Today is the 124th birth anniversary of Georges Lemaître, an astronomer and professor of physics. Lemaître is said to be the first astronomer who theorized that the universe is expanding. His work was confirmed later by Edwin Hubble, and is now known as the Hubble’s Law. He is also well-known for his theory on the Big Bang, which stated that the universe has its origins from the explosion of a single particle. Today’s doodle from Google is dedicated to him.
Though Lemaître’s theory was rejected by Albert Einstein initially, the scientist had later developed a lot of respect for him. When Hubble went ahead with his research on the Big Bang, a new branch of science was born, known as cosmology. Lemaître’s Big Bang theory had first appeared in 1931, in one of his academic papers. At that period, it was considered to be a huge breakthrough.
Lemaître was born on July 17, 1894, in Belgium, and had taken up civil engineering. As the First World War began, Lemaître had paused his studies to serve the Belgian army. Post the war, he took up physics and was ordained as a priest, as per reports.
Lemaître graduated from the University of Cambridge in 1923 and went on to study at Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. After returning to Belgium, he took the job of a part time lecturer at the Catholic University of Leuven. Two years later, his papers of the universe’s expansion was published.