George Gamow

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Gamow, George

(găm`ŏf), 1904–68, Russian-American theoretical physicist and author, b. Odessa. A nuclear physicist, Gamow is better known to the public for his excellent books popularizing abstract physical theories. He did his earlier research at the universities of Copenhagen, Cambridge, and Leningrad, where he was professor (1931–33). He then came to the United States, where he taught at George Washington Univ. (1934–56) and the Univ. of Colorado (from 1956) and served with U.S. government agencies. He formulated (1928) a theory of radioactive decay and worked on the application of nuclear physics to problems of stellar evolution. He was one of the first proponents of the "big bang" theory of cosmologycosmology,
area of science that aims at a comprehensive theory of the structure and evolution of the entire physical universe. Modern Cosmological Theories
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. In 1954 he proposed an important theory concerning the organization of genetic information in the living cell. His writings include Constitution of Atomic Nuclei (1931; 3d ed., with C. L. Critchfield, Theory of Atomic Nucleus, 1949), Mr. Tompkins in Wonderland (1939), One, Two, Three … Infinity (1947, rev. ed. 1961), The Creation of the Universe (1952, rev. ed. 1961), Mr. Tompkins Learns the Facts of Life (1953), The Atom and Its Nucleus (1961), and Gravity (1962).


See his autobiography, My World Line (1970).

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Gamow, George

(1904–68) physicist; born in Odessa, Russia. His European research on radioactivity and atomic fission gained him an international reputation that preceded his arrival at George Washington University (1934–56). He and Edward Teller formulated their rule for beta decay in 1936. He postulated that primordial matter existed prior to the origin of the universe (1948), he developed the theory of red giant stars, and he was a major proponent of the "big bang" theory of the origin of the universe. He correctly theorized that DNA structure forms a code that directs protein synthesis. He became a professor at Colorado (1956–68), where he wrote and illustrated most of his many books for nonscientists.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
References in periodicals archive ?
Unfortunately, George Gamow could not share this honor because he died in 1968 and the by-laws of the Nobel Prize do not permit posthumous awards.
(COBE refined this further to a temperature of 2.726 [degrees] K.) Even earlier, in 1948, theorists George Gamow, Ralph Alpher, and Robert Herman had calculated that the photon flux left over from the big bang should be about 5 [degrees] K.
(19) They were working on a suggestion, made by George Gamow (once a student of Alexander Friedmann), that the early universe should have been very hot and dense, glowing white hot.
In 1929 the Russian-born American physicist George Gamow (1904-1968) suggested that the nuclear source was the conversion of hydrogen nuclei into helium nuclie, since these two elements made up nearly all the Sun, as Russell had shown (see above).
In his popular work, The Birth and Death of the Sun, George Gamow justified the gaseous nature of the Sun as follows: "...
To gain some perspective, I consulted George Gamow, one of the 20th century's greatest physicists.
Ralph Alpher, with his PhD advisor George Gamow, planned a paper calculating the proportions of hydrogen, helium, and heavier elements expected from the Big Bang.
Stories of his encounters and work with some of the leading scientists of the 20th century include Linus Pauling, Richard Feynman, and especially George Gamow, the Russian physicist with whom Watson founded the legendary RNA-Tie Club.
That same year, Princeton physicists Robert Dicke and James Peebles took cognizance of George Gamow and his associate Ralph Alpher's 17-year-old paper on the possible residual radiation of the hot model Big Bang theory and prepared an experiment to detect microwave background radiation.
Robert Oppenheimer, Enrico Fermi, Leo Szilard, George Gamow and Niels Bohr were all Soviet spies.
In 1954 George Gamow (see 1929) suggested that it made no sense to try to line up an individual nucleotide with an individual amino acid, since there were too few of the former and too many of the latter.
Around two decades later, George Gamow and his collaborators [5-9], when they synthesized elements in an expanding universe, devised the initial primordial fireball or big bang model based on the Lemaitre's superatom idea.