Source / Courtesy: CNN and Muslim Sunrise
Scientists studying universe’s expansion win Nobel Prize in Physics
CNN) — Two scientists from the United States and one from Australia have won the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced Tuesday.
Half of the award went to Saul Perlmutter from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and University of California, Berkeley. The other half went to Brian P. Schmidt of Australian National University and Adam G. Riess of Johns Hopkins University and the Space Telescope Science Institute.
The prize in physics is worth 10 million Swedish kronor (about $1.44 million).
Scientists had known for a while that the universe is expanding because of the Big Bang about 14 billion years ago. However, the two teams that won this year’s prize discovered that the universe’s expansion was accelerating. They did so by studying a type of exploding star, called supernova.
The acceleration is believed to be caused by dark energy. But what that is remains perhaps physics greatest enigma today.
Al Wassay God and the Expanding Universe
By Dr. Zia H Shah and Dr. Lutfur Rehman
Published in the Muslim Sunrise (The Oldest Muslim Publication of North America)
At the time the Holy Qur’an was revealed, the human understanding of the nature of the cosmos and the movement or the stillness of the heavenly bodies was extremely primitive and obscure. This is no longer the case, as our knowledge of the universe has considerably advanced and expanded by the present age. Some of the theories relating to the creation of the universe have been verified as facts, whereas some others are still being explored. The concept of the expanding universe belongs to the former category, and has been universally accepted by the scientific community as ‘fact’. This discovery was first made by Edwin Hubble in the 1920s. Yet some thirteen centuries before this, it was clearly mentioned in the Qur’an in Sura Dhariyat: And the heaven We built with Our own powers (aydin) and indeed We go on expanding it (musi’un). It should be remembered that the concept of the continuous expansion of the universe is exclusive to the Qur’an. No other Divine scriptures even remotely hint at it.