[astroCS] Nobelova cena za fyziky 2003

Jan Rybak choc at ta3.sk
Wed Oct 9 04:25:14 UTC 2002

Vazene kolegyne a vazeni kolegovia,

ako som uz informoval na vcerajsom ustavnom seminari, tohtorocnu
Nobelovu cenu za fyziku ziskali traja astrofyzici :

Raymond Davis a Masatoshi Koshiba 

'for pioneering contributions to
astrophysics, in particular for the
detection of cosmic neutrinos'

a Riccardo Giacconi

'for pioneering contributions to
astrophysics, which have led to
the discovery of cosmic 
X-ray sources'

Prikladam par informacii a prijemnu pracu praje

Jano Rybak (choc at astro.sk)

TL, 9/10/2002

PS : viac podrobnosti : http://www.nobel.se


Two New Windows on the Universe
The Earth lies in the path of a continuous flux 
of cosmic particles and other types of radiation. This year's 
Nobel Laureates in Physics have used these very smallest components 
of the universe to increase our understanding of the very largest: 
the Sun, stars, galaxies and supernovae. The new knowledge has changed 
the way we look upon the universe. 

The mysterious particle called a neutrino was predicted as early 
as 1930 by Wolfgang Pauli (Nobel Prize in 1945), but it would take 
25 years to prove its existence (by Frederick Reines, Nobel Prize 
in 1995). This is because neutrinos, which are formed in the fusion 
processes in the Sun and other stars when hydrogen is converted 
into helium, hardly interact at all with matter and are therefore 
very difficult to detect. For example, thousands of billions of 
neutrinos pass through us every second without our noticing them. 
Raymond Davis Jr constructed a completely new detector, a 
gigantic tank filled with 600 tonnes of fluid, which was placed 
in a mine. Over a period of 30 years he succeeded in capturing a 
total of 2,000 neutrinos from the Sun and was thus able to prove 
that fusion provided the energy from the Sun. With another gigantic 
detector, called Kamiokande, a group of researchers led by Masatoshi 
Koshiba was able to confirm Davis's results. They were 
also able, on 23 February 1987, to detect neutrinos from a distant 
supernova explosion. They captured twelve of the total of 10"-1"
neutrinos (10,000,000,000,000,000) that passed through the detector. 
The work of Davis and Koshiba has led to unexpected discoveries 
and a new, intensive field of research, neutrino-astronomy.

The Sun and all other stars emit electromagnetic radiation at different 
wavelengths, both visible and invisible light, e.g. X-rays. In order 
to investigate cosmic X-ray radiation, which is absorbed in Earth's 
atmosphere, it is necessary to place instruments in space. Riccardo 
Giacconi has constructed such instruments. He detected for the 
first time a source of X-rays outside our solar system and he was 
the first to prove that the universe contains background radiation 
of X-ray light. He also detected sources of X-rays that most astronomers 
now consider to contain black holes. Giacconi constructed the first 
X-ray telescopes, which have provided us with completely new - 
and sharp - images of the universe. His contributions laid 
the foundations of X-ray astronomy.

Raymond Davis Jr, born 1914 (87 years), in Washington, DC, 
USA (US citizen). PhD in Chemistry 1942 at Yale University, Connecticut, 
USA. Professor Emeritus at the Department of Physics and Astronomy, 
University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA.

Masatoshi Koshiba, born 1926 (76 years), in Toyohashi , Aichi, 
Japan (Japanese citizen). PhD 1955 at the University of Rochester, 
New York, USA. Professor Emeritus at the International Center for 
Elementary Particle Physics, University of Tokyo, Japan.

Riccardo Giacconi, born 1931 (71 years), in Genoa, Italy 
(US citizen). PhD 1954 at the University of Milan. President of 
Associated Universities, Inc., Washington, DC, USA.

Prize amount: SEK 10 million. Davis and Koshiba share one 
half and Giacconi receives the other half.


Date: Tue, 8 Oct 2002 16:40:23 -0400 (EDT)
From: NASANews at hq.nasa.gov

Dolores Beasley
Headquarters, Washington                     October 8, 2002
(Phone: 202/358-1753)

RELEASE: 02-197


     Riccardo Giacconi, the "father of X-ray astronomy," has 
received the Nobel Prize in physics for "pioneering 
contributions to astrophysics," which have led to the 
discovery of cosmic 
X-ray sources.

Giaconni, president of the Associated Universities Inc., in 
Washington, and Research Professor of Physics and Astronomy 
at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, discovered the first 
X-ray stars and the X-ray background in the 1960s and 
conceived of and led the implementation of the Uhuru and High 
Energy Astronomy Observatory-2 (HEAO-2) X-ray observatories 
in the 1970s. With funding from NASA, he also detected 
sources of X-rays that most astronomers now consider to 
contain black holes. 

Giacconi said that receiving the award confirms the 
importance of X-ray astronomy. "I think I'm one of the first 
to get the Nobel prize for work with NASA, so that's good for 
NASA and I think it's also good for the field," he said. 
"It's also nice for all the other people who've worked in 
this field. I recognize that I was never alone. I'm happy for 
me personally, I'm happy for my family, and I'm happy for the 
field and for NASA," Giacconi added.

In 1976, Giacconi along with Harvey Tananbaum of the Harvard-
Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, Mass., 
submitted a proposal letter to NASA to initiate the study and 
design of a large X-ray telescope. In 1977 work began on the 
program, which was then known as the Advanced X-ray 
Astrophysics Facility and in 1998 renamed the Chandra X-ray 

"Partnerships with universities and scientists are essential 
in our quest to answer the fundamental questions of the 
universe," said Dr. Ed Weiler, NASA Associate Administrator 
for Space Science, Headquarters, Washington. "Dr. Giacconi's 
achievements are a brilliant example of this synergy among 
NASA, universities and their community of scientists and 
students," he said. 

Giacconi is Principal Investigator for the ultradeep survey 
with Chandra -- the "Chandra Deep Field South" -- that has 
already obtained the deepest X-ray exposures to date with a 
million-second observation. He was also the first director of 
the Hubble Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore.

Giacconi, 71, received half the prize. Raymond Davis Jr., 87, 
of the University of Pennsylvania and Masatoshi Koshiba, 76, 
of the University of Tokyo will share the other half of the 
prize, worth about $1 million, for their research into cosmic 

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