How astrophysics Nobel Prize winner made humans better at understanding cosmic physics

The Nobel Prize in physics is no longer the top prize to-do list for “Everyman” geniuses, in part because new discoveries in near-field laser-based research may lead to understanding intergalactic space in ways we could not imagine possible until now.

Predicting conditions in space is very difficult because we know so little about how galaxies form and how planetary systems form. One problem is that you can’t know for sure what gas clouds look like, but so far, stellar mass measurement has been the only way to solve the problem. For instance, one technique was to make observations of objects like stars or galaxies very precisely. So the quantum fluctuation of their energy, called photons, measured very well. There are some stars that have longer wavelength photons than others, and for each type of star, a different measurement is needed.

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