Ralph Alpher

According to Physics World, Ralph Alpher died on August 12 2007. Alpher was the first author of a classic paper which attempted to calculate the abundances of the chemical elements following the big bang. The paper is seen as a classic not just for the subject matter but also because of the author list. Alpher was working with his doctoral supervisor George Gamow and the story goes that they asked Hans Bethe to join the paper - published in Nature during April 1948 (April 1st?) - so that it would be referred to as Alpher-Bethe-Gamow - a physicist's joke. Shortly after that paper, Alpher and Robert Herman predicted the temperature of the big bang; many years before it was finally discovered by Penzias and Wilson in the 1960s.

Posted in astro blog by Stuart on Friday 24th Aug 2007 (15:51 PDT) | Permalink
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