Tamm, Igor Yevgenyevich

Tamm, Igor Yevgenyevich

▪ Soviet physicist
born July 8 [June 26, Old Style], 1895, Vladivostok, Siberia, Russia
died April 12, 1971, Moscow, Russia, Soviet Union
 Soviet physicist who shared the 1958 Nobel Prize for Physics with Pavel A. Cherenkov (Cherenkov, Pavel Alekseyevich) and Ilya M. Frank (Frank, Ilya Mikhaylovich) for his efforts in explaining Cherenkov radiation. Tamm was one of the theoretical physicists who contributed to the construction of the first Soviet thermonuclear bomb.

      Tamm's father was an engineer in the city of Yelizavetgrad (now Kirovohrad, Ukr.), where he was responsible for building and managing electric power stations and water systems. Tamm graduated from the gymnasium there in 1913 and went abroad to study at the University of Edinburgh. The following year he returned to Moscow State University, and he graduated in 1918. In 1924 he became a lecturer in the physics department, and in 1930 he succeeded his mentor, Leonid I. Mandelstam, to the chair of theoretical physics. In 1933 Tamm was elected a corresponding member of the Soviet Academy of Sciences (Sciences, Academy of). The following year, he joined the P.N. Lebedev Physics Institute of the Soviet Academy of Sciences (FIAN), where he organized and headed the theoretical division, a position he occupied until his death.

      Tamm's early studies of unique forms of electron bonding (“Tamm surface levels”) on the surfaces of crystalline solids had important applications in the later development of solid-state semiconductor devices (semiconductor device). In 1934 Cherenkov had discovered that light is emitted when gamma rays (gamma ray) pass through a liquid medium. In 1937 Tamm and Frank explained this phenomenon as the emission of light waves by electrically charged particles moving faster than the speed of light in a medium. Tamm developed this theory more fully in a paper published in 1939. For these discoveries Tamm, Frank, and Cherenkov received the 1958 Nobel Prize for Physics.

      Immediately after World War II, Tamm, though a major theoretician, was not assigned to work on the atomic bomb project, possibly for political reasons. In particular, he was branded a “bourgeois idealist” and his brother an “enemy of the state.” Nevertheless, in June 1948, when physicist Igor V. Kurchatov (Kurchatov, Igor Vasilyevich) needed a strong team to investigate the feasibility of creating a thermonuclear bomb, Tamm was recruited to organize the theoretical division of FIAN in Moscow. The Tamm group came to include physicists Yakov B. Zeldovich, Vitaly L. Ginzburg (Ginzburg, Vitaly Lazarevich), Semyon Z. Belenky, Andrey D. Sakharov (Sakharov, Andrey Dmitriyevich), Efim S. Fradkin, Yuri A. Romanov, and Vladimir Y. Fainberg. Between March and April 1950, Tamm and several members of his group were sent to the secret installation known as Arzamas-16 (near the present-day village of Sarov) to work under physicist Yuly Khariton (Khariton, Yuly Borisovich)'s direction on a thermonuclear bomb project. One bomb design, known as the Sloika (“Layer Cake”), was successfully tested on Aug. 12, 1953. Tamm was elected a full member of the Academy of Sciences in October 1953 and the same year was awarded a Hero of Socialist Labour. On Nov. 22, 1955, the Soviet Union successfully tested a more modern thermonuclear bomb that was analogous to the design of the American physicists Edward Teller (Teller, Edward) and Stanislaw Ulam (Ulam, Stanislaw Marcin).

 Tamm spent the latter decades of his career at the Lebedev Institute, where he worked on building a fusion reactor to control fusion, using a powerful magnetic field in a donut-shaped device known as a Tokamak reactor.

Thomas B. Cochran Robert S. Norris

* * *

Universalium. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Нужно решить контрольную?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • TAMM, IGOR YEVGENYEVICH — (1895–1971), Russian physicist and Nobel Laureate. Tamm was born in Vladivostok and graduated in physics from Moscow University (1918). He worked in different universities and institutes in Moscow and the Crimea including the Moscow State… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Tamm , Igor Yevgenyevich — (1895–1971) Russian physicist. See Cherenkov, Pavel Alekseyevich …   Scientists

  • Igor Yevgenyevich Tamm — Igor Tamm Igor Tamm Igor Ievgenievitch Tamm (en russe Игорь Евгеньевич Тамм, transcription littérale : Igor Evgen evich Tamm), né le 8 juillet 1895 à Vladivostok et mort à Moscou le 12 avril 1971, est un physicien… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Igor Tamm — Infobox Scientist name = Igor Tamm box width = imagesize = 180px caption = Igor Tamm birth date = July 8 1895 birth place = Vladivostok, Russian Empire death date = April 12 1971 death place = MoscowRussia nationality = Russia field = Physics… …   Wikipedia

  • nuclear weapon — an explosive device whose destructive potential derives from the release of energy that accompanies the splitting or combining of atomic nuclei. [1945 50] * * * or atomic weapon or thermonuclear weapon Bomb or other warhead that derives its force …   Universalium

  • Sakharov, Andrey Dmitriyevich — ▪ Soviet physicist and dissident born May 21, 1921, Moscow, Russia died Dec. 14, 1989, Moscow  Soviet nuclear theoretical physicist, an outspoken advocate of human rights, civil liberties, and reform in the Soviet Union as well as rapprochement… …   Universalium

  • Cherenkov radiation — Light produced by charged particles when they pass through an optically transparent medium at speeds greater than the speed of light in that medium. For example, when electrons from a nuclear reactor travel through shielding water, they do so at… …   Universalium

  • Cherenkov, Pavel Alekseyevich — ▪ Soviet physicist Cherenkov also spelled  Čerenkov   born July 15 [July 28, New Style], 1904, Novaya Chigla, Russia died Jan. 6, 1990, U.S.S.R.       Soviet physicist who shared the 1958 Nobel Prize for Physics with fellow Soviet scientists Igor …   Universalium

  • Frank, Ilya Mikhaylovich — ▪ Soviet physicist born Oct. 10 [Oct. 23, New Style], 1908, St. Petersburg, Russia died June 22, 1990, Moscow, Russia, U.S.S.R.       Soviet winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1958 jointly with Pavel A. Cherenkov (Cherenkov, Pavel… …   Universalium

  • Landau, Lev Davidovich — ▪ Russian physicist born Jan. 9 [Jan. 22, New Style], 1908, Baku, Russian Empire (now Azerbaijan) died April 1, 1968, Moscow, Russia, U.S.S.R.  Soviet theoretical physicist, one of the founders of the quantum theory of condensed matter whose… …   Universalium

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”