Dec 4, 2017

WMAP Team Wins $3 Million Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics

Posted by in categories: cosmology, evolution, physics

A team of researchers who helped shape our understanding of the origin, evolution and nature of the cosmos is now $3 million richer.

Those folks worked on NASA’s WMAP space mission, which was awarded the 2018 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics today (Dec. 3) during a ceremony in Palo Alto, California.

From 2001 to 2009, WMAP mapped the cosmic microwave background (CMB) — the light left over from the Big Bang — with unprecedented precision. This work allowed scientists to nail down the age of the universe (about 13.8 billion years), its rate of accelerating expansion (roughly 70 kilometers per second per megaparsec) and its basic composition (about 5 percent “normal” matter, 24 percent dark matter and 71 percent dark energy). [Dark Matter and Dark Energy: The Mystery Explained (Infographic)].

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