These Ukrainian scientists changed the world

Many probably do not know about it, but many scientists who deeply marked XXas well as centuries were born in the territories that today are part of Ukraine. Accuracy is important because some of them may, for other reasons, qualify as Russians or Poles in particular. Let’s see three examples.

Firstly, this is George Gamow, who was born on March 4, 1904 in Odessa and died on August 19, 1968 in Boulder, Colorado (USA), who is probably known to the general public primarily as one of the fathers of the theory of big Bang. Indeed, if everything really starts with Georges Lemaitre in the 1930s, which not only laid the foundations for the relativistic theory of the Big Bang, thereby anticipating work in cosmology Of so many researchers of the scale of Hawking, it is Gamow and his collaborators who develop the part concerning primordial nucleosynthesis, and foresee, in particular, in the case Ralph AlferExistence cosmic radiation the main thing.

From Big Bang to Life

If Gamow began to study science at Odessa University, then the turning point in his education will undoubtedly come when he arrives in St. Petersburg, where he becomes a friend and fellow student of the legendary Lev Landaualso a student at that time in the 1920s. Gamow originally wanted to work in the field general theory of relativity with Alexander Fridman, who, unfortunately, died a few months after Gamow’s arrival in September 1922.

This is finally with physical nuclear energy, for which Gamow would make a name for himself, in particular by discoveringtunnel effect in Quantum mechanicsone of the keys to understanding the originenergy from stars across reactions merger thermonuclear.

Gamow would leave the Soviet state and emigrate to the United States, leading him to work on the hydrogen bomb. In the early 1950s he, like Schrödinger, became interested in the physical and chemical nature of heredity, and some of his ideas were to influence, as in Schrödinger’s case, the discovery and work on the structure of heredity.DNA made Francis Crick and James Watson in 1953.

Georges Gamow was also a remarkable popularizer of science, especially through the book ” One, two, three… infinity “, which in a simpler form resembles the well-known work Roger PenroseDiscovery of the laws of the universe ”, but a number of works with Mr Tompkins.

Presentation of the life of Stanislav Ulam. For a fairly accurate French translation, click on the white box in the lower right corner. Polish subtitles should appear. Then click on the nut to the right of the rectangle, then on “Subtitles” and finally on “Translate automatically”. Select “French”. © IPTvPL

From set theory to the hydrogen bomb

Let’s now turn to the case of Stanisław Ulam, a brilliant mathematician who was born on April 13, 1909 in what is now Lvov, Ukraine, but was for a long time considered part of Poland under the name of Lvov.

Ulam was one of those universal geniuses, capable of making contributions to all areas, not only of mathematics, but of science in general. Futura dedicated to him Biography to which we refer you in addition to the video above. More recently, a film was dedicated to him, telling about when he discovers the key to the functioning of the hydrogen bomb in the United States.

1942, New Mexico. Stan Ulam, a Polish mathematician, joins a secret group of researchers from around the world to collaborate on building the hydrogen bomb. Far from his family, who remained in Europe and torn between ethical issues, scientific progress and political interests, he took part in a decisive episode in history. For a fairly accurate French translation, click on the white box in the lower right corner. After that, English subtitles should appear. Then click on the nut to the right of the rectangle, then on “Subtitles” and finally on “Translate automatically”. Select “French”. © Rezo Films

From Earth to the Moon

Let’s finish with Sergei Korolev, to whom we owe the success of the Soviet cosmonautics program after World War II, and who thus made possible the launch of the first Sputnik. Satellite 1 on October 4, 1957 and, of course, Gagarin’s flight on the Vostok 1 ship on April 12, 1961. Meanwhile, Korolev is also behind first lunar probes and on September 12, 1959, the Luna-2 probe rushes to the Moon, which it will reach first, breaking on its surface, to the east Mare Imbrium.

Sergey Korolyov was born on December 30, 1906 in Zhitomir, today in central Ukraine, and died on January 14, 1966 in Moscow. He began his scientific training at the Kiev Polytechnic Institute and completed it in Moscow, becoming an aeronautical engineer in 1929. The following year, he became interested in the takeoff thrust of aircraft using rocket engines. rocket fuel liquid, which will quickly lead him to research on rocket and rocket planes.

A victim of Stalin’s purges of the late 1930s, it was only after Stalin’s death and with the development of the first intercontinental ballistic missile, the progenitor of launchers, that it was able to truly show its potential. Union. Korolev will also be at the forefront of the Soviet manned lunar program and the Voskhod-2 mission, which was launched on March 18, 1965. astronaut Alexey Leonov become the first person in history to perform a spacewalk orbit around our planet.

He will not see the rest of the Queens, because in January 1966, suffering from Cancerhe died during the operation.

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