The other half of the award was jointly awarded to Swiss scientists, Michel Mayor from the University of Geneva, and Didier Queloz, also from the University of Geneva and the Cavendish Laboratory at the University of Cambridge.
"This rechargeable battery laid the foundation of wireless electronics such as mobile phones and laptops", the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said in a statement on awarding the 9 million Swedish crown ($906,000) prize.
Peebles' scientific results "showed us a universe in which just 5 percent of its content is known, the matter which constitutes stars, planets, trees - and us".
Peebles is the author or co-author of five books, including "Physical Cosmology" and "Finding the Big Bang". "Some of it will go to our children".
Speaking in London on Tuesday, the scientist underlined that the chemistry that brought life into existence is omnipresent, hence it is hard to believe that we are all alone in the universe.
Though he knew he had been nominated several times before, the Swiss professor said he was "absolutely not expecting this".More news: Turkish military, rebels to cross Syrian border 'shortly'
"What might we learn from lines of research that are off the beaten track?"
The committee said more than 4,000 exoplanets have been found in our own Milky Way galaxy since then.
He said he answered a 5:30 a.m. phone call on Tuesday thinking "it's either something very wonderful or it's something awful".
He added that he was convinced of life on other planets and that scientists would not be searching for it, if they did not think it existed. He thought it was joke at first.
Peebles became an associate professor three years later and full professor in 1972. "It's enormous. It's beyond usual emotions". My hand used to be shaking for a truly very long time. "I'm trying to digest it". In the 1990s "we were all trying to carry a search for planets without ever thinking we would succeed", Marcy said.
"No", he said, "that's never come to my mind".
"My advice is not to aim for prizes and awards", he said.More news: Twitter admits using email IDs, phone numbers of users for targeted ads
Peebles has been retired for 20 years, but he says he has continued to research and teach at a "relaxed rate" because he enjoys it.
Developed over two decades since the mid-1960s, Peebles' theoretical framework is "the basis of our contemporary ideas about the Universe". He talked about answering the phone before sunrise and thinking that "it's either something very wonderful or it's something disgusting".
"Life will go on", he said.
"I've always loved Bob Dylan", he said, referring to the singer-songwriter who won the literature prize in 2016 but refused to participate in the Nobel ceremony.
Arthur McDonald, a retired professor at Queen's University, won physics prize in 2015.
The announcement of the winners of this year's Nobel in physics began with a nod to an unlikely cultural reference: the opening lyrics to the show's theme song.
Sander said she's interested in possibly pursuing cosmology as a field of study because she sees it as a way to help make the world better.More news: Alexandria men wanted in killing of witness at Amber Guyger's trial