“…this should not minimize our sacred endeavors in this world of ours, where, like faint glimmers of light in the dark, we have emerged for a moment from the nothingness of dark unconsciousness of material existence. We must make good the demands of reason and create a life worthy of ourselves and of the goals we only dimly perceive.”

Andrei SAKHAROV (1921 – 1989) was a brilliant Soviet physicist who became, in the words of the Nobel Prize Committee, “a spokesman for the conscience of mankind”. He was fascinated by fundamental physics and cosmology, but first he spent two decades designing nuclear weapons. He came to be regarded as “the father of the Soviet hydrogen bomb,” contributing perhaps more than anyone else to the military might of the USSR. But gradually Sakharov became one of the regime’s most courageous critics, a defender of human rights and democracy.

Dr. Sakharov’s main scientific interests included plasma physics, magnetohydrodynamics (MHD), controlled thermonuclear fusion, particle physics, astrophysics, gravitation, and cosmology.