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Fred Hoyle

(1915—2001) astronomer

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English astrophysicist and cosmologist. In 1948, with H. Bondi and T. Gold, he proposed the steady-state theory of the Universe in which matter is continuously created. Subsequently abandoned by most astronomers in favour of the Big Bang (so named from a dismissive remark by Hoyle), the steady-state theory nevertheless stimulated much important astrophysical research. Particularly significant was the work by Hoyle, with W. A. Fowler and G. R. and E. M. Burbidge, on nucleosynthesis in stars. As well as his noted work on stellar evolution, Hoyle propounded unorthodox ideas, suggesting for example that viruses and perhaps other life forms have been brought to Earth by comets. He was also a noted popularizer of astronomy.

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