Lemaître, Georges

The Primeval Atom. An Essay on Cosmogony

  • On reserve. First English language edition of the first book book outlining the concept that would become known as the Big Bang Theory. A lovely copy in uncommonly nice condition.

    Lemaître was a priest and astronomer at the Catholic University of Leuven. He was the first to propose that the universe is expanding (confirmed by Edwin Hubble’s observations two years later), and also first derived Hubble’s Law (reflected light from other objects in the universe is shofted toward the red end of the spectrum because they are moving away from us) and Hubble’s constant (the rate at which the universe is expanding). Because of this work, Lemaître was invited to a conference in London in 1931, at which he announced his theory that the universe originated from an initial point that he called the “Primeval Atom” or “Cosmic Egg”. The idea was developed more fully in a paper in the journal Nature, and first published in book form as L'Hypothèse de l'Atome Primitif in 1946. This is the first English translation of that text.

  • ...With a preface by Ferdinand Gonseth. Foreword to the English edition by Henry Norris Russell. Translated by Betty H. and Serge A. Korff.

    Toronto & New York: D. Van Nostrand Company, Inc., 1950.

    Octavo. Original green cloth, titles to spine in silver. With the dust jacket. Tiny pencilled ownership signature to the upper jacket and the front free endpaper. Minor bump to upper corner. A lovely, fresh copy in the price-clipped jacket that is very lightly rubbed at the extremities and has a few tiny spots. Excellent condition.

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