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Jim Peebles

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Phillip James Edwin Peebles OM FRS born 1935 is a Canadian-American physicist and theoretical cosmologist who is currently the Albert Einstein Professor Emeritus of Science at Princeton University[1][2] He is widely regarded as one of the world's leading theoretical cosmologists in the period since 1970, with major theoretical contributions to primordial nucleosynthesis, dark matter, the cosmic microwave background, and structure formation His three textbooks Physical Cosmology, 1971; Large Scale Structure of the Universe, 1980; Principles of Physical Cosmology, 1993 have been standard references in the field


  • 1 Academic career
  • 2 Honours
  • 3 References
  • 4 Footnotes
  • 5 Bibliography
  • 6 External links

Academic career

Peebles was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, on April 25, 1935, and completed his bachelor's degree at the University of Manitoba He left Manitoba in the fall of 1958 to attend Princeton University, where he completed his doctorate supervised by Robert Dicke;[3] he remained at Princeton for his whole career

Peebles has made many important contributions to the big bang model With Dicke and others nearly two decades after George Gamov, Ralph A Alpher and Robert C Herman, he predicted the cosmic microwave background radiation Along with making major contributions to big bang nucleosynthesis, dark matter, and dark energy, he was the leading pioneer in the theory of cosmic structure formation in the 1970s Long before it was considered a serious, quantitative branch of physics, Peebles was studying physical cosmology and has done much to establish its respectability His Shaw Prize citation states "He laid the foundations for almost all modern investigations in cosmology, both theoretical and observational, transforming a highly speculative field into a precision science"[4]

Peebles has a long record of innovating the basic ideas, which would be extensively studied later by other scientists For instance, in 1987, he proposed the primordial isocurvature baryon model for the development of the early universe[5] Similarly, Peebles contributed to establishing the problem of dark matter in the early 1970s[6] Peebles is also known for the Ostriker–Peebles criterion, relating to the stability of galactic form

In Peebles' book, Principles of Physical Cosmology,[7] he expressed a preferred reference frame for velocity anywhere in the universe based on Isotropic Cosmic Background Radiation, a departure from previous models, but according to Peebles not in violation of Relativity Victor Weisskopf gave the same opinion in his book [8] Without compromising Relativity principles in 1949 Albert Einstein introduced the concept of a preferred inertial frame in his Autobiographical Notes[9] with the recommendation that kinetic energy should be developed as a field concept, but this was not possible at the time before discovery of Cosmic Background Radiation



  • Eddington Medal 1981
  • Heineman Prize 1982
  • Fellow of the Royal Society 1982[10]
  • Henry Norris Russell Lectureship 1993
  • Bruce Medal 1995
  • Oskar Klein Medal 1997
  • Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society 1998
  • Gruber Prize in Cosmology 2000, with Allan Sandage
  • Harvey Prize 2001
  • Shaw Prize 2004
  • Crafoord Prize with James E Gunn and Martin Rees 2005
  • Hitchcock Professorship 2006
  • Dirac Medal 2013
  • Member of the Order of Manitoba 2017

