Dr John C. Mather

John Mather is an astrophysicist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, whose research focuses on infrared space observation.  Together with Geaorge Smoot, he won the 2006 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on the Cosmic Background Explorer Satellite (COBE), which helped to support the big bang theory.

Mather is also an adjunct professor of physics at the University of Maryland and a project scientist for the James Webb Space Telescope. He was also listed in  Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in The World.



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Physicist PHYSICIST (Astrophysicist, Cosmologist)
John C Mather
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  • 1990 NASA GSFC John C. Lindsay Memorial Award
  • 1991 Rotary National Space Achievement Award
  • 1991 National Air and Space Museum Trophy
  • 1992 Aviation Week and Space Technology Laurels for Space/Missiles
  • 1993 American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Space Science Award
  • 1993 American Astronomical Society and American Institute of Physics Dannie Heineman Prize for Astrophysics
  • 1995 City of Philadelphia John Scott Award
  • 1996 American Academy of Arts and Sciences Rumford Prize
  • 1997 Aviation Week and Space Technology Hall of Fame
  • 1998 Marc Aaronson Memorial Prize
  • 1999 Franklin Institute Benjamin Franklin Medal in Physics
  • 2005 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers George W. Goddard Award
  • 2006 Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation Prize in Cosmology
  • 2006 Nobel Prize in Physics
  • 2008 Robinson Prize
  • 2010 India General President Gold Medal


The Very First Light, J C Mather and J Boslough. 2nd Edition 2008.


Comet and asteroid hazard to the terrestrial planets Advances in Space Research, Volume 33, Issue 9, 2004, Pages 1524-1533 S. I. Ipatov and J. C. Mather

Does the lunar surface still offer value as a site for astronomical observatories? Space Policy, Volume 20, Issue 2, May 2004, Pages 99-107 Daniel F. Lester, Harold W. Yorke and John C. Mather

Noise of a bolometer with vanishing self-heating Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment, Volume 346, Issues 1-2, 15 July 1994, Pages 225-229 M. Bühler and E. Umlauf, J. C. Mather

Infrared measurements from the Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) Infrared Physics & Technology, Volume 35, Issues 2-3, March-April 1994, Pages 331-336 John C. Mather

Scientific results from COBE Advances in Space Research, Volume 13, Issue 12, December 1993, Pages 409-423 C. L. Bennett, N. W. Boggess, E. S. Cheng, M. G. Hauser, T. Kelsall, J. C. Mather, S. H. Moseley, Jr. , T. L. Murdock, R. A. Shafer et al.

Early results from the Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) Advances in Space Research, Volume 11, Issue 2, 1991, Pages 181-191 J. C. Mather, M. G. Hauser, C. L. Bennett, N. W. Boggess, E. S. Cheng, R.E. Eplee, Jr. , H. T. Freudenreich, R. B. Isaacman, T. Kelsall et al.

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  • Postings

    NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

    Adjunct Professor of Physics
    University of Maryland

    Project Scientist
    James Webb Space Telescope