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date: 22 September 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The presently accepted big-bang model of the universe emerged during the period 1930-1970, following a road that was anything but smooth. By 1950 the essential features of the big-bang theory were established by George Gamow and his collaborators, and yet the theory failed to win recognition. A major reason was that the big-bang picture of the evolving universe was challenged by the radically different picture of a steady-state universe favoured by Fred Hoyle and others. By the late 1950s there was no convincing reason to adopt one theory over the other. Out of the epic controversy between the two incompatible world models arose our modern view of the universe. Although the classical steady-state model was abandoned in the mid-1960s, attempts to modify it can be followed up to the present.

Keywords: primordial atom, nuclear archaeology, steady-state theory, timescale problem, cosmic creation, Georges Lemaître, George Gamow, Fred Hoyle.

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