Saul Perlmutter was born in an Ashkenazi Jewish family. He is the son of former chemistry professor and Biomolekularingenieurwissenschaft at the University of Pennsylvania Daniel P. Perlmutter and former professor at Temple University and a social scientist Felice D. Perlmutter, whose Jewish parents after the Russian Revolution in 1919 from what is now Moldova across Canada immigrated to the United States. Saul Perlmutter has two siblings, and Shira Tova.
Saul Perlmutter studied physics at Harvard University ( BA 1981) and received the Ph.D. in 1986 at the University of California, Berkeley with a thesis on the search for supernovae. He was from 1989 to 1993, scientists at the Center for Particle Astrophysics at Berkeley, and since 1983, scientists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory ( since 1999 as a senior scientist and group leader).
Perlmutter heads the Supernova Cosmology Project, one of the teams in the late 1990s from the measurement of brightness also included supernovae of type Ia to an acceleration of the cosmic expansion. This discovery was the catalyst of the present-day search for the nature of dark energy. Perlmutter is involved in several observation projects that seek to clarify cosmological problems by supernovae.
In 2011 he was awarded jointly to Brian P. Schmidt and Adam Riess the Nobel Prize for physics. Their discovery of the accelerated expansion of the universe was appreciated by observing distant supernovae.
Since 2002, Perlmutter Member of the National Academy of Sciences, since 2007, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and in 2003 the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He also conducts research in the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project.