Belgian physicist Georges Lemaître, widely considered the “father of the Big Bang,” has been immortalized with the rediscovery of a video interview almost 60 years after it was lost. Lemaître was the first to propose that the movement of galaxies away from Earth was a sign that the universe was expanding, which was later observationally confirmed by the American astronomer Edwin Hubble. The 20-minute video was broadcast on Feb. 14, 1964 and features Lemaître discussing his ideas with journalist Jérôme Verhaeghe. The film reel containing the footage had been misplaced due to it being miscategorized and Lemaître’s name being misspelled on the label. In the interview, Lemaître speaks in French, with Flemish subtitles added to the video. He dives into how his hypothesis of the primeval atom differed from the Steady State model and calls out rival Sir Fred Hoyle for being wrong. Lemaître also discusses the work and ideas of several renowned academics and notes that detecting cosmic rays would play an important role in proving his theory. He was also asked whether his theories contradicted his religious views, to which he explained that his research involved no “religious ulterior motive”.
Today: December 4, 2023