George Fitzgerald III Smoot

(b. 1945)

Quick Reference

(1945– )

Americanastrophysicist and cosmologist. In the 1970s he began to design and build instruments known as differential microwave radiometers (DMRs) to detect and measure very small variations in the cosmic microwave background radiation (CMB). Smoot was responsible for the DMR on board the Cosmic Background Explorer satellite, launched in 1989, which detected variations in the CMB of one part in 105, supporting the inflationary universe variant of the Big Bang theory. For this achievement he shared the 2006 Nobel Prize in Physics with COBE's project scientist, J. C. Mather.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics.

Reference entries