XIIth School of Cosmology
September 15 - 20, 2014IESC, Cargèse
their impact in the study of galaxies and

Foundations of modern cosmology

Insubria University


  1. The name is the thing
  2. Einstein’s way
  3. The great debate
  4. The de sitter universe
  5. The Lemaitre-Hubble affaire
  6. The cosmological constant strikes back


I will discuss the birth of cosmology as a science by giving a short account of the Einstein-de Sitter debate. Before doing this I will discuss certain issues related to the very idea of a cosmology by examining the origin of the concept. As a by product I will also provide a short introduction to the de Sitter geometry.


  • Articles
    • A. Einstein, Kosmologische Betrachtungen zur allgemeinen Relativitätstheorie. Sitzungsberichte der Königlich Preussischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, VI. Berlin, 1917.
    • W. de Sitter, On the relativity of inertia. Remarks concerning Einstein's latest hypothesis. Proc. Royal Acad. Amsterdam 19, 1217-25 (1917).
    • W. de Sitter, Further Remarks on the Solutions of the Field-Equations of Einstein’s Theory of Gravitation. Proc. Royal Acad. Amsterdam 20 II, 1309-12 (1918).
    • W. de Sitter, On the curvature of space. Proc. Royal Acad. Amsterdam , 20 I, 229-243 (1918)
    • A. Friedmann Über die Krümmung des Raumes. Zeitschrift für Physik 10 (1): 377–386. (1922)
    • A. Friedmann, Über die Möglichkeit einer Welt mit konstanter negativer Krümmung des Raumes. Zeitschrift für Physik 21 (1): 326–332. (1924)
    • Abbé G. Lemaître, Un Univers homogène de masse constante et de rayon croissant rendant compte de la vitesse radiale des nébuleuses extra-galactiques. Annales de la Societe Scientifique de Bruxelles, A47, p. 49-59 (1927) (and its english translation)
    • Remi Brague, La Sagesse du monde, Histoire de l’experience humaine de l’univers.
      Fayard (1999).
    • Christian Smeenk, Einstein's Role in the Creation of Relativistic Cosmology. In: The Cambridge Companion to Einstein. M. Janssen and C. Lehner (Eds.) Cambridge University Press (2004)
    • Michel Janssen, The Einstein-De Sitter Debate and Its Aftermath. Ibidem