Tuesday, August 23, 2011

George Gamow’s Grave

Posted by on 08/23 at 09:15 PM

On a trip to Boulder, CO in June 2011 I visited George Gamow’s grave in Green Mountain Cemetery.  Born in Odessa in 1904, then part of the Russian empire, Gamow escaped to the west and became professor at George Washington University.  There, along with his student Ralph Alpher, he developed the concept of Big Bang nucleosynthesis.  He later moved to Boulder where he was Professor of Physics at the University of Colorado.  He wrote numerous popular books, and died in 1968.

Gamow’s grave is somewhat hard to find as it is in a more isolated part of the cemetery.  Nevertheless, I found it and snapped a few photos:

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Comment posted by Will Thomas on 08/28 at 11:08 AM

This reminds me of a Gamow quote that stood out to me when I was picking audio samples to go up with the American Institute of Physics’ oral history interview transcripts.  In talking shortly before his death about how he liked to choose unexplored problems to work on, he compared it to his preference for the mountains in Colorado as opposed to in California “where they have a hot dog stand on the top of each mountain.”

You can hear the quote here.

Comment posted by Paul Halpern on 08/28 at 11:50 AM

Funny quote!  He certainly chose unique problems to work on, as mentioned in the interview.  I can see why he moved to Boulder, Colorado—it is a lovely area.  No hot dog stands on the mountain tops, as far as I could tell.

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