Priest and Scientist

LemaitreI recommend the brief Crux article on people who were both priests and scientists. I suggest skipping the commentary, though.

A few Jesuits were among the clergy listed, but one of my favorites was a diocesan priest:

Georges Lemaître (1894-1966)
The Belgian priest and physicist is known as the Father of the Big Bang. Lemaître probably would have shared the Nobel Prize for this if he had lived long enough. But a review of his work reveals that, in one sense, his role in the Big Bang overshadows more significant breakthroughs.

In 1927, he derived Hubble’s Law of cosmic expansion two years before American astronomer Edwin Hubble did. Lemaître was the first to champion the notion that Einstein’s cosmological constant represented a physical force that could be responsible for accelerating the expansion of the universe, an acceleration that was discovered in the late 1990s.

Finally, in the early 1930s, he developed a solution to Einstein’s field equations of general relativity that allowed J. Robert Oppenheimer and others to model black holes, years before they were even suspected to exist.

Forward thinking, and also a man in service to God’s people.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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