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George Smoot III

Nobel Laureate in Physics; Professor of Physics, UC Berkeley

George Fitzgerald Smoot III is an American astrophysicist, cosmologist, Nobel laureate. He won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2006 for his work on the Cosmic Background Explorer with John C. Mather.

Smoot’s work has helped further the Big Bang theory of the universe using the Cosmic Background Explorer Satellite (COBE). Smoot donated his share of the Nobel Prize money, less travel costs, to a charitable foundation.

He is a professor of Physics at the University of California, Berkeley, a senior scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and a professor of Physics at the Paris Diderot University, France.

Smoot has been awarded the Einstein Medal and the Oersted Medal, and is also $1 million TV quiz show prize winner (Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?).

Smoot obtained dual bachelor’s degrees in mathematics and physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as well as a PhD in particle physics.

Smoot began his cosmological work at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory where he collaborated with Luis Walter Alvarez on the High Altitude Particle Physics Experiment

He then began work in cosmic microwave background radiation (CMB), and has continued CMB observations and analysis and is currently a collaborator on the third generation CMB anisotropy Planck satellite. He is also a collaborator of the design of the Supernova/Acceleration Probe (SNAP), a satellite which is proposed to measure the properties of dark energy. He has also assisted in analyzing data from the Spitzer Space Telescope in connection with measuring far infrared background radiation.

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