Two theories of the universe

Cosmology as Weltanschauung is as old as the world. Cosmology as a physical discipline, however, is a child of this century, born in 1917, when Albert Einstein and Willem de Sitter first applied the theory of general relativity to the space-time of the entire universe. When did the child come of age and become a fully-fledged science? A popular myth shared by many practitioners holds that this did not happen until 1965, when the discovery of the 2.7K cosmic microwave background radiation validated the concept of the hot big bang. Earlier accomplishments culminating in the 1965 event include the derivation of evolving relativistic models by Alexander Friedmann and George Lemaître, Edwin Hubble’s discovery of the redshift-magnitude relationship and George Gamow’s theory of the primordial nucleosynthesis containing the prediction of the microwave background left from the hot and dense past of the universe. This linear development is thrown into sharper relief in textbooks, by referring to an inarticulate..
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