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Fellows Directory

Brian Schmidt

Professor Brian Schmidt FRS


Elected: 2012


Brian Schmidt is a Nobel Prize-winning astrophysicist whose research has yielded fundamental insights into the evolution of our Universe. He is best known for forming and leading the High-Z Supernova Search Team, which helped reveal the accelerating expansion of our Universe.

Brian’s dedicated observations of supernovae, or exploding stars, in distant galaxies provided the first indication that the Universe’s gradual expansion was in fact speeding up. The result proved to be a crucial breakthrough in our understanding of the cosmos, and has lent weight to the hypothesised existence of so-called ‘dark energy’ — the cause of this effect.

Widely recognised for his contributions to science, Brian has won both the 2006 Shaw Prize in Astronomy, the 2007 Gruber Prize in Cosmology, the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics, and the 2015 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics. He was made a Companion of the Order of Australia in 2013.

Professional positions

Distinguished Professor, Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Australian National University

Interests and expertise


Astronomy, Extrasolar planets, Gamma-ray bursts, Observational astronomy, Physical cosmology, Spectrophotometry, Stellar physics, Supernovae


  • Nobel Prize in Physics

    Half of prize jointly with Adam G. Riess for the discovery of the accelerating expansion of the Universe through observations of distant supernovae.

  • Shaw Prize

    For finding the expansion rate of the accelerating universe and the energy density of space.