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 Innovation Award of the United Nations Environment Programme for PhD Student from ZMT
22.03.2018 | Leibniz-Zentrum für Marine Tropenforschung (ZMT)

nachricht ERC Project set to boost application of adhesive structures
19.03.2018 | INM - Leibniz-Institut für Neue Materialien gGmbH

All articles from Awards Funding >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Powerful IT security for the car of the future – research alliance develops new approaches

The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.

Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...

Im Focus: Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices

A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.

The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

12th COMPAMED Spring Convention: Innovative manufacturing processes of modern implants

28.05.2018 | Event News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Cognitive Power Electronics 4.0 is gaining momentum

28.05.2018 | Trade Fair News

Organic light-emitting diodes become brighter and more durable

28.05.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

12th COMPAMED Spring Convention: Innovative manufacturing processes of modern implants

28.05.2018 | Event News

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>