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Charles Bennett

BennettCharlesCHARLES BENNETT is one of the world’s leaders in the study of the cosmic microwave background radiation that fills the universe. A professor at Johns Hopkins since 2005, he has brought numerous accolades to the Department of Physics and Astronomy in his time here, including being elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2005 and receiving the National Academy of Sciences’ Henry Draper Medal in 2005, the Harvey Prize in 2006, the Comstock Prize in Physics in 2009, and the 2010 Shaw Prize in Astronomy (co-winner). In 2012 he and his Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) team won the Gruber Cosmology Prize.

Bennett focuses on designing and building novel instruments to observe the cosmic microwave background, which is the faint afterglow of energy from the infant universe. His WMAP project provided spectacular results, revealing the universe’s precise shape, age and composition for the first time, as well as the existence of the cosmic neutrino background and the timing of the formation of the generation of stars.