Upcoming 2010 Lecture
George Gamow's Career
George Gamow's Writing
George Gamow's Life
Memorial Lecture Series
  The Distinguished Career of George Gamow
George Gamow's fame as a physicist began with his theory that explained the radioactive alpha particle decay of atomic nuclei. In his cosmological studies, he is known for the "big bang" theory of the origin of the universe, and in 1954 his studies in biology led him to suggest that the genetic code was a triplet code. This concept is fundamental to modern biology. He was perhaps most widely known for his popular writings on science that introduced millions of readers to the concepts of relativity and atomic and nuclear physics. These writings have been translated into several dozen languages. In recognition of the global impact of his popular scientific writings, the United National awarded him with the Kalinga Prize in 1956.
 Career Highlights
1928 Explained nuclear alpha decay by quantum mechanical tunneling;
1928 Pioneered the liquid-drop model in nuclear physics;
1936 Described, with Edward Teller, spin-induced nuclear beta decay;
1938 Introduced the "Gamow" factor in stellar reaction rates and element formation;
1939 Modeled red giants, supernovae, and neutron stars;
Developed the "Big Bang Theory" of the universe;
1954 First suggested how the genetic code might be transcribed;
Wrote the popular science fiction series, the "Adventures of Mr. Tompkins"
(most recently reprinted in 2001).