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Phillip James Edwin Peebles OM FRS (born April 25, 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.

Jim Peebles

Jim Peebles.jpg
Phillip James Edwin Peebles

(1935-04-25) April 25, 1935 (age 84)
Alma mater
Known forCosmic microwave background radiation
AwardsEddington Medal (1981)
Heineman Prize (1982)
Bruce Medal (1995)
Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society (1998)
Gruber Prize (2000)
Harvey Prize (2001)
Shaw Prize (2004)
Crafoord Prize (2005)
Dirac Medal (2013)
Scientific career
InstitutionsPrinceton University

Academic careerEdit

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 formation.

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.



Named after him


  • 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:1983ApJ...267..465D. doi:10.1086/160884.
  • Dicke, R. H.; Peebles, P. J. E.; Roll, P. G.; Wilkinson, D. T. (1965). "Cosmic Black-Body Radiation". Astrophys. J. 142: 414. Bibcode:1965ApJ...142..414D. doi:10.1086/148306.
  • Fukugita, M.; Hogan, C. J.; Peebles, P. J. E. (1998). "The cosmic baryon budget". Astrophys. J. 503 (2): 518. arXiv:astro-ph/9712020. Bibcode:1998ApJ...503..518F. doi:10.1086/306025.
  • 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:1977ApJ...217..385G. doi:10.1086/155588.
  • 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:1973ApJ...186..467O. doi:10.1086/152513.
  • Peebles, P. J. E. (1966). "Primordial Helium Abundance and the Primordial Fireball. I". Phys. Rev. Lett. 16 (10): 410. Bibcode:1966PhRvL..16..410P. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.16.410.
  • Peebles, P. J. E. (1966). "Primordial Helium Abundance and the Primordial Fireball. II". Astrophys. J. 146: 542. Bibcode:1966ApJ...146..542P. doi:10.1086/148918.
  • Peebles, P. J. E.; Dicke, R. H. (1968). "Origin of the Globular Star Clusters". Astrophys. J. 154: 891. Bibcode:1968ApJ...154..891P. doi:10.1086/149811.
  • Peebles, P. J. E. (1969). "Origin of the Angular Momentum of Galaxies". Astrophys. J. 155: 393. Bibcode:1969ApJ...155..393P. doi:10.1086/149876.
  • Peebles, P. J. E.; Yu, J. T. (1970). "Primeval adiabatic perturbation in an expanding universe". Astrophys. J. 162: 815. Bibcode:1970ApJ...162..815P. doi:10.1086/150713.
  • Peebles, P. J. E. (1971). Physical Cosmology. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
  • Peebles, P. J. E. (1980). The large-scale structure of the universe. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
  • Peebles, P. J. E. (1982). "Large-scale background temperature and mass fluctuations due to scale-invariant primeval perturbations". Astrophys. J. 263: L1. Bibcode:1982ApJ...263L...1P. doi:10.1086/183911.
  • Peebles, P. J. E. (1993). Principles of Physical Cosmology. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
  • Ratra, B.; Peebles, P. J. E. (1988). "Cosmology with a time-variable cosmological 'constant'". Astrophys. J. 325: L17. Bibcode:1988ApJ...325L..17P. doi:10.1086/185100.
  • Ratra, B.; Peebles, P. J. E. (1988). "Cosmological consequences of a rolling homogeneous scalar field". Phys. Rev. D. 37 (12): 3406. Bibcode:1988PhRvD..37.3406R. doi:10.1103/physrevd.37.3406.
  • Ratra, B.; Peebles, P. J. E. (2003). "The cosmological constant and dark energy". Rev. Mod. Phys. 75 (2): 559–606. arXiv:astro-ph/0207347. Bibcode:2003RvMP...75..559P. doi:10.1103/RevModPhys.75.559.


  1. ^ "Princeton University Physics Department". Archived from the original on May 11, 2011.
  2. ^ "Princeton University News". Archived from the original on April 13, 2016.
  3. ^ Seeing Cosmology Grow
  4. ^ "Announcement-The Shaw Laureate in Astronomy 2004". Shaw Foundation. Retrieved January 27, 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 (59): 0059. arXiv:1703.00013. Bibcode:2017NatAs...1E..59D. doi:10.1038/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 January 24, 2017.


External linksEdit