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Arno Allan Penzias

Penzias, Arno Allan, 1933–, German-American physicist, b. Munich, Germany, Ph.D. Columbia Univ., 1962. He fled Nazi Germany with his family and after finishing school began work at Bell Telephone Laboratories. In 1964 he and colleague Robert Wilson began monitoring radio waves in the Milky Way galaxy with a radio telescope and discovered cosmic background radiation. Their discovery has been used as evidence in support of the "big bang" theory that the universe was created by a giant explosion billions of years ago (see cosmology). Penzias and Wilson shared the 1978 Nobel Prize in Physics with Peter Kapitza.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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