Moscow State University physics alumni and the Soviet Atomic Project

Russian Federation State Scientific Center A.I. Alikhanov Institute ofTheoretical and Experimental Physics, ul. Bolshaya Cheremushkinskaya 25, Moscow, 117259, Russian Federation

In this paper, two closely related themes are addressed: (1) the role that M V Lomonosov Moscow State University (MSU) played in training specialists in physics for the Soviet Atomic Project, and (2) what its alumni contributed to the development of thermonuclear weapons. In its earlier stages, the Soviet Atomic Project was in acute need of qualified personnel, without whom building nuclear and thermonuclear weapons would be an impossible task, and MSU became a key higher educational institution grappled with the training problem. The first part of the paper discusses the efforts of the leading Soviet scientists and leaders of FMD (First Main Directorate) to organize the training of specialists in nuclear physics at the MSU Physics Department and, on the other hand, to create a new Physics and Technology Department at the university. As a result, a number of Soviet Government’s resolutions were prepared and issued, part of which are presented in the paper and give an idea of the large-scale challenges this sphere of education was facing at the time. Information is presented for the first time on the early MSU Physics Department graduates in the structure of matter, being employed in the FMD organizations and enterprises from 1948 to 1951. The second part discusses the contribution to the development of thermonuclear weapons by the teams of scientists led by Academicians I E Tamm, A N Tikhonov, and I M Frank, and including MSU physics alumni. The paper will be useful to anyone interested in the history of Russian physics.

Text can be downloaded in Russian. English translation is available on IOP Science.
PACS: 01.65.+g, 28.70.+y (all)
DOI: 10.1070/PU2005v048n12ABEH002558
Citation: Kiselev G V "Moscow State University physics alumni and the Soviet Atomic Project" Phys. Usp. 48 1251–1263 (2005)
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:    « —   » 175 1343–1356 (2005); DOI: 10.3367/UFNr.0175.200512i.1343

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