Nobel Prize 2006



Cosmology's Golden Age

June 2009, Four centuries after Galileo Galilei turned his telescope to the heavens, George Smoot considers the unprecedented and exciting times that cosmologists are now experiencing.

"La verità è il destino per il quale siamo stati fatti (Truth is the destiny for which we were made)". This article gives an example of how "truth" is achieved through "discovery" – the method used in science. By revealing nature, discovery is the way in which we can achieve truth, or at least glimpse it. But how can we know or have confidence that we have made a correct discovery? Here we can look to the major architect of the scientific method, Galileo Galilei: "La matematica è l'afabeto nel quale Dio ha scritto l'Universo" (Mathematics is the language with which God has written the universe). A discovery will be described best – and most economically and poetically – mathematically. Read full article.



Science Progress

What Does This Generation Think it Means to be a “Scientist”?
By Paul Moody,
April 2009

Changing Definitions Could Entail a Changing Relationship Between Science and Society.
A recent survey of more than 1000 of young scientists at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), reveals an unusually broad range of career aspirations...Faculty and students can talk honestly about a whole range of respected, science-related career possibilities. This is crucial, because we must promote the movement of scientists into many occupations and environments if our end goal is to effectively apply science and its values to solving global problems. Read more.












March, 2009  Professor Smoot poses with members of The Institute of the Early Universe. He was featured in the April issue of a prominent Korean science magazine. PDF (in Korean)




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.





Dong-A Daily March 2009 newspaper interview with Dr. Smoot, shown here lecturing to students at Ewha Womans University. (PDF file of newspaper article- in Korean).




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.

The Oersted Medal will be presented to Dr. Smoot at a Ceremonial Session of the AAPT Winter Meeting in Chicago, Illinois, on Saturday, February 14, 2009. Following the presentation, Dr. Smoot will deliver his keynote address titled “The History and Fate of the Universe.” Read more.




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


December, 2008 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.


IEU Post Doc Announcement (December 26, 2008)

The Institute for the Early Universe (IEU) at Ewha University in Seoul, Korea is soliciting several up to ten postdoctoral research fellows within one year to participate in an exciting new research program to explore and understand the early universe. Read more here.



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.


Chanju Kim, George Smoot, Changrim Ahn, Il H. Park in front of the Ewha University Archive





La Competencia Intelectual

Dr. Smoot recently received an honorary doctorate degree from University Miguel Hernández (UMH) in Orihuela, Spain and was an inaugural guest at the opening of the Didático Interactive Museum of Science.
Dr. Smoot (left) and the chancellor of UMH, Jesús Rodríguez Marín (right), compete on bicycles attached to toy cars in the School of Orihuela (EPSO) during inauguration week of the Didático Interactive Museum. In the center, Mayor Monica Lorente, and Carnicer Jesus Murillo, president of the Association of Science Teachers, enjoy the competition. (Photo: Salvador Castillo)


The first interactive museum of science in the province opens its doors in Orihuela (translated)

El primer museo interactivo de ciencias de la provincia abre sus puertas en Orihuela

Bajo Segura Noticias article about the new museum and Dr. Smoot's visit (translated)




A multimedia science competition was held for students as part of the Didático Interactive Museum inaugural events. Students could create models, narratives, comics, or videos that explained scientific principles.

Competion brochure (en español)








November, 2008  The American Association of Physics Teachers recently announced the awarding of the Oersted Medal to Berkeley Lab physicist and Nobelist George Smoot. The award recognizes “his outstanding, widespread, and lasting impact on the teaching of physics.” The Oersted Medal is named for Hans Christian Oersted (1777-1851), a Danish physicist who, in the course of creating a demonstration for teaching his class, discovered that electric currents caused a magnetic field. The annual award was established in 1936. (From Today at Berkeley Lab)



Nature Video presents five short films on the future of physics

Recorded at the 2008 Nobel Laureate Meeting in Lindau, these films capture the conversations between young researchers and physics Laureates George Smoot, William Phillips, John Hall, David Gross and Gerardus 't Hooft. Join them as they grapple with universal ideas including dark matter, dark energy, the Large Hadron Collider, space-time and quantum computing.



Chilean President Bachelet Visits Lawrence Berkeley Lab to Learn about Research on Renewable Energy and Conservation  June 13, 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: Roy 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, 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

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. Note: NITheP website is under construction.




George Smoot has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, one of the nation’s highest honors for a scientist or engineer. He is one of 72 new members and 18 foreign associates inducted into the NAS, which was established in 1863 under President Lincoln for the “furtherance of science and its use for the general welfare.”


New UC Cosmology Center Announced
December 4, 2007

ABC News Video


Photo Gallery


May 2007    The five most recent United States recipients of the Nobel Prize were in Washington D.C. as part of the 12th annual Nobel Laureates Capitol Hill Day. They spoke about the state of the country's scientific enterprise and the importance of scientific investment.  Pictured from left to right: Craig C. Mello, George F. Smoot, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Andrew Z. Fire, and Roger Kornberg.

For more photos go here.
(Photo courtesy of Kara Delahunt)

View the Hearing of the 2006 Nobel Laureates: Science, Technology, and Innovation on the US Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation website



Nobel Prize Physicist Wants To Reduce Carbon Footprints - ABC News Story   October 12, 2007




  2007 Global Conference


Since its inception in 2003, the IIT Global Alumni Conference has been a premier business event, bringing together industry visionaries, thought leaders, and IIT alumni from across the globe. Nobelists George F. Smoot and Arno Penzias, and Berkeley astronomy professor Alexei Filippenko discuss the many dimensions of cosmology at the Silicon Valley, CA event. View video







2006 Nobel Laureates add their names to the Nobel Monument in New York

Photo Gallery at the Nobel Monument Inscription Ceremony June 2007



In June, Dr. Smoot attended the inaugural events of the Institute of Advanced Cosmology in Mexico. Discussions about creating a cosmology research center with colleagues there culminated in the formation of the new institute, in addition to planned education and outreach programs. Inaugural events included a press conference announcement with IAC lead scientist Axel de la Macorra, science and cultural activities, discussions about opportunities in cosmology and work force development, and visits to Teotihuacan and the National Museum of Anthropology. Smoot's visit and lecture was enthusiastically received by many guests and students that were
delighted to have the Nobelist participate in the institute's inauguration. Read about it in Internacional newspaper (in Spanish).


The BCCP and its partner IAC will sponsor an annual cosmology school and workshop on the beach for graduate students and post doctoral scholars:

Cosmologia en la Playa / Cosmology on the Beach



Dr. Smoot lectures at Fermilab on "Relics of Creation: The Big Bang, The COBE Satellite & Cosmic Microwave Background."   View lecture here




May 2007 Texas A&M University


"Recent advances in observational astronomy have brought a new focus on the potential connections between new fundamental particles and our understanding of their impact on the early universe and its evolution..."

Prof. George Smoot (UC Berkeley) will give a public talk on The Echoes of Creation at Rudder Theater



CERN Courier

April 2007 During a visit to CERN, Dr. Smoot talked to Arnaud Marsollier about his quest to explore the early universe, and how cosmology and particle physics are coming together in a grand crusade. He is seen here photographing the CMS (Compact Muon Solenoid) particle detector. To read the CERN article on Smoot's visit go here.

To watch a ReaPlayer video (or download the video) of his lecture at CERN go here.






April 2007

UC Berkeley's 'Tree of Wisdom' featured in Vanity Fair

Turning day to night with artificial lights, the Vanity Fair photo spread features Berkeley Nobel laureates (from left) Yuan T. Lee, Donald Glaser, Daniel McFadden, George Smoot, Charles Townes and Steven Chu, joined by Chancellor Robert Birgeneau. (Photo by Todd Eberle/ Vanity Fair)

UC Berkeley's Nobel Prize winners and Chancellor Robert Birgeneau are featured as part of Vanity Fair magazine's "Green Issue" for April.

Read more from UC Berkeley News Center site and watch a video of the shoot here.





April 2007 The Columbus Dispatch "Nobel-winning physicist returns to Ohio roots" by Mike Lafferty PDF file


March 10, 2007 New York Times "Out There" by Richard Panek "Three days after learning that he won the 2006 Nobel Prize in Physics, George Smoot was talking about the universe..." PDF




Nobel meets Oscar


At February's Oscar ceremonies in Hollywood, 2006 Nobelist George Smoot accompanied Academy member Elizabeth Cohen of Stanford University's Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics. Smoot met with Sid Ganis, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and with the director of the Academy's Technical Council, Andrew Maltz, and others to discuss ways of encouraging further contributions of science and engineering to the arts. (from Today at Berkeley Lab)


Cohen and Smoot  Photo by Todd Wawrychuk/©AMPAS


January 20, 2007 - UC Energy Forum Half a dozen Nobel laureates — including Berkeley Lab Director Steve Chu and Physicist George Smoot — met at UC Berkeley to exchange suggestions for battling global warming, including expanding the country's nuclear power program to designing nanotechnology that would mimic the way insects dispose of energy waste.

January 2007 - Do Nobelists live longer? Newsweek article

February 2007 - Dr. Smoot discusses the origin of the universe in an article from the Belgium newspaper Le Soir. PDF   Image PDF








Zurich 2007

Click on this image to see the full size poster from Dr. Smoot's lecture "Discovery and Utilization of Cosmic Microwave Background Anisotropies"




April 2007 George Smoot, a 1962 graduate of Upper Arlington High School, visited his alma mater on and addressed an auditorium filled with science, physics and mathematics students. Read more here.

April 2007 Upper Arlington News, April 2007 "Nobel Prize winner returns home"  PDF

August 15, 2006  Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) Team Wins Gruber Prize

BERKELEY, CA — John Mather, Project Scientist of NASA's Cosmic Background Explorer satellite mission, and eighteen members of COBE's Science Working Group, including George Smoot of the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, have jointly received the 2006 Gruber Cosmology Prize for their ground-breaking studies of the cosmic microwave background (CMB). The COBE experiments not only confirmed that the universe was born in a big bang but shed light on its subsequent structure. More here.




December 2006  Dr. Smoot was awarded he Daniel Chalonge Medal by the International School of Astrophysics "Daniel Chalonge," known as the Chalonge School. The handsome bronze medal was awarded "for George Smoot's 15-year support and outstanding contributions to the Chalonge School." Read more...




Article in Sao Paulo newspaper (in Portuguese)

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