当爱因斯坦创造他的广义相对论时，早期的分析表明它创造了一个不稳定的宇宙 – 膨胀或收缩 – 而不是一直被假设的静态宇宙。爱因斯坦也对静态宇宙持有这种假设，因此他在他的广义相对论场方程中引入了一个称为宇宙常数的术语，其目的是将宇宙保持在静态状态。然而，当埃德温·哈勃发现有证据表明遥远的星系实际上是从各个方向远离地球时，科学家（包括爱因斯坦）意识到宇宙似乎并不是静态的，而且这个术语被删除了。稳态理论詹姆斯·牛仔爵士（Sir James Jeans）在20世纪20年代首次提出这个问题，但它在1948年得到了推动，当时由弗雷德霍伊尔，托马斯戈尔德和赫尔曼邦迪重新制定。 （有一个虚构的故事，他们在观看了电影“死亡的夜晚”之后想出了这个理论，它完全按照它的开始结束。）霍伊尔特别成为该理论的主要支持者，特别是反对大爆炸理论。事实上，在英国的一个电台广播节目中，霍伊尔在某种程度上嘲笑“爆炸”一词，以解释对立的理论。
When Einstein created his theory of general relativity, early analysis showed that it created a universe that was unstable—expanding or contracting—rather than the static universe that had always been assumed. Einstein also held this assumption about a static universe, so he introduced a term into his general relativity field equations called the cosmological constant, which served the purpose of holding the universe in a static state. However, when Edwin Hubble discovered evidence that distant galaxies were, in fact, expanding away from the Earth in all directions, scientists (including Einstein) realized that the universe didn’t seem to be static and the term was removed. Steady state theory was first proposed by Sir James Jeans in the 1920s, but it really got a boost in 1948, when it was reformulated by Fred Hoyle, Thomas Gold, and Hermann Bondi. (There is an apocryphal story that they came up with the theory after watching the film Dead of Night, which ends exactly as it began.) Hoyle particularly became a major proponent of the theory, especially in opposition to the big bang theory. In fact, in a British radio broadcast, Hoyle coined the term “big bang” somewhat derisively to explain the opposing theory.