Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Cosmologist wins prestigious excellence award

14.03.2008
University of Portsmouth Professor Bob Nichol is one of only five European scientists to have received a prestigious European Commission Marie Curie Excellence Award at a dedicated ceremony in Brussels on Thursday.

Professor Nichol is the only cosmologist and one of just two British scientists to receive the award, which has a prize of 50,000 euros.

He said: "This is a great honour. The award recognises the research I have done recently on Dark Energy as part of my recent Marie Curie Excellence Chair."

In 2004, Professor Nichol won an equally prestigious Marie Curie Excellence Chair which allowed him to return to Europe from the United States to continue his research. He had been in the US for 12 years at the University of Chicago and Carnegie Mellon University. He now works at Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation at the University of Portsmouth, one of Britain’s centres of excellence in the field.

"The Marie Curie programme of the European Commission has helped reverse the brain-drain and makes Europe more attractive,” he said. “I now plan to stay here for the rest of my career."

The Marie Curie Award was given for Professor Nichol's research into the enigmatic substance called "Dark Energy" which makes up 75 percent of the energy density of the universe. He said: “We discovered this stuff ten years ago and are still pretty clueless about its origin. There are lots of theories – from vacuum energy to extra dimensions in the universe – but we need to study this phenomenon more, and determine some of its basic properties. For example, we don't even know if dark energy changes with time and/or position in space."

A key part of Professor Nichol's ambition with this prize is to enthuse children with the wonders of science. He said: "Dark energy was a complete surprise. That's why science is great; you can find things that are mind-numbingly cool and unexpected.

“The number of children studying science is in decline; why? We lose them somewhere between primary school and GSCEs, maybe because we forget to tell children that we haven’t solved all the problems yet. This is certainly the impression we give them when they look at our physics textbooks. I think we should start physics education by telling people all the stuff we don't know first.

“We also need to tell the public what we do for a living, and why they need to support us. Physics is really the bedrock of innovation and fundamental discoveries like dark energy will shape physics, and technology, for the next century.”

The other winners are Luisa Corrado, from Italy, Batu Erman from Turkey, Andrea Ferrari, from Italy, and Valerie O’Donnell, from Cardiff University.

Kate Daniell | alfa
Further information:
http://www.port.ac.uk

More articles from Awards Funding:

nachricht German Federal Government Promotes Health Care Research
29.03.2017 | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt

nachricht Yuan Chang and Patrick Moore win prize for the discovery of two cancer viruses
14.03.2017 | Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main

All articles from Awards Funding >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A Challenging European Research Project to Develop New Tiny Microscopes

The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.

To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers shoot for success with simulations of laser pulse-material interactions

29.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Igniting a solar flare in the corona with lower-atmosphere kindling

29.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

As sea level rises, much of Honolulu and Waikiki vulnerable to groundwater inundation

29.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>