Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 22 September 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Following the pioneering studies of galaxies and the universe during the pre-Second World War years, the period 1940-1980 saw the consolidation of the observational and theoretical basis of geometrical and astrophysical cosmology. By the early 1950s, the cosmological time-scale problem had been resolved by Baade’s recalibration of the Cepheid distance scale, but new disputes arose about the best estimate of Hubble’s constant, the value of the deceleration parameter and the presence or otherwise of the cosmological constant in the cosmological field equations. The evolution of the contents of the universe was established by radio astronomical observations of active galaxies and, most spectacularly, by the discovery of the cosmic microwave background radiation. The latter enabled the problems of the origin of galaxies and large scale structures in the universe to be placed on a secure physical basis, but many issues remained unresolved, including the dark matter problem.

Keywords: Hubble’s constant, age of universe, Alan Sandage, George Gamow, radio astronomy, cosmic helium, thermal history, structure formation, George Lemaître, cosmological parameters.

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.