George Gamow (1904-1968) was born in Odessa, Ukraine, then part of the Russian Empire. In 1933 he fled the Soviet Union and eventually became a U.S. citizen. He worked in relativity theory, quantum mechanics, nuclear physics, cosmology and genetics.

Gamow was the author of twenty-five books, including the Mr. Tompkins series in which Mr. Tompkins enters various alternative worlds and becomes, among other things, an electron. Some of his popular books about science are still in print and he created the illustrations for many of them.

The Big Bang Theory states that our Universe of time, space, and matter was created approximately fourteen billion years ago, starting with an enormous explosion at an infinitesimally small point. Since then, the Universe has been constantly expanding. This theory was proposed by Georges Lamaitre in 1927 and has evolved considerably. In 1948, work done by Gamow, Ralph Alper, Robert Herman and others substantiated important parts of the theory.

The Big Bang got its name unintentionally from the astronomer Fred Hoyle who was an advocate of the alternative Steady State Theory and it may have been used by Hoyle derisively. The Big Bang is considered by most cosmologists to be an accurate description of the Universe and the way it was created.

Painted Physics Home

George Gamow and the Big Bang, 2009

Acrylic on Jute, 54 x 48 inches