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Saul Perlmutter

Saul PerlmutterBorn: 1959
Birthplace: Champaign-Urbana, IL

Gender: Male
Religion: Jewish
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Astronomer, Physicist

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Accelerating expansion of the universe

Astrophysicist Saul Perlmutter developed a technique to much more rapidly analyze imagery of distant galaxies and identify supernovae, then searched through multiple thousands of galaxies, identifying six previously unknown 1a supernovae. Further analysis of this data was intended to help determine the rate of deceleration in the universe's expansion, but instead — much to Perlmutter's amazement — the data suggests that the universe is mostly comprised of "dark energy", which actually accelerates the rate of the universe's expansion. Discovered concurrently but independently by Adam G. Riess and Brian P. Schmidt in 1998, this finding altered the basics of cosmology and physics, earning Perlmutter, Riess, and Schmidt the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics.

Father: Daniel Perlmutter (Professor of Chemical Engineering)
Mother: Felice Davidson Perlmutter (Professor of Social Administration)
Sister: Shira Perlmutter (attorney, b. 1956)
Sister: Tova Perlmutter (non-profit executive, b. 1967)
Wife: Laura Nelson (anthropologist, one daughter)
Daughter: Noa (b. circa 2003)

    University: Germantown Friends School, Philadelphia, PA (1977)
    University: BS Physics, Harvard University (1981)
    University: PhD Astrophysics, University of California at Berkeley (1986)
    Scholar: Space Sciences Laboratory, University of California at Berkeley (1987-88)
    Scholar: Center for Particle Astrophysics, University of California at Berkeley (1989-93)
    Fellow: Senior Fellow, Space Sciences Laboratory, University of California at Berkeley (2002-)
    Professor: Physics, University of California at Berkeley (2004-)

    Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Research Ass't in Physics:(1983-86)
    Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Postdoctoral Scholar (1986-87)
    Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Head, Supernova Cosmology Project (1988-)
    AAS Henri Chretien Award 1996
    E. O. Lawrence Award 2002
    Franklin Institute's John Scott Medal 2005
    Shaw Prize in Astronomy 2006, with Adam G. Riess and Brian P. Schmidt
    Gruber Prize in Cosmology 2007, with Schmidt
    Dickson Prize 2009
    Albert Einstein Medal 2011, with Riess
    Nobel Prize for Physics 2011, with Riess and Schmidt
    American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2007)
    American Association for the Advancement of Science (2003)
    American Astronomical Society
    American Physical Society (2001)
    NASA
    National Academy of Sciences (2002)
    Canadian Ancestry Paternal
    Jewish Ancestry
    Romanian Ancestry Maternal


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