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Yakov Borisovich Zel'dovich Quotes


Yakov Borisovich Zel'dovich
  • Mini Bio
  • Name: Yakov Borisovich Zel'dovich
  • Born: 8th March 1914, Minsk, Russian Empire
  • Died: 2nd December 1987, Moscow, Soviet Union
  • Resting place: Novodevichy Cemetery, Moscow, Russia
  • Alma mater: Leningrad State University
  • Occupation: Astrophysicist and cosmologist
  • Awards: Stalin Prize (1943, 1949, 1951, 1953), Hero of Socialist Labour (1949, 1954 and 1956), Lenin Prize (1957) Order of the October Revolution (1962) Order of the Red Banner Dirac Medal (1985)
  • Best known for: His role in the development of the Soviet Union's nuclear bomb
  • Scroll down for full bio and many great quotes

"Without publicity there is no prosperity"

Yakov Borisovich Zel'dovich

"GTR is a theory of gravitation; it describes gravitation as the action of masses upon the properties of space and time; in turn, these properties of space and time affect the motion of bodies and other physical processes"

Yakov Borisovich Zel'dovich

"Figuratively speaking, the world is multicolored; and the gravitational field produces only a black and white photograph of it, which cannot do justice to the stormy colors of nature"

Yakov Borisovich Zel'dovich

"GTR has an extreme inner beauty and elegance; the construction of the GTR required the introduction of only one constant - the constant of gravitation"

Yakov Borisovich Zel'dovich

"In the case of gravitational waves from double stars, one must take account of their strictly periodic character, such waves are not chaotic"

Yakov Borisovich Zel'dovich

"Roughly speaking, the electromagnetic field has energy; and this energy has weight, like any other energy"

Yakov Borisovich Zel'dovich

"The resemblance between the Coulomb force and Newton's gravitational force is very impressive"

Yakov Borisovich Zel'dovich

"If Landau would have been here he would have stopped you after twenty seconds"

Yakov Borisovich Zel'dovich

"Nobody will notice me in the first row"

Yakov Borisovich Zel'dovich

"Not just 'thanks'! These are fifty years of my work"

Yakov Borisovich Zel'dovich

"As a theoretical physicist, I consider myself a student of Lev Davidovich Landau"

Yakov Borisovich Zel'dovich

"What use is it to study abstractly? You should find and solve some problem, that way you'll really learn"

Yakov Borisovich Zel'dovich

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Yakov Borisovich Zel'dovich Biography

Yakov Borisovich Zel'dovich was an eminent Soviet astrophysicist who played a key role in developing the hydrogen bomb for the Soviet Union.

Although Zel'dovich was born in Minsk in what in the present day is called Belarus his family moved to Leningrad (now known as St Petersburg) where he remained until being evacuated to Kazan as the Adolf Hitler German army approached in WWII.



In 1942 Joseph Stalin appointed Zel'dovich to work with Igor Kurchatov and Andrei Sakharov in a secret team to develop bomb and by 1949 the Soviet scientists had successfully tested their hydrogen bomb

After his contribution to the Soviet nuclear project Yakov Borisovich Zel'dovich went on to work in the fields of particle physics, astrophysics, cosmology and even into Albert Einstein's general theories of relativity whereby his overall contribution to twentieth century science is described as immense.

He was a straight talker and a problem solver described as a genius by Igor Kurchatov, so here is my list of 12 of the best Yakov Borisovich Zel'dovich quotes.

Quotes About Yakov Borisovich Zel'dovich

The Italian physicist Ignazio Ciufolini talked pancake theory: "Regarding the study of the universe on scales of less than... 108 lt-yr... The "top-down"... or "pancake" theory of Zel'dovich et al... predicts that pancakes of gas comparable to a supercluster were formed first... then galaxies... formed by fragmentation... into high-density regions... along lines, filaments and points"

The scientist Mark A. Scheel shared this assessment: "In 1970 Zel’dovich showed that, astrophysically, pressure halts the collapse before the infinities but after the pancake structure has been strongly established. A few years later Zel’dovich realized that these pancakes, seen edge on, are filamentary structures that astronomers observe in the distribution of galaxies on the sky"

The theoretical physicist Kip S. Thorne was praiseful with his words: "In our scientific and technological age Ya. B. Zel’dovich is one of those rare and valuable properties that every university and research establishment yearns for: a great physicist who is equally at home in laboratory discussions of experimental techniques, in the rarefied atmosphere of nuclear theory and elementary-particle theory, or in technology-oriented studies of shock waves and other explosive phenomena. To all these disciplines and others Zel’dovich has made fundamental contributions."


Yakov Borisovich Zel'dovich quote