Gamow, George, 1904-1968

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George Gamow: physicist, astronomer, and author. Born Georgii Antonovič Gamov. Barbara Merrihew Perkins: editor and translator.

From the description of George Gamow and Barbara Gamow papers, 1915-1975 (bulk 1950-1975). (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 70981157

Russian-born American physicist, early advocate of the "Big Bang" theory of the origin of the universe. Professor of Physics at George Washington University, 1934-1956. While a student at the Institute of Theoretical Physics, Gamow put forth an hypothesis that atomic nuclei can be treated as little droplets of "nuclear fluid." These discoveries led to today's theory of fusion and fission. He studied at Novorossia University during 1922 and 1923 and at the University of Leningrad, 1923-1929. He received his Ph.D in 1928 and traveled to Copenhagen in 1929. Niels Bohr offered him a scholarship from the Royal Danish Academy to study one year at the Institute of Theoretical Physics. After leaving Russia, Gamow accepted the chairmanship of the Physics Department at The George Washington University (GWU). His contribution to astronomy-research is mainly concerned with the origin of the Universe and the stars' evolution. While at GWU, Gamow hired Edward Teller and established a series of seminars in physics and astronomy that ran from 1935 to 1947. In 1938, Gamow and colleague Ralph Alpher wrote a text about the Big bang theory and how matter would have come into existence. Gamow also published numerous popular books on science.

From the description of George Gamow papers, [ca. 1935-ca. 1955]. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 50754520

Gamow was on the physics faculty at George Washington University from 1934 to 1956.

From the description of Papers. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 82630835

Theoretical physicist and amateur artist.

From the description of Postcard, 1934 Aug. 7. (Smithsonian Institution Libraries). WorldCat record id: 32748423

From the description of Postcard, 1934 Aug. 7. (Smithsonian Institution Libraries). WorldCat record id: 154324770

Biographical Note

George Gamow

  • 1904, Mar. 4: Born Georgii Antonovic Gamov, Odessa, Russia
  • 1928: Ph.D., physical science, University of Leningrad, Leningrad, USSR
  • 1928 - 1929 : Institute of Theoretical Physics, Copenhagen, Denmark
  • 1929 - 1930 : Rockefeller fellow, Cambridge University, Cambridge, England
  • 1931: Married Lyubov Rho Vokhminzeva (divorced 1956) Published The Constitution of Atomic Nuclei and Radioactivity. Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • 1931 - 1933 : Professor, University of Leningrad, Leningrad, USSR
  • 1933 - 1934 : Lecturer, Paris, France, London, England, and University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich.
  • 1934 - 1956 : Professor of physics, George Washington University, Washington, D.C.
  • 1935: Collaborated with Edward Teller on the theory of beta-decay, and formulated the so-called "Gamow-Teller Selection Rule for Beta Emission"
  • 1939: Proposed neutrino theory of supernovae Published Mr. Tompkins in Wonderland. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
  • 1940: Became naturalized American citizen Published The Birth and Death of the Sun. New York: Viking Press
  • 1941: Published Biography of the Earth; Its Past, Present, and Future. New York: Viking Press
  • 1942: Shell model of red giant stars
  • 1947: Published One, Two, Three...Infinity. New York: Viking Press
  • 1948: Theory of the origin of chemical elements
  • 1952: Published The Creation of the Universe. New York: Viking Press
  • 1956: Awarded Kalinga Prize by Unesco for popularization of science
  • 1956 - 1968 : Professor of physics, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colo.
  • 1958: Published Matter, Earth, and Sky. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall Married Barbara Merrihew Perkins
  • 1961: Published Biography of Physics. New York: Harper
  • 1968, Aug. 20: Died, Boulder, Colo.
  • 1970: Posthumous publication My World Line. New York: Viking Press

Barbara Gamow

  • 1905, May 22: Born Barbara Merrihew Perkins, San Francisco, Calif.
  • 1938: Married J. R. de la Torre Bueno (divorced circa 1943)
  • circa 1950 - 1958 : Employed by Cambridge University Press
  • 1958: Married George Gamow
  • 1976: Died

