Google Doodle celebrates 124th birth anniversary of astronomer Georges Lemaitre

Georges Lemaître

Google's dedication today is a thank you to one of the brightest minds to have walked on earth.

Georges Lemaitre is the subject of today's Google Doodle. Subsequently, he kept preparing to be a Catholic priest and got ordained in 1923.

Google will doodle the founder of the Big Bang theory, Fr. Georges Lemaître, on July 18th in celebration of his 124th birthday.

Born on 17 July 1894, the man whose theory and creativity is the testimony of the fact which raised questions on the non-existence of a higher being was quite ironically, a Catholic priest.

It was during his time at a Jesuit secondary school where he first felt the urge to become a priest, but also a scientist. He studied physics at the University of Cambridge, Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

In 1931, Lemaitre realised that if the universe is ever expanding, it must have originated from a small, concentrated state. In 1927, Georges Lemaitre - a lecturer at Catholic University of Leuven - propounded the precursor to the Big Bang theory in his published paper titled "A homogenous Universe of constant mass and growing radius accounting for the radial velocity of extragalactic nebulae". Einstein initially dismissed his work, saying "your calculations are correct, but your physics is atrocious".

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Perhaps the best compliment Lemaître ever recieved came from famous physicist Albert Einstein, who said "This is the most handsome and satisfactory explanation of creation to which I have ever listened".

Edwin Hubble had previously shown, using the world's largest telescope, that distant galaxies appeared to be receding from us at speeds proportional to their distances.

More than Lemaitre, it was Hubble who received the recognition for coming up with the idea of the Big Bang Theory.

However, it was Lemaitre who was first to suggest this proposal, in his 1927 report, "A homogeneous Universe of constant mass and growing radius accounting for the radial velocity of extragalactic nebulae". He called it as the "hypothesis of the primeval atom" or the "Cosmic Egg".

He died on June 20, 1966.

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