Release 477 of 1,084

JWST Project Scientist Wins Nobel Prize for Physics

Release date: Oct 3, 2006 3:00 PM (EDT)

John C. Mather, a senior astrophysicist at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and senior project scientist for the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), has won the 2006 Nobel Physics Prize.

Mather shares the prize with George F. Smoot, a professor of physics at the University of California at Berkeley, for work that helped solidify the Big Bang theory for the origin of the universe. Mather and Smoot were members of a science team that used NASA's Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) satellite to measure the diffuse microwave background radiation, which is considered a relic of the Big Bang.