Ralph A. Alpher, Ph.D., D. Sc. (Honoris Causa), 1921-2007, Theoretical Physicist, Cosmologist
Welcome all to this website dedicated to the work, life, and career of Ralph A. Alpher, Recipient of the 2005 National Medal of Science "For his unprecedented work in the areas of nucleosynthesis, for the prediction that universe expansion leaves behind background radiation, and for providing the model for the Big Bang theory." [actual National Medal of Science citation]

I.  The following articles are biographical and autobiographical in nature. Radiations is the official journal of the Society of Physics Students (Pi Sigma PI) of the American Physical Society. They are easily accessed in PDF format on the World Wide Web.

Alpher, V.S. (2008, Spring).  Ralph Asher Alpher:  Before the Big Bang. Radiations, Vol. 14, Issue 1, 6-14.

Alpher, V.S. (2008, Fall).  Ralph A. Alpher’s Early Career:  What Kind of Physicists Were They?  Radiations, Volume 14, Issue 2, 6-14.

Alpher, V.S. (2009, Spring). The History of Cosmology as I Have Lived Through It. Radiations, Volume 15, Issue 1, 8-18.

II.  The following articles concern work Ralph A. Alpher did while a student at George Washington  University. During the daytime he was employed under contract to the Bureau of Ordnance, U.S. Navy (1940-1944) and the Applied Physics Laboratory, The Johns Hopkins University (August 1, 1944 through December 1945).  Dr. Alpher received the Naval Ordnance Development Award TWICE (1945 and 1946) for his contributions to the U.S. Navy Ordnance Department. 

The Mark 9 Torpedo Exploder Mechanism was a new Magnetic Influence - Contact Detonator developed beginning in 1944 to replace the highly erractic exploder used in the Mark 14 torpedo, the main torpedo available to the Navy at the commencement of the war.  None of the information contained in these articles is included in any sources concerning torpedo and submarine warfare covered in either trade books or scholarly work.  Albert Einstein also made some contributions to this development (sketches may be seen in his widely available FBI files on CD).  Both Ralph A. Alpher and George Gamow visited Einstein at various points (independently) during the course of the War and the development of the Big Bang theory and prediction of the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation in the post-war period to discuss their work.  Einstein's comments (signed) on Alpher's theoretical developments on nucleosynthesis are housed in the Alpher Papers, referred to in the
Physics in Perspective article (see below, V. S. Alpher, 2012).  

Alpher, V.S. (October, 2009).  The Mark 9 Torpedo Exploder Mechanism:  A Successor to the Mark 14 Mod 6 During World War II.  The Submarine Review (Journal of the Naval Submarine League), 117-133.

Alpher, V.S. (April, 2010).  Torpedo Exploder Mechanisms of World War II:  A New Perspective.  The Submarine Review (Journal of the Naval Submarine League), 83-105.

Alpher, V.S. (October, 2010). Degaussing Policy During WWII: Key to Submarine Action and Victory in the Atlantic and the Pacific (Part 1 of 2). The Submarine Review (Journal of the Naval Submarine League), pp. 57-70.

Alpher, V.S. (January, 2011).  Degaussing Policy During WWII:  Key to Submarine Action and Victory in the Atlantic and the Pacific (Part 2 of 2). The Submarine Review (Journal of the Naval Submarine League), 93-105.

 III. The following articles concern Ralph A. Alpher's prediction of the existence and temperature of the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation in 1948-49, along with co-author Robert C. Herman while both were working at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory.  They would continue to collaborate on further developments of Alpher's seminal ideas until Herman's passing in 1997.

Alpher, V.S. (2009).  Ralph A. Alpher, George Antonovich Gamow, and the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation.  Modern Physics Problems Forum: Physics-Online.ru.  www.physics-online.ru/php/paper.phtml?jrnid=null&paperid=6847&option_lang=eng

Alpher, V.S. (September, 2012). Ralph A. Alpher, Robert C. Herman, and the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation.  Physics in Perspective, 14, 300-334.
         This is a very significant peer-reviewed paper drawing on Dr. Alpher's personal papers and correspondence, as well as interviews from the American Institute of Physics with many of the major figures involved with the prediction, interpretation, and discovery of the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation.

Alpher, V.S. (2014).  Ralph A. Alpher, George Antonovich Gamow, and the Prediction of the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation.  Asian Journal of Physics, 23(1), 17-26.  
          Drawing on Ralph Alpher's original dissertation, notes, and publications on the CMBR, erroneous credit to G. Gamow for Alpher's original ideas on nucleosynthesis and current evidence for big bang cosmology is discussed in detail.  Also, a separate line of publications suggesting that Ralph A. Alpher was actually a nonexistent phantom is explored.  Rich with original references, and original photographs from Dr. R. Alpher's personal collection.  Special journal series edited by Dr. Virginia Trimble (Univ. of Maryland, and Univ. of California, Irvine).

Alpher, V.S., & Simon Mitton of Cambridge University (in preparation as of Oct. 2014).  Detailed examination of 20 years of personal correspondence between Ralph Alpher and George Gamow.  Dr. Mitton is author of several books on the history of cosmology.

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