Georges Lemaître

Georges Lemaître - Priests, Family and Childhood

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Georges Lemaître's Personal Details

Georges Lemaitre was a Belgian scientist and priest

InformationDetail
BirthdayJuly 17, 1894
Died onJune 20, 1966
NationalityBelgian
FamousAstronomers, Physicists, Miscellaneous, Priests, Priests, Scientists
Known asGeorges Henri Joseph Édouard Lemaître
Universities
  • University of Cambridge
  • Catholic University of Leuven
Birth PlaceCharleroi, Belgium
ReligionCatholicism
GenderMale
Sun SignCancer
Born inCharleroi, Belgium
Famous asScientist & Priest
Died at Age71

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Georges Lemaître's photo

Who is Georges Lemaître?

Georges Lemaitre was a Belgian scientist who propounded some of the most important theories in cosmology and astronomy in a career that spanned a better part of four decades. Lemaitre was also a priest and was in fact courted by Vatican to become a researcher on contraception. Pope John XXIII named him a prelate in 1960, however it was as a scientist that he made his name and his earliest theories on the ‘expansion of the universe’ was published in a Belgian scientific journal in 1927 and throughout his life he continued to conduct research on the subject that made him one of the most influential scientists of his generation. Lemaitre was also responsible for the study that later came to be known as Hubble’s Law but his contribution towards the discoveries in cosmology were not acknowledged at the time. He used Einstein’s Theory of Relativity in his research and came up with the theory that was discovered by Hubble two years after him. Georges Lemaitre taught at the Catholic University of Leuven and stayed with the university throughout his professional life. Lemaitre also had a profound interest in new technology and was enthusiastic about the development of computers and calculators.

Childhood & Early Life

Georges Henri Joseph Edouard Lemaitre was born on 17 July, 1894 to Joseph Lemaitre and his wife Maguerite Lannoy in Leuven, Belgium. Very little information is available about his parents and their professions. It is unknown whether he had any siblings or not.

Georges Lemaitre was initially 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.

After returning from the 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.

Career

After returning from the United States, Georges Lemaitre started his career in his native Belgium in 1925, when the Catholic University of Leuven appointed him as a part-time lecturer. Two years later, Lemaitre’s famous work proposing the theory of ‘expansion of the universe, titled ‘A Homogenous universe of constant mass and growing radius accounting for the radial velocity of extragalactic nebulae’ was published by the ‘Annals of the Scientific Society of Brussels’. The paper became more famous after it was translated into English. Later on, he would also go on to propound the ‘Big Bang Theory’.

Georges Lemaitre was also interested in cosmology and in 1927 wrote a paper that applied Einstein’s Theory of Relativity to the subject as he discovered the phenomenon that later became far more famous as Hubble’s Law. Lemaitre was also successful in computing the Hubble constant and became one of the stalwarts in the field of cosmology.

His theories on the universe had become quite famous and after his paper had been translated to English, the British Society invited him to London in 1931 in a conference related to spirituality and the universe. At the conference, he further explained his theory on ‘expansion of the universe’. He also travelled to important scientific conference like the Solvay Conference and the one held at Princeton University in the United States a few years later.

He spoke at a series of science conferences in the United States in 1933 and in one of those lectures, Albert Einstein, who was also one of the invitees, is believed to have applauded Lemaitre’s theory of cosmic rays. In the same year, Lemaitre returned to the subject of ‘expansion of the universe’ and produced a new paper that became one of his life’s greatest works.

The members of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences elected Georges Lemaitre as a member in 1936 and he rose to become the president of the organization 24 years later. He would remain a lifelong member. He was also elected as a member by the members of the Royal Academy of Sciences and Arts of Belgium.

Georges Lemaitre reduced his teaching related commitments in the 1950s and eventually gave up teaching altogether. The last years of his life and career were devoted to mathematics and he developed a keen interest in the then developing field of computer engineering.

Awards & Achievements

He was awarded the Francqui Prize on 17 March, 1934 by King Leopold III of Belgium. It is the biggest honour for scientists in Belgium.