From the guide to the George Gamow and Barbara Gamow Papers, 1915-1975, (bulk 1950-1975), (Manuscript Division Library of Congress)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Salpeter, Edwin E. Oral history interview with Edwin Ernest Salpeter, 1978 March 30. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
creatorOf Gamow, George, 1904-1968. Postcard, 1934 Aug. 7. Smithsonian Institution. Libraries
referencedIn Rosenfeld, L. (Leon), 1904-1974. Oral history interview with Leon Rosenfeld, 1968 September 3. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
creatorOf Gamow, George, 1904-1968. The birth and death of the sun. Dartmouth College Library
referencedIn George Washington University. Dept. of Physics. A brief history of the physics department, 1934-1994. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
creatorOf Gamow, George, 1904-1968. George Gamow and Barbara Gamow papers, 1915-1975 (bulk 1950-1975). Library of Congress
referencedIn Brush, Stephen G. Correspondence with Ralph Alpher and Robert Herman regarding the history of the Big Bang cosmology and the discovery of the cosmic microwave background, 1991-1995. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
referencedIn Von Neumann, John, 1903-1957. John Von Neumann papers, 1912-1996 (bulk 1935-1957). Library of Congress
referencedIn Strömgren, Bengt, 1908-. Oral history interview with Bengt Georg Daniel Strömgren, 1976 May 6 and 13. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
referencedIn Hans Bethe papers, [ca. 1931]-1995 Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.
creatorOf Brillouin, Léon, 1889-1969. Goettinger Nachrichten [facetiae], 1932. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
creatorOf Crick, Francis, 1916-2004. Francis Crick personal papers, 1938-2007. University of California, San Diego, UC San Diego Library; UCSD Library
referencedIn Arno A. Penzias Papers, 1931-2006, (bulk 1963-1998) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Atkinson, Robert d'Escourt, 1898-1982. Oral history interview with Robert d'Escourt Atkinson, 1977. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
referencedIn Feenberg, Eugene. Oral history interview with Eugene Feenberg, 1973 April 13 and 14. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
referencedIn Bohr, Niels, 1885-1962. Manuscripts, other authors, 1910-1961. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
referencedIn Stern, Marvin, 1935-1974. Oral history interview with Marvin Stern, 1987 May 1. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
referencedIn McVittie, George C. (George Cunliffe). Selected papers [microform], 1926-1975. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
referencedIn Alpher, Ralph. Oral history interview with Ralph Alpher and a joint interview with Robert Herman, 1983 August 11 and 12. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
referencedIn Dicke, Robert H. (Robert Henry). Oral history interview with Robert Henry Dicke, 1985 June 18. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
creatorOf Humason, Milton L. (Milton La Salle), 1891-1972. Papers of Milton La Salle Humason, 1930-1952. Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens
referencedIn Wilkinson, David T. Oral history interview with David Todd Wilkinson, 1984 September 27. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
referencedIn John Von Neumann Papers, 1912-1996, (bulk 1935-1957) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Chandrasekhar, S. (Subrahmanyan), 1910-. Oral history interview with S. Chandrasekhar, 1977 May 17 to October 31. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
referencedIn Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society Virginia Chapter. General records of Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society, Virginia Chapter [manuscript], 1924-1960 [1985]. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Pascal Covici Correspondence TXRC96-A14., 1924-1966, (bulk 1938-1964) Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
referencedIn Moore, Ruth E. Research materials for Niels Bohr - the man, his science and the world they changed, [ca. 1912]-1983. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
referencedIn Fowler, William A. Oral history interview with William A. Fowler, 1983 May 3 - May 31, 1984. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
referencedIn Nordheim, Lothar, 1899-. Oral history interview with Lothar Wolfgang Nordheim, 1962 July 30. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
referencedIn George Gamow Symposium (1996 : George Washington University, Washington, D.C.). The George Gamow Symposium [videorecording] / Produced by George Washington University Physics Dept. ; 1996 April 12. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
referencedIn Olby, Robert C. (Robert Cecil), 1933- . Papers, 1951-1963. American Philosophical Society Library
referencedIn William B. Provine collection of evolutionary biology reprints, 20th century. Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.
referencedIn Edward U. Condon Papers, Circa 1920-1974 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn Nassau, Jason John, 1893-1965. Papers, 1919-1977. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
referencedIn Bethe, Hans A. (Hans Albrecht), 1906-2005. Hans Bethe papers, [ca. 1931]-1992. Cornell University Library
referencedIn Leslie Orgel Papers, 1960 - 1991 University of California, San Diego. Geisel Library. Mandeville Special Collections Library.
referencedIn Waterman, Alan Tower, 1892-1967. Alan Tower Waterman papers, 1917-1967 (bulk 1940-1963). Library of Congress
referencedIn Bloch, Felix, 1905-. Oral history interview with Felix Bloch, 1968 August 15. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
referencedIn Bethe, Hans A. (Hans Albrecht), 1906-2005,. Hans Albrecht Bethe oral histories, 1966-1981. Cornell University Library
