24 February: Remembering Brian Schmidt on Birth Anniversary

OV Digital Desk

Brian Schmidt (born 24 February 1967) is an Australian-American astronomer and astrophysicist. He was awarded the 2011 Nobel Prize for Physics for his discovery of dark energy.

Life and Career

He was born on 24 February 1967, in Missoula, Montana, United States. In 1989, he graduated from the University of Arizona, Tucson, with a physics and astronomy degree. In 1992 he received a master’s degree and in 1993 he received a doctorate in astronomy from Harvard University. During 1993-1994, he held a postdoctoral fellowship at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

He then joined the faculty at the Australian National University, where he is currently a Distinguished Professor and the Vice-Chancellor.

In 1994 he and American astronomer Nicholas Suntzeff formed the High-Z SN Search team, an international group of astronomers that searched for Type Ia supernovae. In 1998, Schmidt, Riess, and the team discovered the accelerating expansion of the universe, a discovery that revolutionized the field of cosmology.

Due to dark energy’s current dominance, the expansion rate of the universe is faster than it was in the past. The same conclusion was reached by a team headed by Perlmutter.

Schmidt has also made significant contributions to the study of galaxy formation and evolution.

Brian Schmidt is also a Fellow of the Royal Society and a member of the Order of Australia.


He was awarded the 2011 Nobel Prize for Physics for his discovery of dark energy.

In 2006, he also won the Shaw Prize in Astronomy, in 2007, the Gruber Prize in Cosmology, and in 2015, the Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics.