Phillip James E. Peebles

Astronomy, Astrophysics and Space Science

Important cosmologist and astrophysicist

Peebles received his BSc at the University of Manitoba (1958) and his PhD from Princeton University, New Jersey (1962). He is considered by some to be the single most important cosmologist of the last 30 years. With Robert Dicke and others he predicted the existence of the cosmic background radiation and planned to seek it just before it was found by A. Penzias and R. Wilson. He has investigated characteristics of the radiation, clustering and superclustering of galaxies. He has calculated the universal abundances of helium and other light elements, demonstrating agreement between big bang theory and observation. He has provided evidence of the existence of large quantities of dark matter in the haloes of galaxies. His two books on physical cosmology have had a significant impact in convincing physicists that the time has come to study cosmology as a respectable branch of physics. He is a recipient of numerous honorary degrees and awards, including the A.C. Morrison award, the Eddington Medal, the Heineman Prize and the 1995 C.W. Bruce medal of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific.

Sources: Who’s Who in America 1994, personal communication, Bruce Medalist Website by Joseph Tenn, Sonoma State U., CA.

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