John C. Mather


John C. Mather

Photo: P. Izzo

John C. Mather
The Nobel Prize in Physics 2006

Born: 7 August 1946, Roanoke, VA, USA

Affiliation at the time of the award: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, USA

Prize motivation: “for their discovery of the blackbody form and anisotropy of the cosmic microwave background radiation”

Prize share: 1/2


Various types of particles and radiation travel through outer space, including cosmic background radiation, which has been carefully studied through measurements from the COBE satellite. John Mather, a driving force in the project, had particular responsibility for a part that in 1989 indicated that cosmic background radiation’s spectrum corresponds to black-body radiation—radiation emitted by a dark, glowing body. The result provided evidence that the background radiation is a remnant from the creation of the universe in the Big Bang.

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