Robert W. Wilson, US astronomer

Robert W. Wilson, US astronomer

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Credit: EMILIO SEGRE VISUAL ARCHIVES/AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF PHYSICS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: Robert Woodrow Wilson (born 1936), US astronomer. Wilson studied at Rice University, USA, and then at the California Institute of Technology, USA. He is most famous for his 1964 work with Penzias, at Bell Laboratories, New Jersey, USA. Penzias and Wilson were working on a new radio antenna, and couldn't eliminate a persistent source of background noise. It turned out that they had discovered the cosmic background radiation predicted by Gamow in 1948, some 16 years earlier. This was an important vindication of the Big Bang theory, and earned Penzias and Wilson a share (with Kapitsa) of the 1978 Nobel Prize in Physics.

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