GEORGE F. SMOOT works in experimental astrophysics and observational cosmology. Smoot has been at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (formerly Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory) since 1970. and is most famous for his research on the cosmic background radiation. This radiation is thought to be the relic of the intense heat of the early Big Bang.
The Smoot group conducts research on the early Universe (cosmology) using the cosmic microwave background radiation (CMB) and other astrophysical sources. These investigations are directed towards realizing a variety of science goals regarding cosmology.
In April 1992, George Smoot made the announcement that the long sought variations in the early Universe had been observed by the COBE DMR team he led. NASA's COBE (Cosmic Background Explorer) satellite mapped the intensity of the radiation from the early Big Bang and found variations so small they had be the seeds on which gravity worked to grow the galaxies, clusters of galaxies, and clusters of clusters that are observed in the Universe today.
For this work, has been awarded the 2006 Nobel Prize for physics. He shares the award with John C. Mather of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. The citation reads "for their discovery of the blackbody form and anisotropy of the cosmic microwave background radiation."
Professor Smoot has also written a popular book (with Keay Davidson) about cosmology, some of his experiments and experiences, and the COBE discovery named Wrinkles in Time.