Named after him

  • Asteroid 18242 Peebles


  • Ratra, B; Peebles, P J E 2003 "The cosmological constant and dark energy" Rev Mod Phys 75: 559 arXiv:astro-ph/0207347  Bibcode:2003RvMP75559P doi:101103/RevModPhys75559 
  • Fukugita, M; Hogan, C J; Peebles, P J E 1998 "The cosmic baryon budget" Astrophys J 503: 518 arXiv:astro-ph/9712020  Bibcode:1998ApJ503518F doi:101086/306025 
  • P J E Peebles, Principles of Physical Cosmology Princeton University Press, Princeton, 1993
  • Ratra, B; Peebles, P J E 1988 "Cosmology with a time-variable cosmological 'constant'" Astrophys J 325: L17 Bibcode:1988ApJ325L17P doi:101086/185100 
  • Ratra, B; Peebles, P J E 1988 "Cosmological consequences of a rolling homogeneous scalar field" Phys Rev D 37: 3406 Bibcode:1988PhRvD373406R doi:101103/physrevd373406 
  • Davis, M; Peebles, P J E 1983 "A survey of galaxy redshifts V – The two-point position and velocity correlations" Astrophys J 267: 465 Bibcode:1983ApJ267465D doi:101086/160884 
  • Peebles, P J E 1982 "Large-scale background temperature and mass fluctuations due to scale-invariant primeval perturbations" Astrophys J 263: L1 Bibcode:1982ApJ263L1P doi:101086/183911 
  • P J E Peebles, The large-scale structure of the universe Princeton University Press, Princeton, 1980
  • Groth, E J; Peebles, P J E 1977 "Statistical Analysis Of Catalogs Of Extragalactic Objects 7 Two And Three Point Correlation Functions For The High-Resolution Shane-Wirtanen Catalog Of Galaxies" Astrophys J 217: 385 Bibcode:1977ApJ217385G doi:101086/155588 
  • Ostriker, J P; Peebles, P J E 1973 "A Numerical Study of the Stability of Flattened Galaxies: or, can Cold Galaxies Survive" Astrophys J 186: 467 Bibcode:1973ApJ186467O doi:101086/152513 
  • P J E Peebles, Physical Cosmology, Princeton University Press, Princeton, 1971
  • Peebles, P J E; Yu, J T 1970 "Primeval adiabatic perturbation in an expanding universe" Astrophys J 162: 815 Bibcode:1970ApJ162815P doi:101086/150713 
  • Peebles, P J E 1969 "Origin of the Angular Momentum of Galaxies" Astrophys J 155: 393 Bibcode:1969ApJ155393P doi:101086/149876 
  • Peebles, P J E; Dicke, R H 1968 "Origin of the Globular Star Clusters" Astrophys J 154: 891 Bibcode:1968ApJ154891P doi:101086/149811 
  • Peebles, P J E 1966 "Primordial Helium Abundance and the Primordial Fireball II" Astrophys J 146: 542 Bibcode:1966ApJ146542P doi:101086/148918 
  • Peebles, P J E 1966 "Primordial Helium Abundance and the Primordial Fireball I" Phys Rev Lett 16: 410 Bibcode:1966PhRvL16410P doi:101103/PhysRevLett16410 
  • Dicke, R H; Peebles, P J E; Roll, P G; Wilkinson, D T 1965 "Cosmic Black-Body Radiation" Astrophys J 142: 414 Bibcode:1965ApJ142414D doi:101086/148306 


  1. ^ Princeton University Physics Department Archived May 11, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Princeton University News Archived April 13, 2016, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Seeing Cosmology Grow
  4. ^ "Announcement-The Shaw Laureate in Astronomy 2004" Shaw Foundation Retrieved 27 January 2016 
  5. ^ Hu 1994-06-28
  6. ^ de Swart, J G; Bertone, G; van Dongen, J 2017 "How dark matter came to matter" Nature Astronomy 1 0059 arXiv:170300013  Bibcode:2017NatAs1E59D doi:101038/s41550-017-0059 
  7. ^ Principles of Physical Cosmology, Princeton University Press, Princeton NJ, 1993, Page 151
  8. ^ The Privilege of Being a Physicist, Freeman, New York, 1989 Page 143
  9. ^ A Stubbornly Persistent Illusion, edited with commentary by Stephen Hawking, Running Press, Philadelphia Pa, 2009 Page 355
  10. ^ "Phillip Peebles biography" Royal Society Retrieved 24 January 2017 


  • Hu, Wayne 1994-06-28 "The Nature versus Nurture of Anisotropies" arXiv:astro-ph/9406071   

External links

  • Bruce Medalists
  • Personal Web page at Princeton University Photos
  • Oral History interview transcript with Jim Peebles April 4 and 5, 2002, American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library and Archives

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