Georgii Antonovich Gamow

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Gamow, Georgii Antonovich


Born Mar. 4, 1904, in Odessa; died Aug. 19, 1968, in Boulder, Colo. American physicist.

Gamow graduated from Leningrad University in 1926. From 1928 to 1931 he worked in Göttingen, Copenhagen, and Cambridge. From 1931 to 1933 he was at the Physics and Engineering Institute in Leningrad. In 1933 he emigrated, first to France and then to England. Beginning in 1934 he resided in the USA. From 1934 to 1956 he was a professor at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and from 1956 at the University of Colorado.

Gamow gave the first quantum-mechanical explanation of alpha decay. He made a significant contribution to the theory of beta decay (with E. Teller). In 1946, Gamow advanced the hypothesis of the “hot universe.” He advanced the first calculation of the nature of the genetic code.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.