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The Question

(Submitted September 20, 2000)

What was Freidman's theory on the expansion of the universe? What evidence did he have to support this?

The Answer

Aleksandr Aleksandrovich Friedmann (1888-1925) was a Russian mathematician:

http://www-groups.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/~history/Mathematicians/Friedmann.html

who correctly identified that Einstein's field theories allowed for expanding and contracting universes as well as static ones. He didn't have any physical evidence for this at the time, but correctly deduced, and Einstein later confirmed, that it was possible.

You can find more information on Friedman's theory at:

http://ned.ipac.caltech.edu/level5/Narlikar/Narlikar_contents.html

Hope this helps,
Michael Arida for Ask an Astrophysicist

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