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April 3, 2008

Better than Zaphod

srikanth @ 10:26 am, GMT +0000 ( 1207218374 ) Play

(This is not a HHGTTG question)

(1) and (2) were messing around with (3). While doing so, they detected something that they totally could not explain. They tried a lot to eliminate it (at one point of time, they even suspected (4)), but they just couldn’t get rid of it.

Eventually, they realized that they just couldn’t eliminate it because it was not an anomaly. It was real, and it validated decades of work, and basically proved one of the most debated hypotheses of all time, beyond any doubt.

What is it (that they discovered)?

And who are (1) and (2)?

Cracked by: varuns88 , udupendra , Ajay Parasuram , teju , madhur , Jesse , Rahul , duriel , Dibyo , Prasad , Keerthi Kiran M , Amar , psrinivas , RajT and yaksha.

Answer: This question is one of the first ever sci quiz questions I answered, back when i was a wee little lad with principles and ideals and goals and all… Ah, the fond memories…


1) Woodrow wilson
2) Robert Anzias
3) A highly sensitive radio horn antenna
4) A pigeon. No really.

while (1) and (2) were trying to detect something with 3, they found a faint background hiss that was equal in all directions. They tried to eliminate it (and also suspected pigeons nesting in the antenna) but it turned out to be a 3K microwave frequency cosmic background radiation. This proved the whole “Big Bang” concept, since the early explosion would’ve left radiation effects till date. And the radiation would be of absolutely uniform properties everywhere in this universe.

15 Responses to “Better than Zaphod”

  1. varuns88

    1.Robert Woodrow Wilson
    2.Arno Penzias

    these guys discovered “cosmic microwave background radiation”..

  2. udupendra

    Wilson and Penzias – CMBR

  3. Ajay Parasuram

    1.Robert Wilson
    2.Arno Penzias
    3.The Horn Antenna at Bell Labs,NJ

    The two received the 1978 Nobel in Physics for discovering Microwave radiation.The bird could be the possible assumption made by the two that the waves they received were far less energetic than the one given by the Milky Way-Terrestrial Interference.

  4. teju

    1.Robert Woodrow Wilson
    2.Arno Allan Penzias
    3.Horn Antenna, at Bell Telephone Laboratories in Holmdel, New Jersey.

    Both 1 and 2 worked on ultra-sensitive cryogenic microwave receivers intended for radio astronomy observations. On building their most sensitive antenna/receiver system, the pair encountered radio noise which they could not explain. An examination of the microwave horn antenna showed it was full of pigeon droppings. After the pair removed the guano buildup, and the pigeons were shot, the noise remained. This was later identified as the cosmic microwave background radiation (CMB), the radio remnant of the Big Bang.

  5. madhur

    1. Robert Woodrow Wilson
    2. Arno Allan Penzias

    While using horn antenna at Bell Labs (3) at New Jersey,(1) and (2) found a source of noise in the atmosphere that they could not explain. After removing all potential sources of noise, including pigeons(4) on the antenna, the noise was finally identified as Cosmic microwave background (CMB) which confirmed the Big Bang theory.

  6. Jesse

    They discovered microwave background radiation. Confirming the Big Bang Theory. Robert Wilson and Arno Penzias.

  7. Rahul

    Background microwave radiation – the radio remnants of the big bang.
    Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson

  8. duriel

    Robert Wilson & Arno Penzias.
    They stumbled on background cosmic radiation (evidence for Big Bang)

    According to that black sign on the 3rd pic, that is the “Horn Antenna”. whaddya know? the sign is right!!

    4 is a nice little pigeon.

  9. Dibyo

    1. Robert Wilson
    2. Arno Penzias

    They discovered cosmic microwave background radiation (CMB), which helped validate the Big Bang theory.

  10. Prasad

    (1) is Robert Woodrow Wilson and (2) is Arno Allan Penzias, both famous radio cosmologist, who worked on the Horn Antenna(3). When working on the radio antenna, they detected a faint background radio noise which they couldnt eliminate. They even thought, it could be coming from the droppings of pigeons nesting in the antenna and had them shot. The theory it validated was the Big Bang Theory.
    And i’m off to sleep.

  11. Keerthi Kiran M

    Arno Penzias und Robert Wilson
    They validated Big Bang theory
    The big bang theory suggests that the cosmic microwave background fills all of observable space. In 1965 while using the Horn Antenna, Penzias and Wilson observed this microwave background radiation.

  12. Background cosmic radiation.

    Erno Peznias and Robert Wilson of Bell Labs who won the nobel prize for physics in 1978


  13. psrinivas

    Arno Allan Penzias and Robert Woodrow Wilson discovered cosmic microwave background radiation.

  14. RajT

    Arno Penzias and Robert Woodrow Wilson, while fiddling with the horn antenna, stumbled upon cosmic microwave background radiation

    And the math questions MAY just help me stop making those stupid mistakes.. thanks :)

  15. yaksha

    Robert Woodrow Wilson
    Arno Allan Penzias

    Discovery of cosmic microwave background radiation

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