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Subject: History of Science Seminar
From: Finn Aaserud <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Finn Aaserud <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sun, 16 Jan 2011 12:53:10 +0100
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The Niels Bohr Archive 
History of Science Seminar

Mon 14 February 2011, 14.15 
Aud. D, Niels Bohr Institute
Blegdamsvej 17, Copenhagen

Alexei Kojevnikov 
University of British Columbia, Canada
Space-Time and the Russian Revolution: 
Alexander Friedman and his Contemporaries 

Two short mathematical papers of 1922-1924 by Alexander Friedman 
demonstrated that in Einsteinís general relativity, the Universe can expand, 
contract, collapse, and be reborn. The introduction of the cosmological 
concept of a non-static Universe contradicted the long held and very strong 
assumption that a satisfactory cosmology had to provide for stability. Little has 
been studied about the context in which Friedmanís ideas developed. In this 
presentation, I shall explore the reception of the relativity theory and other 
main intellectual novelties in revolutionary Russia following the end of the civil 
war in 1920 and the resumption of cultural exchanges with Europe. The variety 
of, often rather strange, interpretations by scientists and non-scientists alike, 
contributed to a cultural climate in which the idea of the collapse and rebirth of 
the Cosmos became conceivable.

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