Conferences and symposia. A.D. Sakharov's 90th birthday commemoration
A D Sakharov: personality and fate
V.I. Ritus Lebedev Physical Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, Leninsky prosp. 53, Moscow, 119991, Russian Federation
A D Sakharov was an amazingly gifted person for whom, with his combined talents as a physicist and inventor, “physical laws and the relation among phenomena were directly visualized and tangible in all their inherent simplicity” (I E Tamm). The author of the key ideas involved in the hydrogen weapons and fusion reactor programs, and well aware of his scientific and public status, Sakharov was, nevertheless, a modest and highly decent man, always trustful of people in discussing their or his problems. Although his greatest satisfaction lay in successfully solving fundamental problems in physics and cosmology, fate and duty made him turn to matters of universal human significance, particularly human rights, to the gruelling struggle to which he devoted many years of his life.