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OnderzoekVan Swinderen Institute

Physics: Prof. dr. J. Peebles, Princeton University, USA: Finding the Big Bang


12 November 2009 FWN-Building 5111.0080, Nijenborgh 4, 9747 AG, Groningen
Speaker: Physics: Prof. dr. Jim Peebles
Affiliation: Princeton University, USA
Title: Finding the Big Bang
Date: 12-11-2009
Start: 16.00
Location: FWN-Building 5111.0080


I will comment on major steps and missteps taken in the discovery of the
hot big bang theory of the expanding universe. Einstein's argument for
a homogeneous universe, with no edges or preferred center, was
influential then and proves now to be right. This is an example of the
occasional successes of elegant ideas over apparently contrary evidence.
There are fossils from the early stages of expansion of the universe:
thermal radiation and light elements. Both were discovered, or nearly
discovered, several times, an illustration of the complex paths research
can take. The present standard cosmology passes demanding well-checked
tests. I take this as an example of the power of science to settle great
questions, at the expense of new ones.

Last modified:12 September 2014 11.21 a.m.