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2006 Gruber Cosmology Prize Citation

The 2006 Cosmology Prize of the Peter Gruber Foundation is proudly presented to John Mather and the COBE team for their ground-breaking studies of the spectrum and spatial structure of the relic radiation from the Big Bang.

Their instruments aboard NASA's Cosmic Background Explorer showed that the young universe was hot, dense and almost uniform, that it contained weak fluctuations which grew into all present-day structure and that these fluctuations could have been generated by physical processes only if the universe evolved differently at the earliest times than supposed by previous standard models.

With these results, the COBE team, led by John Mather, set cosmology's agenda for decades to come and profoundly affected our understanding of cosmic evolution.