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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Igor Evgenievich Tamm

Igor Evgenievich TammIgor Evgenievich Tamm, a theoretical physicist, was one of the developers of the first Soviet hydrogen bomb, academician of the USSR Academy of Sciences (1953). Hero of Socialist Labor (1953). Twice winner of the USSR State Prize (1946, 1953); Nobel laureate in physics (1958).

Igor Evgenievich Tamm was born on July 8, 1895 on the very edge of Russia - in Vladivostok. Soon the family moved to Ukraine, in Yelisavetgrad (later Kirovograd), where Igor Evgenievich’s father was appointed “head of the city’s water supply and electric lighting” (at the end of the 19th century this position was respected and highly paid). Here, engineer Tamm launched a tram in the city and designed a power station.

In 1913, Igor graduated from high school and went to study at the Faculty of Exact Sciences of the University of Edinburgh. Such was the will of the father, who wanted his son to be as far away as possible from the raving revolutionary ideas of Russian students. After studying in Scotland for a year, Igor goes to the Physics and Mathematics Department of Moscow University. During the First World War, his studies were repeatedly interrupted - he volunteered for the front as a civilian medical service. Igor Yevgenyevich returned from the war as a revolutionary (his father had a bad feeling), a member of the Menshevik party. He even participates in the First Congress of Soviets as a delegate from Elisavetgrad.

In 1918 I.E. Tamm graduated from the university and was left at the physics department to prepare for a professorship. But a year later he again appeared in Ukraine: graduates were sent to teach physics in the cities that had just been liberated from the White Guards. Tamm teaches first at the Tauride University in Simferopol, then at the famous Odessa Polytechnic Institute. Here he met the outstanding physicist L.I. Mandelstam. The friendship that ensued between the two scientists, then persists for life.

Research work I.E. Tamm began in Odessa. In 1922 he returned to Moscow, already having his areas of interest in theoretical physics in the field of macroscopic electrodynamics. Igor Evgenievich published his first work at the age of 29. During this period, Tamm's work was devoted to the quantum theory of light scattering in crystals, general relativity, and field theory.

By the mid-30s, theoretical physicist I.E. Tamm made his biggest discoveries: he created the theory of light scattering in crystals, in particular, Raman scattering, in which lattice vibrations were first quantized sequentially and the concept of a quasiparticle (photon) appeared; put forward a consistent theory of scattering of light by electrons; theoretically predicted surface electron levels in a crystal - “Tamm levels”; prepared the fundamental work on the photoelectric effect in metals; developed the theory of beta forces between nucleons.

Since 1924 I.E. Tamm teaches at Moscow University, from 1930 to 1941. Igor Evgenievich Tamm - professor of Moscow State University, head of the department of theoretical physics. In 1933 he became a doctor of sciences and a corresponding member of the USSR Academy of Sciences. As an academician, Tamm will be elected only twenty years after the death of the “leader of the peoples” (the Menshevik past affected).

By 1937, the cooperation of I.E. Tamm with a group of physicists who discovered the amazing glow effect of an electron moving at a great speed in a liquid. This phenomenon was called the Vavilov – Cherenkov effect, thereby immortalizing the names of the experimenters who discovered it. It took two more theorists to explain the nature of this radiation. They became Ilya Frank and Igor Tamm. In 1958, P. Cherenkov, I. Frank, and I. Tamm were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for this work. Presentation of the highest world scientific award to three Soviet scientists at once (the first and only case in the history of the Nobel Prize) became a vivid recognition of the achievements of Soviet physical science. In 1945 I.E. Tamm organized the Department of Theoretical Physics at the newly created Moscow Engineering Physics Institute and led it for several years.

When in 1943, scientists began to create an atomic bomb, I.E. Tamm was not immediately allowed to secret atomic affairs. The reason is personal data and personal hostility of the almighty A.A. Zhdanov. In 1946, Tamm was brought to the attention of some issues, more or less "safe" in terms of secrecy. So his work appeared "On the width of the front of a shock wave of high intensity."

In 1948, by order of the USSR government, a group of researchers was created at the LPI to develop the hydrogen bomb - RDS-6c. Thanks to the assistance of I.V. Kurchatov IE Tamm led this group. Two months later, two of the three fundamental ideas were formulated, which formed the basis of the thermonuclear charge.

In 1950 I.E. Tamm with A.D. Sakharov and Y. Romanov came to Arzamas-16, where he headed the theoretical division and continued to work on RDS-6s. In May 1952 he was appointed head of the sector. The role of I.E. Tamm in the formation and implementation of the basic ideas for creating the first hydrogen bomb was very significant. Of great importance was not only the indisputable authority of I.E. Tamm as a physicist, but above all, his exceptional intuition in supporting promising areas, rigor in evaluating the results obtained, the ability to see and protect talented scientists and his art in figuratively and popularly express complex ideas.

June 15, 1953 I.E. Tamm, A.D. Sakharov and Ya Zeldovich signed the final report on the development of RDS-6s. The theory was put into practice on August 12, 1953 at the Semipalatinsk test site. The atomic charge RDS-6s became the world's first compact thermonuclear charge. Tamm participated in the trials, but at the beginning of 1954 he returned to Moscow, transferring the “case” to A. Sakharov.

The main thing was that work on the first thermonuclear charge created a scientific and technological reserve, which ensured further progress in the field of designing thermonuclear weapons. Contribution I.E. Tamm's creation of RDS-6s was highly noted by the government: he was awarded the title Hero of Socialist Labor and became a laureate of the Stalin Prize.

In Moscow, I.E. Tamm went to work at the Physics Institute of the USSR Academy of Sciences, where he worked until the end of his life. After completing defense research, I.E. Tamm began to study the fundamental problems of particle physics. The last works of Igor Evgenievich were “for the soul”: he tried to systematize elementary particles, developed the idea of quantization of space-time of the microworld. Always at the forefront of science, I.E. Tamm was extremely sensitive to the most "crazy" ideas. No wonder he participated in the work of the academic commission on ... the problem of the “Bigfoot”.

The total number of scientific papers I.E. Tamm is in the hundreds. In addition, his achievements include the creation of the Soviet school of theoretical physicists, to which many prominent scientists belong. The main hobby of I.E. Tamm after climbing was mountaineering. The master of sports of the USSR, Igor Evgenievich went to the mountains until the age of seventy.

In the 1960s, I.E. Tamm was an active participant in the Pugwash movement of scientists. In 1966, he signed a letter of 25 cultural and scientific figures to the Secretary General of the Central Committee of the CPSU L.I. Brezhnev against the rehabilitation of Stalin.

The last years of the life of academician Tamm were very difficult. In 1967, he became seriously ill. And from February 1968, diaphragm paralysis occurred, and the scientist was confined to a breathing apparatus. So that the physicist could work at the table, “one craftsman” (as Tamm put it) made a portable breathing machine for him. Igor Evgenievich not only continued his theoretical research, but also read, played his favorite chess. And at the same time he joked sadly: "I'm like a bug on a pin."

I.E. Tamm died on April 12, 1971. He was buried at the Novodevichy cemetery.

I.E. Tamm was awarded the four Orders of Lenin (1953, 1954, 1956 and 1965), the Order of the Red Banner of Labor and medals. He is a laureate of the Stalin Prize of the USSR (1946, 1953). Another of his awards is the Gold Medal. Lomonosov Academy of Sciences of the USSR (1968). A memorial plaque is installed on the building of the P. N. Lebedev Physical Institute, where Tamm worked. In Vladivostok, a monument to Tamm was erected in front of the main building of the Far Eastern State University. His name is also given to a square in Moscow.

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