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2015 Cosmology Prize

Lyman A. Page, Jr

Lyman Alexander Page, Jr., was born in 1957 in San Francisco.  He received his B.A. in Physics from Bowdoin College in 1978 and his Ph.D. in Physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1989.  From September 1978 to January 1980 he was stationed in Antarctica as a research technician at a cosmic-ray detection station.  In 1990 he became an instructor at Princeton University, where today he serves as the chair of the Physics Department as well as the Cyrus Fogg Brackett Professor of Physics. 

Page has worked extensively in the study of the cosmic microwave background (or CMB, the relic radiation from the infancy of the universe that contains the imprint of everything the universe would become), beginning as a graduate student at MIT, where he built and flew a balloon-borne radiometer.  But it is largely for his role as the principal investigator on the Atacama Cosmology Telescope, constructed in the mountains of the Atacama Desert in Chile in 2007, that he is receiving the Gruber Cosmology Prize.  Like the South Pole Telescope, overseen by his co-Gruber recipient John Carlstrom, the ACT has led to the discovery of many clusters of galaxies going back to when the universe was about one-third its present age, providing a history of the growth of the large-scale structure of the universe; independent verification that the universe consists of approximately 25 percent dark matter, 70 percent dark energy, and 5 percent atoms; and strong evidence that the structure in the CMB is a remnant of quantum fluctuations.  This latter data is in excellent agreement with inflation, a theory which in turn suggests that the universe itself is one big quantum fluctuation. 

In 2010 Page shared the Shaw Prize in Astronomy with Charles L. Bennett and David Spergel, and in 2012 he received a share of the Gruber Cosmology Prize, which was awarded to Bennett and the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe team.  He has been a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences since 2004 and of the National Academy of Sciences since 2006.