Big bang

The big bang is having a birthday: congratulations on your 70th birthday!

The Belgian priest Georges Lemaître came up with what we now call the big bang theory. He himself spoke about the 'hypothesis of the primordial atom'.

About 13.8 billion years ago, a small dot - a so-called singularity - exploded from which the universe originated as we know it today.

That is the most common scientific theory about the origin of the universe, which got its current name on March 28, 1949: the big bang.

The theory was first presented in 1931 by the Belgian priest and astronomer Georges Lemaître. He wrote that the universe had a beginning and that this beginning came into existence when an 'primeval atom' exploded.

Skeptics saw the theory as religious

Lemaitre's theory was mixedly received in astronomical circles. The theory explained astronomer Edwin Hubble's observation that the universe is constantly expanding.

The Belgian priest Georges Lemaître came up with what we now call the big bang theory. He himself spoke about the 'hypothesis of the primordial atom'.

However, the theory also met with much criticism from astronomers who thought it irrational and unscientific to think that the universe had a beginning.

According to the skeptics, Lemaitre's theory came from his religious conviction and it was an attempt to prove that the universe was created by a god.

New theory makes the universe infinite

One of the fiercest opponents of Lemaître's theory was the British astronomer Fred Hoyle.

In response, he described the so-called steady-state theory, which states that the universe is infinite, has no beginning, and that as matter expands, new matter is constantly being formed. However, this theory was later invalidated.

In the years that followed, the supporters of both theories continued to argue with each other.

These theories were based on the hypothesis that all the matter in the universe was created in one big bang at a particular time in the remote fit. - Fred Hoyle, British astronomer and big bang denier, who gave the theory its name.

Big bang is born

In 1949 Fred Hoyle received a radio program on the British channel BBC.

On March 28, he discussed the various theories about the origin of the universe in the ether - in particular to defend his own steady-state theory.

During the broadcast, he said: "These theories are based on the hypothesis that all matter in the universe originated at one point in the distant past in one big bang."

He thereby referred to the theory that the universe originated in an explosion at one point in time. It was the first time that Lemaitre's theory was the Big bang was named.

Nobel Prize, Fred Hoyle is bored through

The British astronomer was a controversial figure within the British research scene. In addition to his opposition to the big bang theory, he was a supporter of the hypothesis of panspermia, which states that life on earth comes from elsewhere in space. He also thought that flu resided in the space between the stars and was occasionally drawn to the earth by the activity of the sun.

However, he particularly investigated how the heavy elements were formed in the interior of large heavy stars that explode in a supernova - so-called nucleosynthesis. In 1983 the Nobel Prize in Physics went to William Alfred Fowler for his work with ... nucleosynthesis. That led to indignation among scientists, who thought he should have shared the prize with Hoyle.

It was later suggested that Hoyle was passed due to earlier statements. Anthony Hewish received the Nobel Prize in 1974 for his discovery of pulsars. Fred Hoyle disagreed with that choice. He thought that Jocelyn Bell was more entitled to the prize. She was a student of Hewish who had done the research for which he received the prize.

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Big bang became commonplace in the 1980s

The BBC embraced the term, and both in writing and on the radio the broadcaster now called the Lemaître theory Big bang - 'big bang' in translation.

In the early 1960s the name appeared more and more often in scientific treatises, but it was not until the 1980s that the general public started using it.

Hoyle never gave up

Since Georges Lemaître launched his theory in 1931, much scientific evidence has been presented that supports the theory.

Fred Hoyle would never recognize the theory. He adapted his steady-state theory to fit the evidence that supported the big bang.

The controversial British astronomer died in 2001 - still convinced that the universe was infinite.

GO ON DISCOVERY IN SCIENCE BEHIND THE BIG BANG

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