Charles L. Bennett
  • 2018 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics


American observational astrophysicist. Bloomberg Distinguished Professor, the Alumni Centennial Professor of Physics and Astronomy and a Gilman Scholar at Johns Hopkins University. He received the 2018 Breakthrough Prize in fundamental physics for “detailed maps of the early universe that greatly improved our knowledge of the evolution of the cosmos and the fluctuations that seeded the formation of galaxies.”

Education and Work Experience

1978-1984, Ph.D., Department of Physics, MIT 1984-2004, Astrophysicist, NASA-GSFC
2005-Present, Professor of Physics & Astronomy, Johns Hopkins University
2015-Present, Bloomberg Distinguished Professor, appointed jointly between Dept of Physics and Astronomy in School of Arts and Sciences, and as Senior Scientist of Applied Physics Laboratory (2018 changed to APL Principal Professional Staff)

Honors and Awards

2006, Harvey Prize
2010, Shaw Prize in Astronomy
2012, Gruber Cosmology Prize
2018, Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics

Major Academic Achievements

Charles L. Bennett is the Alumni Centennial Professor of Physics and Astronomy and a Johns Hopkins University Gilman Scholar. His major field of research is in experimental cosmology. In particular, he has contributed to the establishment of a standard model of cosmology, and currently engaged in testing and extending that model. Dr. Bennett leads the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) mission. WMAP was competitively selected in 1996 as a NASA Explorer mission, launched June 2001, and its first scientific results were issued in February 2003. WMAP quantified the age, content, history, and other key properties of the universe with unprecedented accuracy and precision. This was recognized by Science magazine as the 2003 “Breakthrough of the Year”. The WMAP satellite ended its nine years of scientific observations in August 2010.