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GAMOW, George
Expanding universe and the origin of elements, pp. 572-3 in Physical Review Vol. 70, Nos. 7 & 8, October 1 & 15, 1946. THE BIG BANG MODEL OF THE UNIVERSE
Lancaster, PA & New York, NY: American Physical Society, 1946. First edition, journal issue in original printed wrappers, of the invention of the big-bang model of the origin of the universe. Expanding universe models had been proposed by Friedmann and Lemaitre in the 1920s, and Lemaitre had put forward the idea of a 'Primeval Atom' origin of the universe in 1931, but there was little detailed work on the proposal until Gamow (who had been a student of Friedmann's). "The German physicist Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker had postulated in 1938 that most elements were formed in explosions similar to that taking place in Lemaitre's primeval atom, but he did not state clearly whether the birthplace was cosmological or stellar. The turning point came in 1946, when Gamow discussed quantitatively the role of nuclear processes in relativistic cosmologies. His brief 1946 paper on the expanding universe and the origin of elements marks the beginning of modern big bang theory. Gamow's new approach was to study nuclear building-up processes in an early universe of the Friedmann-Lemaitre type that would result in an element distribution corresponding to the distribution found empirically. He imagined the early universe as consisting or protons and neutrons, with nucleogenesis occurring by successive neutron capture (in which neutrons combine with the atomic nucleus, followed by beta decay). Reliable data on the cosmic abundance distribution of elements had appeared in the late 1940s, including experimental data on the reaction rates of neutron capture processes (their cross-sections) . . . … [Click Below for Full Description]
Bookseller: Landmarks of Science Books [Richmond, United Kingdom]
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