Since their public announcement three weeks ago at a Washington meeting of the American Physical Society, Smoot has been unable to get much work done because of the demands of celebrity. When he returned to Berkeley, his computer had more than 3,000 messages on it--full capacity--and he was advising close friends to send E-mail to a more restricted mailbox that few know of. His desk is piled high with mail and requests.
He is flattered, but somewhat bewildered, by the attention and the talk of a Nobel Prize, but he is trying to avoid such speculation. "If you think about it, you just start worrying," he said. "Right now, I'd just like to get back to work."