Three Princeton University astrophysicists, Norman Jarosik, Lyman Page Jr., and David N. Spergel, are among the winners of the 2018 Breakthrough Prizes. These annual awards, sponsored by Sergey Brin, Yuri and Julia Milner, Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan, Anne Wojcicki, and Pony Ma, recognize top achievements in Life Sciences, Fundamental Physics and Mathematics.
Jarosik, Page and Spergel were honored for their work on NASA's WMAP Space Mission, which mapped the light leftover from the Big Bang. The project allowed scientists to determine the age, rate of expansion and composition of the universe. In addition to the Princeton scientists, Chuck Bennett of Johns Hopkins University and Gary Hinshaw now of the University of British Columbia were recognized for their work with the WMAP team.
Princeton University President Christopher L. Eisgruber lauded the Princeton winners, “Norman Jarosik, Lyman Page Jr. and David Spergel are brilliant physicists whose research has transformed our understanding of the age, shape, and evolution of the universe." Eisgruber attended the December 3 gala ceremony which was held at the NASA Ames Research Center in Palo Alto, California. The physics award was presented by Sam Altman, the president of the startup company seed funder Y Combinator, and Mayim Bialik, a neuroscientist and star of TV’s “Big Bang Theory.” The event was broadcast live on the National Geographic channel; a recording will be made available online.
Newsweek featured the Breakthrough Prize winners in "These 12 People Are Changing Sciences"