Three scientists have been awarded the 2011 Nobel Prize in physics for their research on the expansion of the universe.
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said U.S. scientist Saul Perlmutter, U.S.-Australian citizen Brian Schmidt, and American Adam Riess share the prize for the discovery that the expansion of the universe is accelerating rather than slowing down, as previously thought.
"This discovery of the accelerating expansion of the universe is a milestone for cosmology," the chairman of the Nobel Committee for Physics, Borje Johansson, said in announcing the prize. "The expansion history of the universe gives us insights into the evolution of the universe and possibly about the ultimate fate of the universe."
The scientists made their discovery through observations of exploding stars.
One-half of the prize of 10 million Swedish crowns ($1.46 million) goes to Perlmutter and the other half to Schmidt and Riess.
The physics prize is the second Nobel prize to be handed out this week after the prize for medicine on October 3.
The Nobel prizes were established in the will of Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel and have been handed out since 1901.
compiled from agency reports