Berkeley Scientist Wins Nobel Physics Prize

October 3, 2006 at 11:23 am (Berkeley, US)

Berkeley Scientist George Smoot, together with NASA’s John Mather, won this year’s Nobel Physics Prize for “their discovery of the blackbody form and anisotropy of the cosmic microwave background radiation.” Click Nobel Prize Internet Archive. Smoot is Berkeley’s 20th faculty Nobel laureate.

 

Twenty-four Nobelists have been Berkeley alumni, including today’s co-recipient, John C. Mather of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, and Andrew Fire, who yesterday won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

 

Below is the congratulation letter from Berkeley Chancellor:

 

To the campus community:

I am delighted to report that in the pre-dawn hours today the Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to Professor George Smoot of UC Berkeley’s Department of Physics. There are few more exciting moments than this in the life of a university – I know the entire campus community is enormously proud of George’s achievement and joins me in sending him hearty congratulations.

George is UC Berkeley’s 20th faculty Nobel laureate; 24 Nobelists over the years have been Berkeley alumni, including today’s co-recipient, John C. Mather of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, and Andrew Z.

Fire, who yesterday won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

A cosmologist and astrophysicist with a joint appointment at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, George was honored for leading a team that obtained the first images of the infant universe, confirming the predictions of the Big Bang theory and for observing the cosmic wave background fluctuations which foreshadow the structured universe as we know it today. His work is at the very heart of our understanding of the origin and evolution of the universe, moving cosmology from the realm of theory to experimentation that has given us the data to test those theories.

In the finest tradition of Berkeley Nobelists, George is also a dedicated teacher. In addition to working with his graduate students, he currently sponsors undergraduate researchers in his lab and this semester is teaching Physics 7B, the introductory course for science and engineering majors.

I hope you will continue to follow the good news about our newest Nobel laureate as it unfolds at the UC Berkeley NewsCenter, http://newscenter.berkeley.edu/goto/smoot.

Sincerely,

Robert Birgeneau

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