Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Evolution of the Universe


IN checking the results presented by Gamow in his recent article on "The Evolution of the Universe" [Nature of October 30, p. 680], we found that his expression for matter-density suffers from the following errors : (1) an error of not tailing into account the magnetic moments in Eq. (7) for the capture cross-section, (2) an error in estimating the value of α by integrating the equations for deuteron formation (the use of an electronic analogue computer leads to α = 1), and (3) an arithmetical error in evaluating ρ0 from Eq. (9). In addition, the coefficient in Eq. (3) is 1·52 rather than 2·14. Correcting for these errors, we find The condensation-mass obtained from this corrected density comes out not much different from Gamow‘s original estimate. However, the intersection point ρmat. = ρrad. occurs at t = 8·6 × 1017 sec. 3 × 1010 years (that is, about ten times the present age of the universe). This indicates that, in finding the intersection, one should not neglect the curvature term in the general equation of the expanding universe. In other words, the formation of condensations must have taken place when the expansion was becoming linear with time.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Relevant articles

Open Access articles citing this article.

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. Gamow, G., Phys. Rev., 70, 572 (1946).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

ALPHER, R., HERMAN, R. Evolution of the Universe. Nature 162, 774–775 (1948).

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

This article is cited by


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing