Tamm and Kurchatov, Soviet physicists

Tamm and Kurchatov, Soviet physicists

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Credit: SPUTNIK/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Igor Yevgenyevich Tamm (1895-1971, left) and Igor Vasilyevich Kurchatov (1903-1960, right), Soviet nuclear physicists, in a garden near Kurchatov's house. Tamm shared the 1958 Nobel Prize in Physics with Cherenkov and Frank. Tamm's contribution was the interpretation of the Cherenkov effect, where high-energy particles moving through water may exceed the velocity of light in that medium, producing a "wake" of light called Cherenkov radiation. In the 1930s, Kurchatov supervised the construction of what was then the world's largest cyclotron particle accelerator. He also led the work on the USSR's first atomic bomb (1949), hydrogen bomb (1953) and the world's first nuclear power plant (1954). Photographed in Moscow, Russia.

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