Friday, October 06, 2006

Nobel prize for the COBE team

As you might already know, the Nobel was awarded to John Mather and George Smoot, the leaders of the COBE project that measured the CMB determining it's blackbody form and detected anisotropies on it (this anisotropies are the seeds of the structure in the universe), this was a turning point in the history of cosmology allowing for first time a detailed comparison of cosmological models with CMB (which is esentially a "picture" of the universe when it cooled enough to allow the presence of neutral atoms). According to the Nobel Prize committee, "the COBE-project can also be regarded as the starting point for cosmology as a precision science.

The most detailed study of the CMB has been carried by the WMAP satellite and it is consistent with the predictions of inflation which makes us believe we are on the right track. ESA expects to launch the Planck Surveyor probe in 2008 which will complement the studies of WMAP and might even be capable of detecting the polarization in CMB due to gravitational radiation.

Congratulations to Mather and Smoot!

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