David Todd Wilkinson

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David Todd Wilkinson
David Todd Wilkinson.jpg
Born(1935-05-13)13 May 1935
Died5 September 2002(2002-09-05) (aged 67)
Alma materUniversity of Michigan
AwardsJames Craig Watson Medal (2001)
Scientific career
InstitutionsPrinceton University
Doctoral advisorH. Richard Crane
Doctoral studentsMarc Davis
Suzanne Staggs
Peter Saulson

David Todd Wilkinson (May 13, 1935 – September 5, 2002) was an American cosmologist, specializing in the study of the cosmic microwave background radiation (CMB).[1]


Wilkinson was born in Hillsdale, Michigan on May 13, 1935, and earned his Ph.D. in physics at the University of Michigan under the supervision of H. Richard Crane.[2]

Research and career[edit]

Wilkinson was a Professor of Physics at Princeton University from 1965 until his retirement in 2002. He made fundamental contributions to many major cosmic microwave background experiments, including two NASA satellites: the Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) and the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP), the latter of which was named in his honor after his death due to cancer on September 5, 2002.[3]



  1. ^ "Dr. David T. Wilkinson, 67, a Physicist Who Searched for Big Bang's Echoes Is Dead". NY Times. 2002.
  2. ^ Mather, John C.; Page, Lyman; Peebles, P. James E. (May 2003). "Obituary: David Todd Wilkinson". Physics Today. 56 (5): 76–77. Bibcode:2003PhT....56e..76M. doi:10.1063/1.1583543.
  3. ^ "Physicist David Wilkinson, explorer of Big Bang afterglow, dies" (Press release). Princeton University. September 6, 2002. Retrieved September 17, 2009.

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