Carrying Your Nobel Prize Through Airport Security

Astrophysicist Brian Schmidt of the Australian National University won the Nobel Prize for physics in 2011 for discovering dark energy. Speaking at an event in New York last month, he talked about how winning a Nobel changed his life. Some of the things that come with the medal are money, respect, worldwide recognition of your research, and at least for Schmidt, a bit more hassle with U.S. airport security.  

“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.

The exchange that followed was amusing, although you have to understand that if you’re a TSA officer in Fargo, this is probably the most excitement you’ve had on the job in years. Read the story at Scientific American. -via Digg

(Image credit: Markus Pössel)


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