Igor Yevgenyevich Tamm, Russian physicist

Igor Yevgenyevich Tamm, Russian physicist

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Credit: EMILIO SEGRE VISUAL ARCHIVES/AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF PHYSICS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: Igor Yevgenyevich Tamm (1895-1971), Russian physicist and Nobel laureate. Tamm was educated at Moscow University. In 1953 he became an Academician of the USSR Academy of Sciences. Tamm shared the 1958 Nobel Prize for Physics with Pavel Alekseyevich Cherenkov and Ilya Mikhailovich Frank. The share of the Nobel was awarded for Tamm's work on the interpretation of the Cherenkov effect. Cherenkov's discovery, in 1934, found that a high-energy particle moving through water may exceed the velocity of light in that medium. When it does, it creates a "wake" of light, called Cherenkov radiation. Tamm also studied crystallo- optics, the theory of relativity, quantum mechanics, and thermonuclear reactions.

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