Google Doodle today on 17th July 2018, celebrates the 124th birthday of famed Belgian Cosmologist & Astronomer, Georges Lemaître.
Georges Lemaître was best known for formulating the modern big bang theory in 1927. This theory suggests that the universe began with a huge explosion of a small ‘super-atom'.
Georges Henri Joseph Edouard Lemaitre was born on 17 July 1894 to Joseph Lemaitre and his wife Maguerite Lannoy in Leuven, Belgium.
Georges Lemaître was educated at a Jesuit school located in Charleroi named College du Sacre-Couer. After finishing his high school education Lemaitre entered the Catholic University in Leuven to study civil engineering when he was 17. However, in 1914, he put his education on hold as he needed to serve the army during the First World War.
Georges Lemaitre returned to education and studied mathematics and physics, before finishing his Ph.D. in 1920. Three years later he went to St. Edmund’s College at Cambridge University as a post-graduate student and studied numerical analysis and cosmology. In the same year, he also became a Christian priest. Subsequently, he spent a year at the Harvard Observatory before attending the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston for a doctoral degree.
Georges Lemaître was awarded the Francqui Prize on 17 March 1934 by King Leopold III of Belgium. It is the biggest honor for scientists in Belgium. The Royal Astronomical Society honored him with the Eddington Medal 1953.
Georges Lemaitre’s second paper on the ‘expansion of the universe’ published in the ‘Annals of the Scientific Society of Brussels’ in 1933 is, without doubt, his greatest work in his long and distinguished career as a scientist.
Georges Lemaître remained unmarried his whole life and died in Leuven, Belgium, on 20 June 1966 at the age of 71 years.