referencedIn Archive for the History of Quantum Physics, 1898-1950 (bulk), 1898-1950 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn Bartlett, Albert A. (Albert Allen), 1923-. Papers pertaining to the unsuccessful nomination of J. Robert Oppenheimer, Edward U. Condon, and George Gamow for the 1967 Nobel prize in physics. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
referencedIn Strömgren, Bengt, 1908-. Oral history interview with Bengt Georg Daniel Strömgren, 1978 April 24. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
referencedIn Chandrasekhar, Subrahmanyan. Papers, 1928-1995 Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library,
referencedIn Alan Tower Waterman Papers, 1917-1967, (bulk 1940-1963) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Andreĭ Sakharov papers, 1852-2002 (inclusive), 1960-1990 (bulk). Houghton Library.
referencedIn Donald and Katharine Foley Collection of Penguin Books, 1935-1965 Bancroft Library
referencedIn Rosenfeld, L. (Leon), 1904-1974. Nuclear reminiscences [motion picture]. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
referencedIn Goudsmit, Samuel A. (Samuel Abraham), 1902-1978. Papers, 1921-1978. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
referencedIn Niels Bohr institutet. Journal of Jocular Physics, 1935-1955 American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
creatorOf Orgel, Leslie E. Papers, 1960-1991. University of California, San Diego, UC San Diego Library; UCSD Library
creatorOf Alvarez, Luis W., 1911-1988. Niels Bohr Library : oral history transcripts, 1924-1978. UC Berkeley Libraries
referencedIn Stanislaw M. Ulam Papers, 1916-1984 American Philosophical Society
creatorOf Gamow, George, 1904-1968. George Gamow papers, [ca. 1935-ca. 1955]. George Washington University
referencedIn Erwin Chargaff Papers, 1929-1992 American Philosophical Society
creatorOf Gamow, George, 1904-1968. Postcard, 1934 Aug. 7. Smithsonian Institution. Libraries
referencedIn Chandrasekhar, S. (Subrahmanyan), 1910-1995. Papers, 1928-1995. University of Chicago Library
referencedIn Dennison, David M. (David Mathias), 1900-1976. Informal moments, Summer Symposia at the University of Michigan [motion picture] / taken by David Dennison ; 1933-1937. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
referencedIn Amaldi, Edoardo. Oral history interview with Amaldi Edoardo, 1969 April 9 and 10. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
referencedIn Ava Helen and Linus Pauling Papers, 1910-1994 (bulk 1922-1991) Oregon State University The Valley Library, Special Collections
referencedIn Chargaff, Erwin, 1905-. Papers, 1929-1992. American Philosophical Society Library
referencedIn Casimir, H. B. G. (Hendrik Brugt Gerhard), 1909-2000. Oral history interview with Hendrik Brugt Gerhard Casimir, 1963 July 5 and 6. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
referencedIn Niels Bohr Library. The Emilio Segrè visual archives, E-J, [ca. 1870]-9999. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
creatorOf Gamow, George, 1904-1968. Gamow lecture series on cosmology [sound recording] / 1968. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
referencedIn Grosse, Aristid Victor, 1905-1985. Oral history interview with Aristid Victor Grosse, 1974 January 11 and April 5. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
referencedIn Washington Conference on Theoretical Physics. Selected papers, 1933-1947. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
referencedIn Shane, Mary Lea Heger, 1897-1983. Oral history interview with Mary Lea Heger Shane, 1967 July 15. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
creatorOf Gamow, George, 1904-1968. Papers. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
referencedIn Robert C. Olby Collection, 1951-1963 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn Condon, Edward Uhler, 1902-1974. Papers, ca. 1920-1974. American Philosophical Society Library
referencedIn Gentner, Wolfgang, 1906-. Oral history interview with Wolfgang Gentner, 1971 November 15. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
creatorOf George Gamow and Barbara Gamow Papers, 1915-1975, (bulk 1950-1975) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn John Archibald Wheeler Papers, 1880-2008, 1880-2008 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn Evans, Robley Dunglison, 1907-. Oral history interview with Robley D. Evans, 1972 May 2 to 14 June 1978. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
referencedIn Goldhaber, Maurice, 1911-2011. Oral history interview with Maurice Goldhaber, 1967 January 10. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
creatorOf Gamow, George, 1904-1968. Letters, largely personal, to Alex Rich, 1955-1962. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
referencedIn Wodening, Jane, 1936-. Jane Wodening and Stan Brakhage scrapbooks, 1958-1967. Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Francis Crick Personal Papers, 1938 - 2007 Mandeville Special Collections Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
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correspondedWith Alpher, Ralph person
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correspondedWith Bedford, Sybille, 1911-2006 person
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correspondedWith Brakhage, Stan person
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correspondedWith Critchfield, Charles Louis, 1910- person
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correspondedWith Yčas, Martynas, 1917- person
associatedWith Zeeman, Pieter, 1865-1943 person
Place Name Admin Code Country
United States
Sun
Subject
Devices (Heraldry)
Big bang theory
Genetics
Literature
Science--History--20th century
Atoms
Cosmology
Number theory
Nuclear energy
Physicists
Quasars
Publishers and Publishing
RNA
Stars
Cell nuclei
Astrophysics
Astronomy
Nuclear energy in art
Physics
Occupation
Astronomers
Physicists
Translator
Authors
Editors
Function

Person

Birth 1904-03-04

Death 1968-08-19

Americans

English

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