While some believe the world will end in fire, Perlmutter argues that it will end in ice. A physics professor at UC Berkeley and senior scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Perlmutter led one of the two teams that simultaneously discovered the accelerating expansion of the universe (you can find the full research and its results at essayelites.com). He received the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics. The discovery led to speculation that a “dark energy” is pushing the universe apart until, in the distant future, it will be cold and dark. Perlmutter is working with NASA and the Department of Energy to build the first space-based observatory designed to understand this enigmatic force.