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John C. Mather Ph.D.

John C. Mather Ph.D.

The Nobel Prize in Physics 2006
Nobel Prize also awarded to George F. Smoot

Physicist - Astrophysics, Instrumentation. COBE, Blackbody form and anisotropy of the cosmic microwave background radiation.

"For years I had successfully repelled all challenges to my concentration on one overwhelming responsibility. Now, it was done, and I switched my attention to ..."

Biography

Bio generously contributed by Dr. John Mather

Dr. John C. Mather is a Senior Astrophysicist in the Observational Cosmology Laboratory located at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. He is also a Senior Project Scientist on the James Webb Space Telescope.

He received a bachelor's degree in physics from Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania as well as a doctorate in physics from the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Mather's research centers on infrared astronomy and cosmology.

As a National Research Council postdoctoral fellow at the Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York City, he led the proposal efforts for the Cosmic Background Explorer mission (1974-76), and came to Goddard Space Flight Center to become the Study Scientist (1976-88), Project Scientist (1988-98), and also the Principal Investigator for the Far Infrared Absolute Spectrophotometer (FIRAS) on the Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE).

Dr. Mather and the COBE team showed that the cosmic microwave background radiation has a blackbody spectrum within 50 parts per million (ppm), confirming the Big Bang theory to extraordinary accuracy.

Dr. Mather has served on advisory and working groups for the National Academy of Sciences, NASA, and the National Science Foundation for the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA), and the Center for Astrophysical Research in the Antarctic (CAMA).

As Senior Project Scientist (1995-present) for the Webb telescope, Dr. Mather leads the science team, and represents scientific interests within the project management.

As winner of the 2006 Nobel Prize for Physics, chosen by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Dr. Mather shares the prize with George F. Smoot of the University of California for their work using the COBE satellite to measure the heat radiation from the Big Bang.

“One comes to be of just such stuff as that on which the mind is set” - Maithri Upanishath, VI.34:3

“…the peace that is found in libraries and laboratories…” - Louis Pasteur
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Jphn Mather
Photo: National Air and Space Administration, Courtesy: John C. Mather

Name: John Cromwell Mather
Birth: 7 Aug, 1946 Roanoke, Virginia
Institution: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, USA
Award: "for their discovery of the blackbody form and anisotropy of the cosmic microwave background radiation"
Subject: Astrophysics
Portion of cash: 1/2
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