The Nobel Prizes in both Physics and Chemistry were announced last week to trios of scientists

According to Time Magazine, the Nobel Prizes in Physics and Chemistry were awarded last Tuesday and Wednesday. The Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to three scientists, James Peebles, Michel Mayor, and Didier Queloz. Peebles was awarded fifty percent of the prize for his “theoretical discoveries in physical cosmology,” and Mayor and Queloz were awarded the other fifty percent of the prize for their “discovery of an exoplanet orbiting a solar-type star.” The Nobel Prize in Chemistry was also awarded to three scientists, John B. Goodenough, M. Stanley Whittingham, and Akira Yoshino. Goodenough, Whittingham, and Yoshino were awarded the Prize for their work “to develop and advance lithium-ion batteries.” ~

According to Quanta Magazine, Peebles was able to explain what the cosmic microwave background (CMB) is and how it relates to the big bang. The CMB is the light emitted during the big bang and Peebles took this idea one step further and was able to theorize that “the light had propagated through space almost since the beginning, growing fainter and less energetic over time as the expansion of space stretched it out.” Mayor and Queloz’s created a new spectrograph — a device used to precisely measure the frequencies of light coming from a star — called Elodie. This new spectrograph is able to detect 142 stars and with it, they were able to detect a planet orbiting a far-away star. These discoveries give new explanations to the Big Bang and show “that other planetary systems were out there waiting to be discovered.” ~

According to the Wall Street Journal, Wittingham had lead the way in the Lithium battery industry by changing the battery’s anode (negative end) from copper to lithium which allowed for the battery to be rechargeable. Goodenough then changed the cathode (positive end) in order to allow for more storage in the battery. Yoshino made the batteries safer and able to be recharged more by making the anode not out of solid lithium metal but out of lithium ions added to a carbon material called petroleum coke. These discoveries in the lithium battery industry have allowed for the creation of phones and computers which has greatly shaped the world around us. ~

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