The Royal Astronomical Society honoured 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.

Personal Life & Legacy

Georges Lemaitre was a Catholic priest and he lived under a vow of celibacy. Therefore, therefore he never married or had any children

Lemaitre died in Leuven, Belgium, on 20 June, 1966 at the age of 71. Reasons for his death are unknown.

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Georges Lemaître biography timelines

  • // 17th Jul 1894
    Georges Henri Joseph Edouard Lemaitre was born on 17 July, 1894 to Joseph Lemaitre and his wife Maguerite Lannoy in Leuven, Belgium. Very little information is available about his parents and their professions. It is unknown whether he had any siblings or not.
  • // 1914
    Georges Lemaitre was initially 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.
  • // 1920
    After returning from the 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.
  • // 1925
    After returning from the United States, Georges Lemaitre started his career in his native Belgium in 1925, when the Catholic University of Leuven appointed him as a part-time lecturer. Two years later, Lemaitre’s famous work proposing the theory of ‘expansion of the universe, titled ‘A Homogenous universe of constant mass and growing radius accounting for the radial velocity of extragalactic nebulae’ was published by the ‘Annals of the Scientific Society of Brussels’. The paper became more famous after it was translated into English. Later on, he would also go on to propound the ‘Big Bang Theory’.
  • // 1927
    Georges Lemaitre was also interested in cosmology and in 1927 wrote a paper that applied Einstein’s Theory of Relativity to the subject as he discovered the phenomenon that later became far more famous as Hubble’s Law. Lemaitre was also successful in computing the Hubble constant and became one of the stalwarts in the field of cosmology.
  • // 1931
    His theories on the universe had become quite famous and after his paper had been translated to English, the British Society invited him to London in 1931 in a conference related to spirituality and the universe. At the conference, he further explained his theory on ‘expansion of the universe’. He also travelled to important scientific conference like the Solvay Conference and the one held at Princeton University in the United States a few years later.
  • // 1933
    He spoke at a series of science conferences in the United States in 1933 and in one of those lectures, Albert Einstein, who was also one of the invitees, is believed to have applauded Lemaitre’s theory of cosmic rays. In the same year, Lemaitre returned to the subject of ‘expansion of the universe’ and produced a new paper that became one of his life’s greatest works.
  • // 1933
    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.
  • // 17th Mar 1934
    He was awarded the Francqui Prize on 17 March, 1934 by King Leopold III of Belgium. It is the biggest honour for scientists in Belgium.
  • // 1936
    The members of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences elected Georges Lemaitre as a member in 1936 and he rose to become the president of the organization 24 years later. He would remain a lifelong member. He was also elected as a member by the members of the Royal Academy of Sciences and Arts of Belgium.
  • // 1953
    The Royal Astronomical Society honoured him with the Eddington Medal 1953.
  • // 20th Jun 1966
    Lemaitre died in Leuven, Belgium, on 20 June, 1966 at the age of 71. Reasons for his death are unknown.

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Georges Lemaître's FAQ

  • What is Georges Lemaître birthday?

    Georges Lemaître was born at 1894-07-17

  • When was Georges Lemaître died?

    Georges Lemaître was died at 1966-06-20

  • Where was Georges Lemaître died?

    Georges Lemaître was died in Leuven, Belgium

  • Which age was Georges Lemaître died?

    Georges Lemaître was died at age 71

  • Where is Georges Lemaître's birth place?

    Georges Lemaître was born in Charleroi, Belgium

  • What is Georges Lemaître nationalities?

    Georges Lemaître's nationalities is Belgian

  • What was Georges Lemaître universities?

    Georges Lemaître studied at University of Cambridge, Catholic University of Leuven

  • What is Georges Lemaître's religion?

    Georges Lemaître's religion is Catholicism

  • What is Georges Lemaître's sun sign?

    Georges Lemaître is Cancer

  • How famous is Georges Lemaître?

    Georges Lemaître is famouse as Scientist & Priest