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President Daniels Congratulates Nobel Laureate Adam Riess

October 4, 2011
CONTACT: Dennis O’Shea

President Ronald J. Daniels sent a broadcast email message to students, faculty and staff at The Johns Hopkins University on Tuesday, Oct. 4, congratulating Professor Adam G. Riess, the just-announced co-winner of the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics. This is the text of that message.

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,

What a momentous day for Johns Hopkins! Congratulations to our own Adam G. Riess, who today was awarded the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics.

Dr. Riess, the Krieger-Eisenhower Professor of Physics and Astronomy in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences and a senior staff member at the Space Telescope Science Institute, is the 35th person associated in some way with Johns Hopkins to win a Nobel Prize. He shares the award with Brian P. Schmidt of Australian National University and Saul Perlmutter of the University of California, Berkeley. 

Astrophysicists ask big questions, really, really big questions. The questions Dr. Riess has helped to ask are no exceptions: How fast did the universe grow? Is it still growing, and, if so, how fast? And what will be its ultimate end?

Thanks to Adam’s work, and that of his co-winners, we now know some of the answers: They found that the universe is, in fact, expanding faster than ever, overcoming the pull of gravity by means of a previously unknown, still-unexplained force they have labeled “dark energy.”

This is amazing work, writing important new chapters in our increasingly detailed history of the universe.

We can take particular pride in the fact that this is the second time in three years, and the fourth time in nine years, that a current member of the Johns Hopkins faculty has joined the ranks of Nobel laureates. It was just two years ago that Carol Greider, the Daniel Nathans Professor and Director of Molecular Biology and Genetics in the School of Medicine, received her now-legendary early morning call from Stockholm while folding laundry and preparing to work out.

Peter Agre, then in the School of Medicine and now director of the Malaria Research Institute in the Bloomberg School of Public Health, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2003. In 2002, Riccardo Giacconi, University Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy and former director of the Space Telescope Science Institute, won the physics Nobel.

As with these earlier Nobel laureates, Dr. Riess has a passion to know more. The energy with which he pursues that passion exemplifies the commitment made by all of us across Johns Hopkins to deploy knowledge to create a better and more humane world. We are honored by his association with our university. I know you join with me and with Johns Hopkins alumni and friends around the world in offering him our most enthusiastic thanks and congratulations.

More information about today’s Nobel Prize will be linked into the university’s website at http://webapps.jhu.edu/jhuniverse/featured/riess_nobel/


Ronald J. Daniels

Office of Communications
Johns Hopkins University
3910 Keswick Road, Suite N2600
Baltimore, Maryland 21211
Phone: 443-997-9009 | Fax: 443 997-1006