“I panicked.” At the time of the discovery which, twenty-five years later, will earn him the Nobel Prize in physics, here is what happened in the head of Didier Queloz: “I thought that there was a fundamental problem with the level of the instrument, and that I was good at putting two years of thesis work in the trash. ”
Autumn 1994. The young man is 28 years old, and he is alone with Elodie, at the Observatory of Haute-Provence, in the Luberon. Elodie is a brand new spectrograph, a machine that measures, through a telescope, the speed at which a luminous object approaches and moves away from us. The programming and commissioning of Elodie were the subject of Didier Queloz’s thesis.