Adam Riess

Adam Riess

Overview
Adam Guy Riess is an American astrophysicist
Astrophysics
Astrophysics is the branch of astronomy that deals with the physics of the universe, including the physical properties of celestial objects, as well as their interactions and behavior...

 at Johns Hopkins University
Johns Hopkins University
The Johns Hopkins University, commonly referred to as Johns Hopkins, JHU, or simply Hopkins, is a private research university based in Baltimore, Maryland, United States...

 and the Space Telescope Science Institute
Space Telescope Science Institute
The Space Telescope Science Institute is the science operations center for the Hubble Space Telescope and for the James Webb Space Telescope...

 and is widely known for his research in using supernovae as Cosmological Probes. Riess shared both the 2006 Shaw Prize in Astronomy
Shaw Prize
The Shaw Prize is an annual award first presented by the Shaw Prize Foundation in 2004. Established in 2002 in Hong Kong, it honours living "individuals, regardless of race, nationality and religious belief, who have achieved significant breakthrough in academic and scientific research or...

 and the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics
Nobel Prize in Physics
The Nobel Prize in Physics is awarded once a year by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. It is one of the five Nobel Prizes established by the will of Alfred Nobel in 1895 and awarded since 1901; the others are the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Nobel Prize in Literature, Nobel Peace Prize, and...

 with Saul Perlmutter
Saul Perlmutter
Saul Perlmutter is an American astrophysicist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and a professor of physics at the University of California, Berkeley. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of...

 and Brian P. Schmidt
Brian P. Schmidt
Brian P. Schmidt is a Distinguished Professor, Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow and astrophysicist at the Australian National University Mount Stromlo Observatory and Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics and is widely known for his research in using supernovae as Cosmological...

 for providing evidence that the expansion of the universe is accelerating
Accelerating universe
The accelerating universe is the observation that the universe appears to be expanding at an increasing rate, which in formal terms means that the cosmic scale factor a has a positive second derivative, implying that the velocity at which a given galaxy is receding from us should be continually...

.

Riess was born one of three children into a Jewish family. He grew up in Warren, New Jersey
Warren Township, New Jersey
Warren Township is a Township in Somerset County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the township population was 15,311....

, where his father (a Naval engineer Michael Riess) owned a frozen-foods distribution company Bistro International and his mother (Doris Riess) worked as a clinical psychologist.
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Encyclopedia
Adam Guy Riess is an American astrophysicist
Astrophysics
Astrophysics is the branch of astronomy that deals with the physics of the universe, including the physical properties of celestial objects, as well as their interactions and behavior...

 at Johns Hopkins University
Johns Hopkins University
The Johns Hopkins University, commonly referred to as Johns Hopkins, JHU, or simply Hopkins, is a private research university based in Baltimore, Maryland, United States...

 and the Space Telescope Science Institute
Space Telescope Science Institute
The Space Telescope Science Institute is the science operations center for the Hubble Space Telescope and for the James Webb Space Telescope...

 and is widely known for his research in using supernovae as Cosmological Probes. Riess shared both the 2006 Shaw Prize in Astronomy
Shaw Prize
The Shaw Prize is an annual award first presented by the Shaw Prize Foundation in 2004. Established in 2002 in Hong Kong, it honours living "individuals, regardless of race, nationality and religious belief, who have achieved significant breakthrough in academic and scientific research or...

 and the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics
Nobel Prize in Physics
The Nobel Prize in Physics is awarded once a year by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. It is one of the five Nobel Prizes established by the will of Alfred Nobel in 1895 and awarded since 1901; the others are the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Nobel Prize in Literature, Nobel Peace Prize, and...

 with Saul Perlmutter
Saul Perlmutter
Saul Perlmutter is an American astrophysicist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and a professor of physics at the University of California, Berkeley. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of...

 and Brian P. Schmidt
Brian P. Schmidt
Brian P. Schmidt is a Distinguished Professor, Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow and astrophysicist at the Australian National University Mount Stromlo Observatory and Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics and is widely known for his research in using supernovae as Cosmological...

 for providing evidence that the expansion of the universe is accelerating
Accelerating universe
The accelerating universe is the observation that the universe appears to be expanding at an increasing rate, which in formal terms means that the cosmic scale factor a has a positive second derivative, implying that the velocity at which a given galaxy is receding from us should be continually...

.

Education


Riess was born one of three children into a Jewish family. He grew up in Warren, New Jersey
Warren Township, New Jersey
Warren Township is a Township in Somerset County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the township population was 15,311....

