The Nobel Prize in Physics 2019
Born: 23 February 1966, Geneva, Switzerland
Affiliation at the time of the award: University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland; University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom
Prize motivation: “for the discovery of an exoplanet orbiting a solar-type star”
Prize share: 1/4
Didier Queloz was born in Switzerland and studied at the University of Geneva. He also received a doctorate there in 1995. His supervisor was Michel Mayor, and their work led to the discovery for which they were awarded the Nobel Prize. Queloz has been a professor at the University of Geneva since 2008 and since 2012 also at the University of Cambridge.
Fundamental questions about the universe’s structure and history have always fascinated human beings. In 1995, Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz announced the first discovery of a planet outside our solar system, an exoplanet, orbiting a solar-type star in our home galaxy, the Milky Way. Using custom-made instruments, they were able to see planet 51 Pegasi b, in the Pegasus constellation. Since then over 4,000 exoplanets have since been found in the Milky Way. Eventually, we may find an answer to the eternal question of whether other life is out there.