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Official Master > Master projects

Cristina Vergara Torrente
El debat cosmològic a l'Espanya de Franco
Supervisor/s: Xavier Roqué Rodríguez
Date of defense: 05-09-2012

In the central decades of the 20th century, Cosmology underwent deep changes, as it abandoned the newtonian framework in favour of the new general relativity theory. Physicists and astronomers clashed over competing models of the univers (Big Bang and the Steady State Universe) that tried to make sense of observational data. Simultaneously, Spain suffered a Civil War and the instauration of General Franco’s regime. The cosmological debate thus reached Spain in the context of a totalitarian regime that had purged universities and sought to align the physical sciences with nationalcatholicism. This paper is located at the crossroads of the historiography of contemporary cosmology, on the one hand, and science and francoism, in the other, and seeks to provide a preliminary account of the cosmologic debate in Spain during the period 1940–1970. The analysis hinges on three significant cases: the Jesuit chemist and astronomer Ignacio Puig and his papers published in the journal Ibérica (1945); the physicists Esteban Terradas and Ramón Ortiz and their textbook Relatividad (1952);and the Jesuit mathematician and astronomer Antonio Romañá and his speech Idea sobre el estado actual de la Cosmología (1966) for his election to the Royal Spanish Academy of Sciences.