Gamow and Associates Develop the Big Bang Theory (Great Events from History II: Science and Technology Series)
Article abstract: Gamow proposed that the observable universe resulted from the explosion of a hot, dense primordial fireball, which later expanded and condensed into galaxies and then suns.
Summary of Event
After World War II, George Gamow, a professor at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., began a series of calculations demonstrating that reversing the galactic expansion pointed to a time when all the matter was confined to an extremely small space (perhaps thirty times the sun’s diameter) at a temperature of thousands of trillions of degrees. He presumed that the density of the radiation was greater than the density of the matter, a condition which caused the explosion leading to the formation of the present universe, known as the big bang theory.
Gamow’s big bang theory was based upon the cosmological implications of Edwin Powell Hubble’s discovery in 1929 of the directly proportional relationship of distance and velocity of recession for the distant galaxies. This relationship implied that the universe was expanding, which had an immediate effect upon Albert Einstein’s preferred static cosmological model, which had dominated thought since his publication of the general theory of relativity in 1916. Einstein had been forced to introduce a “constant of repulsion” to counteract the force of gravity in a static universe. Willem de Sitter found a second static solution which implied...
(The entire section is 2094 words.)
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