P. James Peebles, the Albert Einstein Professor of Physics, Emeritus, at Princeton, has been honored as a 2021 Great Immigrant by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. The philanthropic fund released this year’s list of honorees on the Fourth of July, recognizing the contributions of “34 naturalized citizens who have strengthened our nation through their lives and examples.”
Peebles is widely regarded as one of the world’s leading cosmologists in the period since 1970, with significant contributions to our understanding of Big Bang nucleosynthesis, dark matter, and the cosmic microwave background. He grew up in Manitoba, Canada, and first arrived at Princeton in 1958 as a graduate student pursuing his PhD in physics. He then spent the entirety of his five-decade career at the University.
Peebles was awarded half of the 2019 Nobel Prize in Physics for his theoretical discoveries in physical cosmology, and was elected a Legacy Fellow of the American Astronomical Society in 2020. Much of his research is dedicated to determining the origins of the universe, and his contributions helped establish physical cosmology as a serious field. Peebles is also known for the Ostriker–Peebles criterion, which describes the formation of barred galaxies. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society and a member of the Order of Canada and the Order of Manitoba.