Nobel Prize Winner in Physics 2019 Didier Queloz
Didier Queloz is Professor of Physics at the Cavendish Laboratory and Geneva University. He is at the origin of the exoplanet revolution in astrophysics. Until recently, the Solar System has provided us with the only basis for our knowledge of planets and life in the universe. In 1995 Prof Queloz has dramatically changed this view with the discovery he made with Michel Mayor of the first giant planet outside the solar system. This seminal discovery has spawned a real revolution in astronomy both in terms of new instrumentation and understanding of planet formation and evolution. Since then Prof Queloz has been involved in a successful series of developments of precise spectrographs, considerable improving the precision of the Doppler technique.
In 2007, in the emerging area of planetary transit detection, he established a successful international collaboration with the WASP team from UK, providing the spectroscopic confirmation and precise photometry follow-up to confirm and characterize planetary candidates. He also took an active part in the Corot mission, pioneering planet transit detection from space. He conducted a part of the work that led to the first transit detection of a rocky planet (Corot-7b).
In 2013 he became professor at Cambridge University where he is leading a comprehensive research program with the goal of making further progress in our understanding of their formation, structure, and habitability of exoplanet in the Universe as well as to promote and share the excitement of this work with the public. He has participated to numerous documentaries movies articles and interviews.
In 2019 he was the recipient, with Micheal Mayor, of the Nobel Prize for Physics for his work on exoplanet detection.