Laureates 2009

2009 Past Astrophysics-History of the Universe

Paul Richards

richards_-_smallPaul Richards is Professor of the Graduate School, University of California at Berkeley. Prof. Richards is known for the discovery of  the large-scale spatial geometry of the universe being spatially flat, and confirmation of the existence of a negative-pressure dark energy pervading the universe (as first suggested by supernova observations). Prof. Richards provided evidence for an inflationary epoch at the beginning of the universe, and measurements of the Universe's mean density, matter density, and other cosmological parameters.

More specifically, Prof. Richards organized and lead the MAXIMA-1 experiment (parallel to Paolo De Bernardis and Andrew Lange's BOOMERanG experiment). MAXIMA-1 measured the angular sizes and amplitudes of the first few acoustic peaks in the cosmic microwave background radiation, from which Richards and colleagues deduced the Universe's geometry and made their byproduct discoveries.

Among Prof. Richards' professional society affiliations are the National Academy of Science, the National Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Physical Society, and Phi Beta Kappa. His awards include the Frank Isakson Prize for Optical Effects in Solids; the Button Medal for Outstanding Contributions to the Science of the Electromagnetic Spectrum; and the Department of Energy Award in Solid State Physics for Outstanding Scientific Accomplishments.