SPUTNIK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SPUTNIK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Yakov Borisovich Zeldovich (1914-1987), Soviet physicist. Zeldovich joined the Soviet Atomic Project in 1943, working on nuclear weapons until 1963. From the 1950s onwards, he also worked on elementary particles, making several important predictions about meson and muon decay, as well as the behaviour of 'cold' neutrons. From the 1960s, he worked in astrophysics and cosmology, working on the large-scale structure of the universe, black holes, and predicting the Sunyaev-Zeldovich effect concerning the cosmic background radiation. He received numerous awards, including three Orders of Lenin (1949, 1962 and 1974) and the Kurchatov Medal (1977). An asteroid has been named in his honour. Photographed in Russia in 1985.
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