Eternal universe vs finite life of stars

  • Thread starter Thecla
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  • #1
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Main Question or Discussion Point

I heard on a recent podcast that most astronomers and physicists of the early 20 th century, if they thought about it at all, believed that the universe always existed, i. e. it had no beginning. Even Einstein accepted the Steady State Theory, along with many others.
How did these astonomers and physicists reconcile their idea of the eternal universe with the finite lives of stars? Did they think that stars grew old , died, and regenerated themselves?
 

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  • #2
mathman
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My guess: they didn't think about it. In the early part of the 20th century most astronomers thought that the entire universe consisted of the milky way and the nearby stars (which are in the milky way).
 
  • #3
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I heard on a recent podcast that most astronomers and physicists of the early 20 th century, if they thought about it at all, believed that the universe always existed, i. e. it had no beginning. Even Einstein accepted the Steady State Theory, along with many others.
How did these astonomers and physicists reconcile their idea of the eternal universe with the finite lives of stars? Did they think that stars grew old , died, and regenerated themselves?
They generally followed Boltzmann's idea of statistical recurrance - that, given endless time, high energy configurations would spontaneously be regenerated. When they had to give an answer.
 

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