Famous physicist explored the idea of a steady-state universe in 1931
A single manuscript lay unnoticed by scientists for decades. The author? Albert Einstein. Recent review of its’ contents reveal startling detail that the famous physicist once dabbled with an alternative to the Big Bang theory, proposing instead that the Universe expanded steadily and eternally.
The newly uncovered work, written in 1931, is reminiscent of a theory championed by British astrophysicist Fred Hoyle nearly 20 years later. Einstein soon abandoned the idea, but the manuscript reveals his continued hesitance to accept that the Universe was created during a single explosive event.
The the fact Einstein experimented with a steady-state concept of the universe demonstrates his continued resistance to the idea of a Big Bang, which he at first found “abominable”, even though other theoreticians at the time had shown it to be a natural consequence of his general theory of relativity. (Other leading researchers, such as the eminent Cambridge astronomer Arthur Eddington, were also suspicious of the Big Bang theory, because it suggested a mystical moment of creation.) When astronomers found evidence for cosmic expansion, Einstein had to abandon his bias towards a static Universe, and a steady-state Universe was the next best thing, O’Raifeartaigh and his collaborators say.