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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index W > Robert Woodrow Wilson Quotes

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Robert Woodrow Wilson
(10 Jan 1936 - )

American radio astronomer.


Science Quotes by Robert Woodrow Wilson (4 quotes)

Cosmology is a science which has only a few observable facts to work with. The discovery of the cosmic microwave background radiation added one—the present radiation temperature of the universe. This, however, was a significant increase in our knowledge since it requires a cosmology with a source for the radiation at an early epoch and is a new probe of that epoch. More sensitive measurements of the background radiation in the future will allow us to discover additional facts about the universe.
— Robert Woodrow Wilson
'Discovery of the Cosmic Microwave Background', in B. Bertotti (ed.) Modern Cosmology in Retrospect (1990), 304.
Science quotes on:  |  Background (30)  |  Cosmology (20)  |  Discovery (680)  |  Fact (733)  |  Increase (146)  |  Knowledge (1306)  |  Measurement (161)  |  Microwave (4)  |  Observation (450)  |  Radiation (25)  |  Temperature (47)  |  Universe (686)

During my pre-college years I went on many trips with my father into the oil fields to visit their operations. … I puttered around the machine, electronics, and automobile shops while he carried on his business. Both of my parents are inveterate do-it-yourselfers, almost no task being beneath their dignity or beyond their ingenuity. Having picked up a keen interest in electronics from my father, I used to fix radios and later television sets for fun and spending money. I built my own hi-fi set and enjoyed helping friends with their amateur radio transmitters, but lost interest as soon as they worked.
— Robert Woodrow Wilson
Remarks on how his high school interests foreshadowed his career as a radio astronomer. From autobiography in Stig Lundqvist (ed.) Nobel Lectures, Physics 1971-1980 (1992).
Science quotes on:  |  Amateur (19)  |  Automobile (20)  |  Biography (232)  |  Building (52)  |  Electronics (8)  |  Enjoyment (29)  |  Fun (34)  |  Ingenuity (27)  |  Interest (237)  |  Inveterate (3)  |  Machine (157)  |  Parent (46)  |  Radio (30)  |  Shop (11)  |  Television (29)

Philosophically, I liked the steady-state cosmology. So I thought that we should report our results as a simple measurement; the measurement might be true after the cosmology was no longer true!
— Robert Woodrow Wilson
Remarking on the measurement he made with Arno Penzias of the 3 K cosmic background radiation. From Proceedings of workshop, National Radio Astronomy Observatory, Green Bank, West Virginia (4-6 May 1983), 'Discovery of the Cosmic Microwave Background', Serendipitous Discoveries in Radio Astronomy (1983), 195. Also collected in B. Bertotti (ed.) Modern Cosmology in Retrospect (1990), 303.
Science quotes on:  |  Cosmology (20)  |  Like (21)  |  Measurement (161)  |  Philosophy (259)  |  Report (37)  |  Result (389)  |  Simple (178)  |  Steady-State (2)  |  Truth (928)

This new knowledge has all to do with honor and country but it has nothing to do directly with defending our country except to help make it worth defending.
— Robert Woodrow Wilson
Explaining the value of building Fermilab’s first accelerator in testimony to Congressional Joint Committee on Atomic Energy (17 Apr 1969).
Science quotes on:  |  Accelerator (7)  |  Country (147)  |  Defending (2)  |  Help (103)  |  Honor (31)  |  Knowledge (1306)  |  New (496)  |  Nothing (395)  |  Worth (99)



Quotes by others about Robert Woodrow Wilson (1)

The most important thing accomplished by the ultimate discovery of the 3 °K radiation background (Penzias and Wilson, 1965) was to force all of us to take seriously the idea that there was an early universe.
In The First Three Minutes: A Modern View of the Origin of the Universe (1977, 1993), 131-132.
Science quotes on:  |  Accomplishment (80)  |  Background Radiation (2)  |  Discovery (680)  |  Early (62)  |  Idea (580)  |  Important (205)  |  Arno Penzias (2)  |  Serious (52)  |  Ultimate (84)  |  Universe (686)


See also:
  • 10 Jan - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Wilson's birth.

Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
Quotations by: • Albert Einstein • Isaac Newton • Lord Kelvin • Charles Darwin • Srinivasa Ramanujan • Carl Sagan • Florence Nightingale • Thomas Edison • Aristotle • Marie Curie • Benjamin Franklin • Winston Churchill • Galileo Galilei • Sigmund Freud • Robert Bunsen • Louis Pasteur • Theodore Roosevelt • Abraham Lincoln • Ronald Reagan • Leonardo DaVinci • Michio Kaku • Karl Popper • Johann Goethe • Robert Oppenheimer • Charles Kettering  ... (more people)

Quotations about: • Atomic  Bomb • Biology • Chemistry • Deforestation • Engineering • Anatomy • Astronomy • Bacteria • Biochemistry • Botany • Conservation • Dinosaur • Environment • Fractal • Genetics • Geology • History of Science • Invention • Jupiter • Knowledge • Love • Mathematics • Measurement • Medicine • Natural Resource • Organic Chemistry • Physics • Physician • Quantum Theory • Research • Science and Art • Teacher • Technology • Universe • Volcano • Virus • Wind Power • Women Scientists • X-Rays • Youth • Zoology  ... (more topics)
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