Canadian born scientist James Peebles is one of three people who have won this year’s Nobel Prize in Physics for their contributions to the understanding of the evolution of the universe and Earth’s place within it.
Peebles, born in St. Boniface, Man., is a physics professor at Princeton University in New Jersey. He won the award “for theoretical discoveries in physical cosmology.”
He completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Manitoba before moving to Princeton for graduate school.
Asked at the Nobel news conference what he would tell young scientists, he said “you should enter it for the love of science. You should enter science because you are fascinated by it.”
Peebles says in his biography for Princeton that he has a “preference for underappreciated issues” in physical cosmology, including the study of isolated galaxies.
“They are not uncommon, despite the great advances from the small science I encountered a half century ago to today’s big science,” he writes on his bio.
“What might we learn from lines of research that are off the beaten track? They check accepted ideas, always a Good Thing, and there is the chance Nature has prepared yet another surprise for us.”
Peebles shares the prize with Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz won “for the discovery of an exoplanet orbiting a solar-type star.”
They will share a 9 million kronor (C$1.2 million) cash award, a gold medal and a diploma. The laureates will receive them at a ceremony in Stockholm on Dec. 10.
This year’s double-header Literature Prizes will be awarded Thursday and the Peace Prize will be announced on Friday. The economics prize will be awarded on Oct. 14.
The 2018 literature prize was suspended after a scandal rocked the Swedish Academy. The body plans to award it this year, along with announcing the 2019 laureate.