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Nobel Prize Cash and Philanthropy

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 ..."

Nobel Prize Cash and Philanthropy

By Robert Dean Kidd, Jr., J.D., B.A.
Attorney, Philosopher and Editor, Albuquerque, NM

John Cromwell Mather is an American physicist and cosmologist who won the 2006 Nobel Prize in Physics along with George Smoot. They were awarded the prize based on their work with the Cosmology Background Explorer Satellite (COBE). Maher and Smoot's work is credited with giving concrete support to the big-bang theory of the universe. Maher works for the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and is an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland.

Dr. Mather believed that the Nobel award money was really a communal award since the COBE team's money was a NASA project funded by taxpayer dollars provided all US citizens.

In an effort to contribute something back to the Goddard community, Dr. Mather donated a portion of his Nobel Prize cash award (along with the award for his 2006 Gruber Prize in Cosmology), to his John and Jane Mather Foundation for Science and the Arts. The Foundation supports student work in areas related to astrophysics and cosmology in the hopes that the next generation of scientists will make contributions that will affect positive change for the world.

Crediting the Hertz Foundation's generous fellowship with helping to launch his early research, Dr. Mather announced the endowment of a Hertz Foundation Fellowship using his award from the 2006 Nobel Prize in Physics. "The Jane and John Mather Fellowship will support the next generation of cosmologists and applied scientists in their research quests for innovations that will change our world for the better." stated Dr. Mather. "I am pleased that my Nobel award will help to support the Hertz Foundation whose generous Fellowship enabled my early research in cosmology."

In 2008, The John and Jane Mather Foundation along with The Henry Foundation, Inc. created the John Mather Nobel Scholarship Program. This scholarship is funded, in part, by the money that Dr. Mather received from Nobel award. The scholarship program is intended to recognize rising undergraduate and graduate students in the areas of astrophysics and other space related research.

Dr. Mather's research has been instrumental in creating a better understanding of the origins of the universe and the development of cosmology as a significant area of study. His generosity in applying the Nobel award funds has created a foundation for future scientists and scholars to continue his work and build upon the discoveries made by him and his colleagues.

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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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Patents: John Mather has not patented his work
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