Nobel Prize for Structure of Early Universe

The 2006 Nobel Prize in Physics has gone to John Mather of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, and George Smoot of the University of California, Berkeley.

They’ve been honored for work studying the cosmic background radiation, which the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences says has helped us understand the origin of galaxies and stars. The background radiation is a relic of the Big Bang at the creation of the Universe and when first discovered seemed to be evenly spread.

But Mather and Smoot’s work with measurements from NASA’s COBE satellite uncovered unevenness, providing clues to the structure of the very early universe.

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