© 2024 Connecticut Public

FCC Public Inspection Files:
WEDH · WEDN · WEDW · WEDY · WNPR
WPKT · WRLI-FM · WEDW-FM · Public Files Contact
ATSC 3.0 FAQ
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Big-Bang Detective Work Wins Physics Nobel

The Nobel Prize in Physics will be awarded to two Americans whose findings lend support to the big-bang scenario of the universe's origins.

The winners are John Mather, 60, who works at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, and George Smoot, 61, who works at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, Calif.

"They have not proven the big-bang theory but they give it very strong support," said Per Carlson, chairman of the Nobel committee for physics.

The pair led an effort to measure ancient radiation left over from the big bang. Their satellite experiment, called COBE and launched in 1989, made a very precise measurement of faint radiation produced after the big bang. When the data was finally shown at a conference, scientists gave a standing ovation.

COBE's measurements gave strong support for the big bang, which was the only theory that could explain the precise pattern of radiation. The experiment also showed that the radiation had small variations in temperature in different directions. Scientists think these small irregularities explain why matter began to clump in the universe, leading to the formation of galaxies, instead of spreading out evenly.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Stand up for civility

This news story is funded in large part by Connecticut Public’s Members — listeners, viewers, and readers like you who value fact-based journalism and trustworthy information.

We hope their support inspires you to donate so that we can continue telling stories that inform, educate, and inspire you and your neighbors. As a community-supported public media service, Connecticut Public has relied on donor support for more than 50 years.

Your donation today will allow us to continue this work on your behalf. Give today at any amount and join the 50,000 members who are building a better—and more civil—Connecticut to live, work, and play.

Related Content