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EMILIO SEGRE VISUAL ARCHIVES / AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF PHYSICS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY EMILIO SEGRE VISUAL ARCHIVES / AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF PHYSICS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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George Gamow (1904-1968), Soviet-US physicist. Gamow, born Georgiy Antonovich Gamov in what is now the Ukraine, studied in Odessa and Leningrad, in the USSR, and then went to Gottingen, Germany, to study quantum theory for his doctorate. From 1928 to 1931 he worked on theoretical physics in Copenhagen, Denmark. He returned to the Soviet Union, but defected in 1933, moving to the USA in 1934. His most famous paper, The Origin of Chemical Elements, was published in 1948 and was produced with Ralph Alpher. Their work showed that the Big Bang theory explained the observed proportions of hydrogen and helium in the universe. The paper also predicted the cosmic background radiation, which was detected some time later in 1964.
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