David Layzer

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David Layzer
Born (1925-12-31) December 31, 1925 (age 92)
Cleveland, Ohio
Nationality American
Education Harvard University (A.B., 1947; Ph.D., 1950)[1]
Known for Cold Big Bang
Awards Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
Scientific career
Fields Astrophysics
Institutions Harvard University
Doctoral advisor Donald H. Menzel
Notable students Carlos Varsavsky
Joseph Silk

David Raymond Layzer (born December 31, 1925 in Cleveland, Ohio) is an American astrophysicist, cosmologist, and the Donald H. Menzel Professor Emeritus of Astronomy at Harvard University.[2][3][4] He is known for his cosmological theory of the expansion of the universe, which postulates that its order and information are increasing despite the second law of thermodynamics.[5] He is also known for being one of the most notable researchers who advocated for a Cold Big Bang theory.[6][7] When he proposed this theory in 1966, he suggested it would solve Olbers' paradox, which holds that the night sky on Earth should be much brighter than it actually is.[8] He also published several articles critiquing hereditarian views on human intelligence, such as those of Richard Herrnstein and Arthur Jensen.[9][10] He has been a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences since 1963,[11] and is also a member of Divisions B and J of the International Astronomical Union.[12]


  1. ^ Layzer, David; Foundation, Gravity Research (1968). Gravitational collapse, cosmic black-body radiation, and the origin of astronomical systems. Gloucester, Mass. : Gravity Research Foundation. p. 12. 
  2. ^ "Astronomy Alumni". Harvard University. Retrieved 2018-05-29. 
  3. ^ "Course Lotteries". Harvard Crimson. 1983-03-03. Retrieved 2018-05-29. 
  4. ^ "David Layzer". American Institute of Physics. 2007-12-05. Retrieved 2018-05-29. 
  5. ^ "David Layzer - the Growth of Order in the Universe". The Information Philosopher. Retrieved 2018-05-29. 
  6. ^ Siegfried, Tom (2002-08-23). Strange Matters: Undiscovered Ideas at the Frontiers of Space and Time. Joseph Henry Press. p. 274. ISBN 9780309500586. 
  7. ^ Leonard, George (September 2009). The Silent Pulse. Gibbs Smith. p. 138. ISBN 9781423611363. 
  8. ^ "Layzer Proposes Theory Explaining Why the Night Sky Is Not Bright". The Harvard Crimson. 1966-04-29. Retrieved 2018-05-29. 
  9. ^ "'Faked' Data Linked With Herrnstein I.Q. Research". The Harvard Crimson. 1976-10-30. Retrieved 2018-05-29. 
  10. ^ Montagu, Ashley (2001-04-19). Man's Most Dangerous Myth: The Fallacy of Race. AltaMira Press. p. 157. ISBN 9780585345482. 
  11. ^ "New Members Elected 8 May 1963". Records of the Academy (American Academy of Arts and Sciences): 143–150. 1962. JSTOR 3785442. 
  12. ^ "David Layzer". International Astronomical Union. Retrieved 2018-05-29. 

External links[edit]

  • Profile at the Information Philosopher