UC Berkeley News
Web Feature

UC Berkeley Web Feature

A funny thing happened on the way to the Nobel Prize...

– Overheard on the outskirts of George Smoot's Nobel Prize celebration on Tuesday:

George Smoot and his constellation tieIt took Smoot extra time to get dressed for work on Tuesday — he was hunting for his special tie, the one printed with patterns of the constellations.
The stellar tie (Peg Skorpinski photo)

"Where is he? I wore a tie for him; he'd better be here."
— Steve Chu, fellow Nobel laureate and LBNL director

Barclay and Smoot
Melissa Barclay and the boss. (Bonnie Azab Powell photo)

"He's a really nice guy to work for," said Melissa Barclay, Smoot's administrative assistant of three years. "He travels in Italy and France and brings back gifts and handmade chocolates."

"He likes to walk to work."
— Melissa Barclay, on the campus tradition of reserving coveted parking spots for Nobel winners

The effect of a Nobel on book sales: Here's how "Wrinkles in Time," Smoot's mass-market book on his efforts to uncover the origins of the universe, ranked during the day on Amazon.com:

6:30 a.m. #604,951
8 a.m. #65,060
9:30 a.m. #76,494
10 a.m. #28,918
Noon #19,734
2 p.m. #27,869
3 p.m. #17,641
5:30 p.m. #14,249
Wrinkle in Time book cover