Michel Mayor
  • 2019 Nobel Prize in Physics


Swiss astrophysicist and Professor Emeritus at the University of Geneva's Department
of Astronomy. He is co-laureate of the 2019 Nobel Prize in Physics along with Jim Peebles and Didier Queloz

Education and Work Experience

1966, M.S. in Physics, University of Lausanne
1971-1984, Ph.D. in Astronomy, Researcher at Geneva Observatory, University of Geneva 1984-2007, Professor, University of Geneva
Since 2007, Researcher at the Geneva Observatory

Honors and Awards

2004, Albert Einstein Medal
2005, Shaw Prize in Astronomy
2017, Wolf Prize in Physics
2019, Nobel Prize in Physics

Major Academic Achievements

Mayor's research interests include extrasolar planets (also known as exoplanets), instrumentation, statistical properties of double stars, globular cluster dynamics, galactic structure and kinematics. Together with Didier Queloz in 1995, he discovered 51 Pegasi b, the first extrasolar planet orbiting a sun-like star, 51 Pegasi. Related to the discovery, Mayor noted that humans will never migrate to such exoplanets since they are "much, much too far away...” Due to discoveries by Mayor, searching for extraterrestrial communications from exoplanets may now be a more practical consideration than thought earlier.