German-Americanphysicist. In the early 1960s he and R. W. Wilson were using a low-noise horn antenna in connection with satellite communications, and picked up a mysterious, persistent signal. They consulted R. H. Dicke and colleagues, and concluded that they had detected the cosmic microwave background. This, the single most important piece of observational evidence for the Big Bang, gained Penzias and Wilson the 1978 Nobel Prize in Physics.
Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics.