Wilson, Robert Woodrow


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Wilson, Robert Woodrow,

1936–, American radio astronomer, b. Houston, Tex., Ph.D. California Institute of Technology, 1962. In 1964 he and co-researcher Arno PenziasPenzias, Arno Allan,
1933–, German-American physicist, b. Munich, Germany, Ph.D. Columbia Univ., 1962. He fled Nazi Germany with his family and after finishing school began work at Bell Telephone Laboratories.
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 began monitoring radio waves in the Milky Way galaxy with a radio telescope and discovered cosmic background radiation. Their discovery has been used as evidence in support of the "big bang" theory that the universe was created by a giant explosion billions of years ago (see cosmologycosmology,
area of science that aims at a comprehensive theory of the structure and evolution of the entire physical universe. Modern Cosmological Theories
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). Penzias and Wilson shared the 1978 Nobel Prize in Physics with Peter KapitzaKapitza, Peter
, 1894–1984, Russian physicist, educated at the polytechnic institute of Petrograd (now St. Petersburg) and at Cambridge. He developed equipment (for a laboratory at Cambridge) capable of producing very powerful magnetic fields for his experiments in
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.