Rashid Sunyaev wins cosmology prize
Jul 14, 2003
Rashid Sunyaev will receive the 2003 Cosmology Prize of the Peter Gruber Foundation - which is worth $150,000 - at the opening ceremony of the 25th General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union in Sydney tomorrow. Sunyaev, who has been director of the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics in Germany since 1996, receives the prize for his pioneering studies of the nature of the cosmic microwave background and its interaction with intervening matter.
Sunyaev is a pioneer in the fields of X-ray astronomy and the cosmic background radiation, and in 1972, working with Yakov Zel’dovich, he predicted that the cosmic background would be cooled as it passes through hot gas. This effect, now known as the Sunyaev-Zel’dovich effect, is widely used in astrophysics and cosmology to determine absolute distances.
Previous winners of the Gruber prize include Jim Peebles and Allan Sandage (2000), Martin Rees (2001) and Vera Rubin (2002).
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Belle Dumé is Science Writer at PhysicsWeb