Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Nobel laureate trashes 2012 Doomsday prediction

Nobel laureate and American cosmologist John Cromwell Mather Monday trashed the doomsday prediction for December 2012.

'There is no scientific basis for such a prediction. The fear that the world will end in December 2012 is uncalled for,' Mather told reporters at the 97th Indian Science Congress (ISC 2012).

Mather, 63, won the 2006 Nobel Prize in physics for his discovery of the blackbody form and anisotropy of the cosmic microwave background radiation.

Allaying fears of the doomsday at an interactive session here, Mather said he was going ahead with the USD 6-billion James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) project for its scheduled launch during 2014.

The infrared-optimsed JWST observatory, a successor to the aging Hubble space telescope,
will probe the first galaxies that were formed in the early universe to verify the Big Bang theory at the time of creation.

In a lighter vein, Mather's wife Jane, who was present on the occasion, said they were confident that the world would be around beyond 2012.

'My husband is currently working on the James Webb telescope, which will go up in space during 2014,' Jane added.

The apocalyptic belief -- that a cataclysmic event will occur Dec 21-23, 2012, destroying the world -- figured in the age-old Mayan calendar of the then Latin American communities in Guatemala. They feared end after a 5,125-year-long cycle.

The prediction that has gripped the world has also led to plethora of books, TV documentaries, videos and a Hollywood film titled '2012 Doomsday'.

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