Faculty Expert Profile

Adam Riess

  • Thomas J. Barber Professor in Space Studies
  • Krieger Eisenhower Professor of Physics and Astronomy

Affiliations

  • Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts and Sciences

Adam Riess led a team of scientists named co-winner of the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics. Riess' work was also awarded the Albert Einstein Medal for his leadership in the High-z Supernova Search Team’s discovery that the expansion rate of the universe is accelerating, a phenomenon widely attributed to a mysterious, unexplained "dark energy" filling the universe. The discovery was named by Science magazine in 1998 as "the Breakthrough Discovery of the Year."

His accomplishments have been recognized with a number of other awards, including a MacArthur Fellowship in 2008, the Gruber Foundation Cosmology Prize in 2007 (shared), and the Shaw Prize in Astronomy in 2006.

His research involves measurements of the cosmological framework with supernovae (exploding stars) and Cepheids (pulsating stars). Currently, he leads the SHOES Team in efforts to improve the measurement of the Hubble Constant and the HIgher-z Team to find and measure the most distant type Ia supernovae known to probe the origin of cosmic acceleration.

Riess was recently quoted in a 2019 Washington Post article exploring a disagreement among astronomers about how quickly the universe is expanding, a tiff described as "the Hubble Constant tension." Riess offered what the article called a "tantalizing possibility" about what is behind the problem: “No one’s wrong. Something else is going on in the universe.”

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