Hoyle, Sir Fred

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Hoyle, Sir Fred

Sir Fred Hoyle (hoil), 1915–2001, British astrophysicist and mathematician, b. Bingley, Yorkshire. During the years of World War II, Hoyle primarily worked on technical problems related to radar. As a diversion, he discussed astronomy with Hermann Bondi and Thomas Gold, and the three formulated the steady-state cosmology (1948). Best known for his theories concerning the structure of stars and the origin of the chemical elements in stars, Hoyle was also instrumental in founding the Institute of Theoretical Astronomy and in establishing the Anglo-Australian Observatory in central New South Wales. He was a prolific author, not only of technical papers but also of science fiction and popular science. His first novel, The Black Cloud (1957), has become a classic, and his autobiography, Home Is Where the Wind Blows (1994), discusses the controversy and academic disputes he endured during his teaching years at Cambridge (1945–1972). Hoyle was knighted in 1972.

See S. Mitton, Conflict in the Cosmos: Fred Hoyle's Life in Science (2005).

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