Google celebrates astronomer Georges Lemaitre's birth anniversary

19 July, 2018, 14:26 | Author: Kelly Sanders
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He is most famous for formulating the Big Bang Theory, which holds that the universe began in cataclysmic explosion of small, primeval "super-atom". He is also considered to be the first person to propose the theory that the universe is expanding.

His paper went largely unnoticed until American astronomer Edwin Hubble, using the world's largest telescope at Mt Wilson in California, discovered that distant galaxies appeared to be moving away from each other at speeds proportional to their distances as Lemaitre had described in his theory.

Born on 17 July, 1894 in Belgium, Lemaitre served as a Belgian artillery officer during World War I. He later went on to study physics and obtained a doctorate for the same in 1920.

Today would have been the Belgian Catholic priest's 124th birthday, which is why Google is paying tribute to the influential astronomer. However, two years later, Einstein accepted the calculations to be correct.

He then continued to study astronomy at Cambridge University with Arthur Eddington, continuing at Harvard College Observatory and MIT.


Georges Lemaitre is the subject of today's Google Doodle.

His theory was confirmed and established by Edwin Hubble which is also regarded as Hubble's Law in these contemporary times. In 1951, Pope Pius XII publically announced that the Big Bang theory offered scientific proof of Christian religious belief regarding the origin of life, to which Lemaitre responded negatively.

Two years later Einstein changed his mind, saying: "This is the most lovely and satisfactory explanation of creation to which I have ever listened". Hubble further studied the theory of the Big Bang, which led to a new branch of science called relative cosmology. He died in 1966, shortly after having learned of the discovery of cosmic microwave background radiation.

Still Lemaitre was not completely overlooked in his day.

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