A lost Albert Einstein manuscript containing an alternative to the Big Bang Theory has been discovered...hidden as it turns out in plain sight.
The Einstein manuscript, written in 1931 and kept in plain view at the Albert Einstein Archives in Jerusalem, revealed that Albert Einstein proposed an alternative to what is now known as the Big Bang Theory. According to the manuscript - which was even available on the Archives' web site at the time - Albert toyed with the notion that the Universe expanded steadily and without end as opposed to the Big Bang Theory that suggests it was created in a single, cataclysmic event, and eventually will retract itself.
According to an article posted by Nature, the manuscript "had been mistakenly classified as a first draft of another Einstein paper." The article also provided the details of its discovery:
"Cormac O'Raifeartaigh, a physicist at the Waterford Institute of Technology in Ireland, says that he 'almost fell out of his chair' when he realized what the manuscript was about. He and his collaborators have posted their findings, together with an English translation of Einstein's original German manuscript, on the arXiv preprint server (C. O'Raifeartaigh et al. Preprint at http://arxiv.org/abs/1402.0132; 2014) and have submitted their paper to the European Physical Journal."
The lost Einstein manuscript proposes an alternative to the Big Bang Theory that is similar to a theory British astrophysicist Fred Hoyle proposed some twenty years later - unbeknownst that Einstein dabbled in the same hypothesis. According to Nature, this helps shape Hoyle in a completely new light:
"This finding confirms that Hoyle was not a crank," says Simon Mitton, a science historian at the University of Cambridge, UK as reported by Nature. Simon is a Hoyle aficionado having penned the 2005 biography Fred Hoyle: A Life in Science. "If only Hoyle had known [that Einstein proposed a similar alternative to The Big Bang Theory], he would certainly have used it to punch his opponents." O'Raifeartaigh says.
In a response to a letter from a six year old girl asking Albert Einstein whether scientists believed in praying, Einstein wrote, "A scientist cannot be inclined to believe that the course of events can be influenced by prayer," but later included that "our actual knowledge of these forces is imperfect."