Current Events

Planck launch successful on 14 May 2009 at 13:12:02 UTC
Planck and Herschel were onboard an Ariane 5 ECA from Europe's spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. Planck's objective is to analyze, with the highest accuracy ever achieved, the remnants of the radiation that filled the universe immediately after The Big Bang, which we observe today as the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB).

Watch the Planck Launch



Planck Mission Has Roots and Branches in Berkeley - Berkeley Lab News Center, May 14, 2009
by Paul Preuss

Even before the results of his differential microwave radiometer experiment aboard NASA’s Cosmic Microwave Background Explorer (COBE) had been announced, George Smoot of Berkeley Lab’s Physics Division was eager to launch a space mission that could definitively explore the cosmic microwave background (CMB). Read more here.

Marco Bersanelli and George Smoot were on hand to
watch the launch of the Planck mission from the ESA’s
base in French Guiana. With Reno Mandolesi, Bersanelli
and Smoot proposed one of the satellites that evolved
into Planck.






Dialogues Towards a Culture of Peace

The Bridges event series will be held in Malaysia and Thailand from November 2008 to April 2009. This follows the successful Bridges series that have been held in Thailand since 2003, and in the Philippines since 2007. Berkeley Lab Nobelist George Smoot will give four talks on “Contemplating the Birth of the Universe” between April 6 and 9 at various locations in Thailand. The Bridges programs have been initiated and facilitated by the Vienna-based International Peace Foundation under the joint patronage of 21 Nobel Peace Prize Laureates. They stand in the tradition of the Peace Summits which have been held in Europe since 1993. See previous Bridges here.




South Korea Ewha Academy Nobel Lecture with George Smoot
March 2009

Poster 1
Poster 2

The Dong-A Ilbo (One of South Korea's major newspapers) reports on Dr. Smoot's first public lecture:
3/18/2009  In his first lecture as chair professor of Ewha Womans University in Seoul, 2006 Nobel Prize winner in physics George F. Smoot said Korean college students lack scientific fundamentals. Read more here.




George F. Smoot has been awarded the 2009 Oersted Medal

George F. Smoot - Recognized for Outstanding Leadership in Physics Education. The American Association for the Advancement of Science selected Dr. Smoot as the winner of the 2009 American Association of Physics Teachers Oersted Medal. The Oersted Medal, established in 1936, recognizes those who have had an outstanding, widespread, and lasting impact on the teaching of physics. His research and writing on Cosmic Background Radiation anisotropy and the formation of galaxies has had a significant impact on our understanding of universe evolution, and on the teaching of physics and astronomy.




March 2009, Dr. Smoot made a cameo appearance on "The Big Bang Theory" produced by Bill Prady and Chuck Lorre, Warner Bros. Studios for CBS. Watch behind the scenes.

LA Times Entertainment What's Sheldon's deal? If you were a brilliant nerd, what would get you hottest under the collar?



Berkeley Lab In The News: Smoot to Teach at New Silicon Valley University January, 2009

Starting this summer, some of the world's leading thinkers in exponentially growing technologies will be gathering annually at Nasa Ames Research Center, in the heart of Silicon Valley, for 10 weeks of discussions on how to change the future. The gatherings will be part of what is known as Singularity University. Among the faculty is Berkeley Lab physicist and Nobel Prize winner George Smoot. More here.



Nobelist George Smoot to Direct Korean Cosmology Institute

Nobel Laureate George Smoot has been appointed director of a new cosmology institute in South Korea that will work closely with the year-old Berkeley Center for Cosmological Physics (BCCP) at the University of California, Berkeley, to explore and understand the early universe.

Last week, South Korea's Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology named Smoot a visiting scholar at Ewha (eee-hua) Womans University, a private university in Seoul where he will teach several courses over the next five years as he oversees the creation of the Institute for the Early Universe. Smoot was one of two Nobel Laureates chosen to set up top-notch research programs through South Korea's World Class University program. Read more from UC Berkeley News.

The Institute for the Early Universe (IEU) at EWHA Womans University in Seoul, Korea will provide cosmology education and training, conduct scientific research, and participate in major space projects. IEU is supported by EWHA University and the World Class University (WCU) project. WCU is the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology project designed to upgrade research levels of Korean universities. The Institute for the Early Universe will also be a partner in the Cosmology on the Beach seminars hosted by BCCP, The Institute for Advanced Cosmology, and the Universe Cluster.



The "2008 Nobel Winners Beijing Forum"
was held from November 11-14. The theme of the forum was The Harmony and Development of Human Kind, with a focus on Information & Innovation.

Guests included global scholars and Nobel Prize winners, who gave academic lectures and presided over forums. There were multi-level discussions on academic, social, and industrial issues. Nobel winners, Chinese scholars, and Chinese government officials exchanged ideas and sought to promote international cooperation.

Dr. Smoot lectured on the "Singularity University: Preparing Humanity for Accelerating Technological Change"

Photos from the event



Chilean President Bachelet Visits Lawrence Berkeley Lab to Learn about Research on Renewable Energy and Conservation  June 2008

President Bachelet and members of her delegation were greeted at Berkeley Lab by Nobel Laureate George Smoot; James Siegrist- Associate Laboratory Director for General Science; and Harley Shaiken - Chair for Latin American Studies on the campus of the University of California at Berkeley. Read more from the Berkeley Lab News Center.

George Smoot and James Siegrist greet President
Bachelet at Lawrence Berkeley Lab. Photo: Kaltschmidt


Hawking, NASA Head, Nobel Winners Visit The African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS)

AIMS welcomed a stellar group of scientists and engineers to the launch of the NextEinstein initiative on May 11, 2008 and the opening of the AIMS Research Centre on May 12. The group included the famous cosmologist Stephen Hawking, the NASA Administrator Michael Griffin, and the winners of the 2004 and 2006 Nobel Prizes in Physics, David Gross and George Smoot. Many distinguished pan-African and international scientists, business and technology leaders, and political representatives also participated.

AIMS YouTube Video



The National Institute for Theoretical Physics

May 2008, The launch of The National Institute for Theoretical Physics (NITheP) was held at the new Wallenberg Research Centre of the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study (STIAS). The event was attended by David Gross, Stephen Hawking, and George Smoot. NITheP is a geographically distributed institute which also has regional centres at the Universities of KwaZulu-Natal and the Witwatersrand. It is being positioned as a national and African user facility for theoretical physics and will provide theoretical underpinning for current national programmes including astrophysics, cosmology, nuclear and particle physics, quantum technologies, condensed matter physics and quantum optics. NITheP website.


2007 Events

Back to top