then-current theories had suggested that the rate of expansion would slow down due to gravity
    Co-recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physics (2011)
    His discoveries led to the conclusion that 73% of the universe consists of something labelled ‘dark energy.’
    He admits, ‘I have absolutely no clue what dark energy is.’
    As if he hadn’t already sown enough confusion with dark energy, he has also used distant supernovae to calculate a value for the Hubble constant and come up with a number that is different – to a statistically significant degree – from the value previously determined using cosmic background radiation.
    Since both methods appear sound, Reiss commented, ‘It's looking more and more like we're going to need something new to explain this.’
    He received a MacArthur Foundation ‘genius grant.’ (2008)
    Depending on how the Hubble constant discrepancy pans out, he may be responsible for two paradigm-altering discoveries; most scientists don’t even get one.
    He said, ‘I think the mystery of what's out there in the universe is just very compelling.’

Credit: C. Fishel


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