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Nobel Prize Recipient Dr. John Mather Meets With Vice President Cheney
11.30.06
 
Dr. Mather is honored at the White House for his Nobel Prize.
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Vice President Dick Cheney, center, meets with the 2006 U.S. Nobel Laureates including Dr. John C. Mather, co-winner of the 2006 Nobel Prize physics, far right, in the Roosevelt Room at the White House, Thursday, Nov. 30, 2006, in Washington. Accompanying the Vice President from left, Dr. Andrew Fire, winner of the 2006 Nobel Prize in Medicine, Dr. George F. Smoot, Mather's co-recipient of the physics prize, Dr. Roger D. Kornberg, winner of the 2006 Nobel Prize in Chemistry and Dr. Greg Mellow, winner of the 2006 Nobel Prize in Medicine.

Mather and Smoot shared the prize for their collaborative work on understanding the Big Bang. Their work was based on data from NASA's Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE), which studied the pattern of radiation from the first few instants after the universe was formed. In 1992, the COBE team announced that they had mapped the primordial hot and cold spots in the cosmic microwave background radiation. These spots are related to the gravitational field in the early universe, only instants after the Big Bang, and are the seeds for the giant clusters of galaxies that stretch hundreds of millions of light years across the universe.

"John would be a world-class scientist no matter where he had chosen to spend his career," said NASA Administrator Mike Griffin, "but we at NASA are enormously proud that he has chosen to spend it with us."
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Photo Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

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