Wilson, Robert W.

Wilson, Robert W. (Woodrow)

(1936–  ) physicist, radio astronomer; born in Houston, Texas. He was a fellow in radio astronomy at the California Institute of Technology (1962–63), then joined Bell Laboratories (1963). In 1964 he and his collaborator Arno Penzias detected microwave noise in the constellation Cassiopeia that proved to be residual radiation from the "big bang" at the creation of the universe. This discovery won Wilson and Penzias half the 1978 Nobel Prize in physics. Wilson also investigated the presence of interstellar carbon monoxide, and the composition of dark gas clouds of the Milky Way.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.