Adam Riess Quotes

Adam Guy Riess (born December 16, 1969) is a U.S. astrophysicist and Bloomberg Distinguished Professor at Johns Hopkins University and the Space Telescope Science Institute and is known for his research in using supernovae as cosmological probes. Riess shared both the 2006 Shaw Prize in Astronomy and the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics with Saul Perlmutter and Brian P. Schmidt for providing evidence that the expansion of the universe is accelerating

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Adam Riess


Dark energy is incredibly strange, but actually it makes sense to me that it went unnoticed, because dark energy has no effect on daily life, or even inside our solar system.

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One of the most exciting things about dark energy is that it seems to live at the very nexus of two of our most successful theories of physics: quantum mechanics, which explains the physics of the small, and Einstein's Theory of General Relativity, which explains the physics of the large, including gravity.

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We know there is gravity because apples fall from trees. We can observe gravity in daily life. If we could throw an apple to the edge of the universe, we would observe it accelerating.

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We've known for a long time that the universe is expanding. But about 15 years ago, my colleagues and I discovered that it is expanding faster and faster. That is, the universe is accelerating, and that was not expected, but it is now attributed to this mysterious stuff called dark energy which seems to make up about 70 percent of the universe.

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During my time at Watchung Hills Regional High School, I was fortunate to have a number of teachers who inspired me and filled me with enthusiasm for learning.

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It's everywhere, really. It's between the galaxies. It is in this room. We believe that everywhere that you have space, empty space, that you cannot avoid having some of this dark energy.

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Einstein wrestled with a problem back before we even knew the universe was expanding, and he was looking for a way to keep the universe from collapsing. And so he discovered, in his theory of gravity, something like this dark energy - he called it a cosmological constant - could play this role, pushing things away.

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We look at distant exploding stars called supernovae, and we've developed techniques to measure how far away they are and how fast they're moving away from us.

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Until the 1990s, there were few reliable observations about movement at the scale of the entire universe, which is the only scale dark energy effects. So dark energy could not be seen until we could measure things very, very far away.

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Your chemistry high school teacher lied to you when they told you that there was such a thing as a vacuum, that you could take space and move every particle out of it.

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I think the mystery of what's out there in the universe is just very compelling.

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We're really just the frosting on a cake and we don't know what's inside the cake.

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