, where his father (a Naval engineer Michael Riess) owned a frozen-foods distribution company Bistro International and his mother (Doris Riess) worked as a clinical psychologist. Michael Riess (1931-2007) immigrated to the United States with his parents (journalist, war correspondent and author Curt Riess and Ilse Posnansky) from Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 on the ship "Europa"
Europa (ship)
Sailing ship Europa is a steel-hulled barque from the Netherlands, originally built in 1911, as a lightship at the H.C. Stülcken & Sohn shipyard in Hamburg, Germany. Its original name was Senator Brockes. Until 1977, it was in use by the German Federal Coast Guard as a lightship on the river Elbe...

 in 1936. Adam Riess has two sisters— Dr. Gail Michele Saltz, a psychiatrist, and Holly Hagerman, an artist.

He attended Watchung Hills Regional High School
Watchung Hills Regional High School
Watchung Hills Regional High School is a regional public high school and school district serving students in portions of Somerset and Morris Counties in New Jersey, United States. The high school is located next to Woodland School, in Warren Township...

, graduating in the class of 1988. Riess then graduated from The Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1992 where he was a member of the Phi Delta Theta
Phi Delta Theta
Phi Delta Theta , also known as Phi Delt, is an international fraternity founded at Miami University in 1848 and headquartered in Oxford, Ohio. Phi Delta Theta, Beta Theta Pi, and Sigma Chi form the Miami Triad. The fraternity has about 169 active chapters and colonies in over 43 U.S...

 fraternity. He received his PhD from Harvard University
Harvard University
Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...

 in 1996. Riess' PhD thesis was supervised by Robert Kirshner
Robert Kirshner
Robert Kirshner is the Clowes Professor of Science in the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics at Harvard University. Kirshner has worked in several areas of astronomy including the physics of supernovae, supernova remnants, the Large-scale structure of the cosmos, and the use of Supernovae...

 and resulted in measurements of over twenty new type Ia supernovae and a method to make Type Ia supernova
Type Ia supernova
A Type Ia supernova is a sub-category of supernovae, which in turn are a sub-category of cataclysmic variable stars, that results from the violent explosion of a white dwarf star. A white dwarf is the remnant of a star that has completed its normal life cycle and has ceased nuclear fusion...

e into accurate distance indicators by correcting for intervening dust and intrinsic inhomogeneities.

Work


Riess was a Miller Fellow at the University of California, Berkeley
University of California, Berkeley
The University of California, Berkeley , is a teaching and research university established in 1868 and located in Berkeley, California, USA...

 before moving on to the Space Telescope Science Institute
Space Telescope Science Institute
The Space Telescope Science Institute is the science operations center for the Hubble Space Telescope and for the James Webb Space Telescope...

 in 1999. He took up his current position at Johns Hopkins University
Johns Hopkins University
The Johns Hopkins University, commonly referred to as Johns Hopkins, JHU, or simply Hopkins, is a private research university based in Baltimore, Maryland, United States...

 in 2005.

Riess jointly led the study with Brian Schmidt
Brian Schmidt
Brian L. Schmidt is a music composer for various video games and pinball games. He began in the video game music and sound industry in 1987 as a composer/sound designer and programmer for Williams Electronic Games in Chicago writing music and creating sound effects for pinball machines and coin...

 in 1998 for the High-z Supernova Search Team
High-z Supernova Search Team
The High-z Supernova Search Team was an international cosmology collaboration which used Type Ia Supernovae to chart the expansion of the Universe. The team was formed in 1994 by Brian P. Schmidt, then a post-doctoral research associate at Harvard University, and Nicholas B. Suntzeff, a staff...

 which first reported evidence that the Universe's expansion rate is now accelerating though monitoring of Type 1a Supernova. The team's observations were contrary to the current theory that the expansion of the universe was slowing down; instead, by monitoring the color shifts in the light from the supernova from Earth, they discovered that these billion-year old nova were still accelerating. This result was also found nearly simultaneously by the Supernova Cosmology Project
Supernova Cosmology Project
The Supernova Cosmology Project is one of two research teams that determined the likelihood of an accelerating universe and therefore a positive Cosmological constant, using data from the redshift of Type Ia supernovae...

, led by Saul Perlmutter
Saul Perlmutter
Saul Perlmutter is an American astrophysicist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and a professor of physics at the University of California, Berkeley. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of...

