Who REALLY Discovered the Expanding Universe?
Astronomer Edwin Hubble's landmark paper on the rate of expansion of the universe was published in 1929, overturning the long-held belief among scientists that the universe was static and unchanging.
That's why the Hubble Constant (the number that describes the rate of expansion) is named after him, not to mention the Hubble Space Telescope.
Less well known is that Hubble might not have been the first the person to make this momentous discovery.
A Belgian priest and cosmologist named Georges Lemaitre published a paper reaching very similar conclusions two years earlier. It's a contentious issue among cosmologists, needless to say.
The problem was, Lemaitre's paper was in French, and appeared in a rather obscure journal: Annals of the Brussels Scientific Society. This limited its distribution throughout the scientific community (at least initially).
Yet even when his paper was finally translated and broadly disseminated, certain key elements went missing, sparking rumors that prominent scientists -- Sir Arthur Eddington, perhaps, or even Hubble himself -- had deliberately "censored" Lemaitre's paper to ensure Hubble's scientific legacy....
comments powered by Disqus
- Harvard acquires Thoreau's notes on the death of Margaret Fuller
- It’s a national historic site, but hardly anybody visits the Idaho internment camp where thousands of Japanese Americans were incarcerated in WW II
- Big-time Hollywood director makes a movie about Stonewall
- HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later
- A salute lost to history
- High school senior credited with debunking book by Professor Richard Jensen
- Historians at loggerheads over the AP standards
- Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
- U.K. Released Hundreds of Nazis After the Holocaust, Says Leading Historian
- NYT History Book Reviews: Who Got Noticed this Week?