US radioastronomer who, with Arno Penzias, in 1964-65 detected the cosmic background radiation, which is thought to represent a residue of the primordial Big Bang. He and Penzias shared the 1978 Nobel Prize for Physics for their work on microwave radiation.
Wilson was born in Houston, Texas, and studied at Rice University and
the California Institute of Technology. In 1963 he joined the Bell Telephone
Laboratories in New Jersey; he was made head of the Radiophysics Department
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