, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 300-334
Date: 15 Aug 2012

Ralph A. Alpher, Robert C. Herman, and the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation

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Abstract

Much of the literature on the history of the prediction and discovery of the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (CMBR) is incorrect in some respects. I focus on the early history of the CMBR, from its prediction in 1948 to its measurement in 1964, basing my discussion on the published literature, the private papers of Ralph A. Alpher, and interviews with several of the major figures involved in the prediction and measurement of the CMBR. I show that the early prediction of the CMBR continues to be widely misunderstood.

Victor S. Alpher, son of Ralph A. Alpher, received his Ph.D. degree in clinical and experimental psychology at Vanderbilt University in 1985 and was on the full-time faculty of the University of Texas–Houston Health Science Center from 1986 to 1988; he also conducted a private consulting practice in Houston in neuropsychology and gerontology. He received his Diplomate in Clinical Psychology from the American Board of Professional Psychology in 1995.