Nobel Prize Goes to ‘Space Ripples’ Discoverers
Posted on Oct 4, 2006
Two astronomers took home the big prize for a satellite they created that backed the Big Bang theory of the universe’s origins. Stephen Hawking called their finding “the greatest discovery of the century, if not of all time.”
The discovery by John Mather and George Smoot of “cosmic ripples,” which won them the Nobel Prize in physics on Tuesday, was lauded in 1992 by cosmologist Stephen Hawking as “the greatest discovery of the century, if not of all time.”
While most physicists do not go that far, they are universal in their praise of the experiment, in which the pair and their team designed a satellite and used it to find proof of the Big Bang theory of the universe’s origins.
They found faint variations in microwave radiation that dated back to just 300,000 years after the fiery birth of the universe.
This image forms part of the work for which John Mather and George Smoot won the 2006 Nobel Prize for physics on Oct. 3. Their research on cosmic radiation helped pinpoint the age of the universe and added weight to the Big Bang theory of its birth.