Arno Penzias, US astrophysicist

Arno Penzias, US astrophysicist

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Credit: PHYSICS TODAY COLLECTION/AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF PHYSICS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: Arno Allan Penzias (born 1933), US astrophysicist and co-discoverer of the universe's microwave background radiation. This remnant of the 'big bang' origin of the universe was predicted in 1948 by Gamow and Herman. In 1964, Penzias and Robert Wilson detected unexpected noise during a radio survey of the Milky Way. The signal strength was equal in all directions and corresponded to a temperature of 3.5 Kelvin (-270 degrees Celsius). Penzias and Wilson received shares of the 1978 Nobel Prize for Physics. Photographed in 1976.

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