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Anorak | These Are The ‘Bizarre’ Things That Happen After You Win A Nobel Prize

These Are The ‘Bizarre’ Things That Happen After You Win A Nobel Prize

by | 14th, October 2014

Nobel Prizes winner for physics astrophysicist Saul Perlmutter displays his lifetime parking pass good for parking at the University of California at Berkeley Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2011, in Berkeley, Calif. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said American Perlmutter would share the 10 million kronor ($1.5 million) award with U.S.-Australian Brian Schmidt and U.S. scientist Adam Riess. Working in two separate research teams during the 1990s, Perlmutter in one and Schmidt and Riess in the other, the scientists raced to map the universe's expansion by analyzing a particular type of supernovas, or exploding stars. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

Nobel Prizes winner for physics astrophysicist Saul Perlmutter displays his lifetime parking pass good for parking at the University of California at Berkeley Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2011, in Berkeley, Calif. 

IN 2011 astrophysicist Brian Schmidt won the Nobel Prize in Physics. He went on the Nobel circuit. He travelled. A lot.

‘There are a couple of bizarre things that happen. One of the things you get when you win a Nobel Prize is, well, a Nobel Prize. It’s about that big, that thick [about the size of an Olympic medal], weighs a half a pound, and it’s made of gold.”

“When I won this, my grandma, who lives in Fargo, North Dakota, wanted to see it. I was coming around so I decided I’d bring my Nobel Prize. You would think that carrying around a Nobel Prize would be uneventful, and it was uneventful, until I tried to leave Fargo with it, and went through the X-ray machine. I could see they were puzzled. It was in my laptop bag. It’s made of gold, so it absorbs all the X-rays—it’s completely black. And they had never seen anything completely black.”

“They’re like, ‘Sir, there’s something in your bag.’
I said, ‘Yes, I think it’s this box.’
They said, ‘What’s in the box?’
I said, ‘a large gold medal,’ as one does.
So they opened it up and they said, ‘What’s it made out of?’
I said, ‘gold.’
And they’re like, ‘Uhhhh. Who gave this to you?’
‘The King of Sweden.’
‘Why did he give this to you?’
‘Because I helped discover the expansion rate of the universe was accelerating.’
At which point, they were beginning to lose their sense of humor. I explained to them it was a Nobel Prize, and their main question was, ‘Why were you in Fargo?’”

Spotter: Scientific American

 



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