. The corroborating evidence between the two competing studies led to the acceptance of the accelerating universe
Accelerating universe
The accelerating universe is the observation that the universe appears to be expanding at an increasing rate, which in formal terms means that the cosmic scale factor a has a positive second derivative, implying that the velocity at which a given galaxy is receding from us should be continually...

 theory, and initiated new research to understand the nature of the universe, such as the existence of dark matter
Dark matter
In astronomy and cosmology, dark matter is matter that neither emits nor scatters light or other electromagnetic radiation, and so cannot be directly detected via optical or radio astronomy...

. The discovery of the accelerating universe was named 'Breakthrough of the Year' by Science Magazine in 1998, and Riess was jointly awarded the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics
Nobel Prize in Physics
The Nobel Prize in Physics is awarded once a year by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. It is one of the five Nobel Prizes established by the will of Alfred Nobel in 1895 and awarded since 1901; the others are the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Nobel Prize in Literature, Nobel Peace Prize, and...

 along with Schmidt and Perlmutter for their groundbreaking work.

Riess leads the Higher-Z SN Search program which uses the Hubble Space Telescope
Hubble Space Telescope
The Hubble Space Telescope is a space telescope that was carried into orbit by a Space Shuttle in 1990 and remains in operation. A 2.4 meter aperture telescope in low Earth orbit, Hubble's four main instruments observe in the near ultraviolet, visible, and near infrared...

 to discover the most distant supernovae yet uncovered by humankind. His team has traced the Universe's expansion back more than 10 billion light years. The key finding has been the detection of an early phase of decelerating expansion causing the most distant supernovae to look relatively brighter and thus disfavoring significant astrophysical dimming of supernovae. This result thus confirms the dark energy-dark matter model as perceived from supernovae.

Awards


Riess received the Astronomical Society of the Pacific's Trumpler Award in 1999 and Harvard University
Harvard University
Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...

's Bok Prize in 2001. He won the American Astronomical Society's Helen B. Warner Prize in 2003 and the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Prize
Sackler Prize
The Raymond and Beverly Sackler International Prize is a $40,000 prize in the disciplines of either physics or chemistry awarded by Tel Aviv University each year for young scientists who have made outstanding and fundamental contributions in their fields. It was created through the generosity of...

 in 2004 for the discovery of cosmic acceleration.

In 2006, he shared the $1 million Shaw Prize
Shaw Prize
The Shaw Prize is an annual award first presented by the Shaw Prize Foundation in 2004. Established in 2002 in Hong Kong, it honours living "individuals, regardless of race, nationality and religious belief, who have achieved significant breakthrough in academic and scientific research or...

 in Astronomy
Astronomy
Astronomy is a natural science that deals with the study of celestial objects and phenomena that originate outside the atmosphere of Earth...

 with Saul Perlmutter
Saul Perlmutter
Saul Perlmutter is an American astrophysicist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and a professor of physics at the University of California, Berkeley. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of...

 and Brian P. Schmidt
Brian P. Schmidt
Brian P. Schmidt is a Distinguished Professor, Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow and astrophysicist at the Australian National University Mount Stromlo Observatory and Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics and is widely known for his research in using supernovae as Cosmological...

 for contributions to the discovery of the acceleration of the universe
Accelerating universe
The accelerating universe is the observation that the universe appears to be expanding at an increasing rate, which in formal terms means that the cosmic scale factor a has a positive second derivative, implying that the velocity at which a given galaxy is receding from us should be continually...

.

Schmidt and all the members of the High-Z Team (as defined by the co-authors of Riess et al. 1998) shared the 2007 Gruber Cosmology Prize
Gruber Prize in Cosmology
The Gruber Prize in Cosmology is one of five international awards made by The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation, an American non-profit organization based in the U.S. Virgin Islands with offices in New York City...

, a $500,000 award, with the Supernova Cosmology Project (the set defined by the co-authors of Perlmutter et al. 1999) for their discovery of the accelerating expansion of the universe. Riess was the winner of MacArthur "Genius" Grant in 2008. He was also elected in 2009 to the National Academy of Sciences.

Along with Perlmutter and Schmidt, he was awarded the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics
Nobel Prize in Physics
The Nobel Prize in Physics is awarded once a year by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. It is one of the five Nobel Prizes established by the will of Alfred Nobel in 1895 and awarded since 1901; the others are the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Nobel Prize in Literature, Nobel Peace Prize, and...

 for his contributions to the discovery of the acceleration of the expansion of the universe.

External links