Nobel Prize winner questioned by airport security over award

Nobel Prize winner stopped by TSA airport security over his medal
Nobel Prize winner stopped by TSA airport security over his medal



A Nobel Prize winner was interrogated by airport security in America after travelling with his 24-carat pure gold medal to show his grandmother.

Physicist Brian Schmidt was stopped and questioned by TSA agents as he carried the $10,000 prize in his bag through airport security in Fargo, Nebraska.

Speaking to an audience in New York last month, the 47-year-old said: "One of the things you get when you win a Nobel Prize is, well, a Nobel Prize.

"It's about that big, that thick [he mimes a disk roughly the size of an Olympic medal], weighs a half a pound, and it's made of gold.

"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.

"They're like, 'Sir, there's something in your bag.'

Nobel Prize Award Ceremony 2011
Nobel Prize Award Ceremony 2011



"I said, 'Yes, I think it's this box.'

"They said, 'What's in the box?'

"I said, 'a large gold medal,' as one does.

"So they opened it up and they said, 'What's it made out of?'

"I said, 'gold.'

"And they're like, 'Uhhhh. Who gave this to you?'

"The King of Sweden."

"Why did he give this to you?"

"Because I helped discover the expansion rate of the universe was accelerating."

According to Scientific American, Brian said he explained that it was a Nobel Prize and their main question was "Why were you in Fargo?"



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