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Few scientists can say their work forever changed how we see the universe. Saul Perlmutter is one of them, for his central role in the 1998 discovery of dark energy. That invisible energy, which accounts for a whopping 73 percent of everything in the cosmos, is stretching the fabric of space and could cause a runaway expansion of the universe. Through his groundbreaking research, the then 38-year-old physicist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California basically turned our model of the universe on its head.

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