Doctor of Science 2010
Saul Perlmutter is professor of physics at the University of California, Berkeley, where he earned his Ph.D., and is head of the Supernova Cosmology Project at the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He leads an international team that studies distant exploding stars to measure how fast the universe was expanding at different times in its history. His work, using novel observational techniques, contradicted the long-held assumption that expansion of the universe is slowing due to gravity. Perlmutter's research provided firm evidence for the existence of dark energy as the majority substance of the universe, a substance whose precise nature remains a major mystery in physics. For his contributions to understanding of the fundamental nature of the universe, Southern Methodist University is honored to confer upon Saul Perlmutter the degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa.