Georges Lemaître: The man behind the expanding universe theory

 

Georges Lemaître was an astronomer and professor in the field of physics who is supposedly the first to have put forward the theory that the universe is growing every day.

His theory was observationally confirmed soon afterwards by Edwin Hubble in what is now known as Hubble’s Law.

The theory first appeared in 1931 in one of Lemaître’s academic papers and was a significant break from the accepted view of the time.

Born on 17 July 1894 in Belgium, he began studying civil engineering. His academic chases however came to a halt while he served in the Belgian army for the duration of the First World War.

After the war, he studied physics and mathematics and was also ordained as a priest.

In 1925 he returned to Belgium, where he became a part-time lecturer at the Catholic University of Leuven. Two years later, he published his revolutionary idea of an ever growing universe.

In 1933 at the California Institute of Technology, some of the greatest scientists of the time from around the world came together to hear a series of lectures.

After Lemaître delivered his lecture and theory, Albert Einstein stood up and said: “This is the most beautiful and satisfactory explanation of creation to which I ever listened.”

He was elected a member of the Royal Academy of Sciences and Arts of Belgium and the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.

He died in 1966, shortly after he discovered the presence of cosmic microwave background radiation, which added some more support to his theory on the birth of the universe.

 

 

 

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