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L'Hypothèse de l'atome primitif


PROF. GEORGES LEMAITRE is the eminent relativistic cosmologist (at one time a pupil Eddington) who in 1927 independently discovered a solution of Einstein's gravitational equations which made the curvature of space depend on the time and so gave an explanation of the expansion of the universe of nebulae. Actually he was anticipated by A. Friedmann, who had in 1922 and 1924 discovered forms of the fundamental metric of the homogeneous universe which involved the time ; but Lemaî tre himself has always given the credit for the discovery to Friedmann, even to the extent of barely doing justice to himself. Lemaî tre's paper, which was published in Belgium, was overlooked by Eddington at the time ; but it was due to Eddington that the Royal Astronomical Society published a translation of Lemaî tre*s paper in 1931. In the present volume, Lemaî tre reproduces seriatim five addresses delivered by him on various occasions between 1929 and 1945, the title of the last of them giving its name to the present volume. There is also an inspiring preface by Ferdinand Gonseth, the distinguished professor of philosophy at Zurich. Though there are a few mathematical formulae in the text, the style is that of semi-popular exposition, and detailed mathematical explanations are confined to an appendix.

L'Hypothèse de l'atome primitif

Essai de cosmogonie. Par Prof. Georges Lemaître. (Les problèmes de la philosophie des sciences.) Pp. 203. (Neuchâtel : Editions du Griffon ; London : H. K. Lewis and Co., Ltd., 1946.) 8 francs ; 10s.

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MILNE, E. L'Hypothèse de l'atome primitif. Nature 163, 855–856 (1949).

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