Andrei Sakharov

Andrei Dmitrievich Sakharov (Russian: Андре́й Дми́триевич Са́харов; 21 May 1921 – 14 December 1989) was a Russian nuclear physicist, dissident, and activist for disarmament, peace and human rights.[1]

He became renowned as the designer of the Soviet Union's RDS-37, a codename for Soviet development of thermonuclear weapons. Sakharov later became an advocate of civil liberties and civil reforms in the Soviet Union, for which he faced state persecution; these efforts earned him the Nobel Peace Prize in 1975. The Sakharov Prize, which is awarded annually by the European Parliament for people and organizations dedicated to human rights and freedoms, is named in his honor.[2]

Andrei Sakharov
Андрей Сахаров
RIAN archive 25981 Academician Sakharov
Sakharov at a conference of the USSR Academy of Sciences on 1 March 1989
Native name
Андрей Дмитриевич Сахаров
Born21 May 1921
Died14 December 1989 (aged 68)
Moscow, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
ResidenceMoscow, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
Alma mater
Known for
Spouse(s)Klavdia Alekseyevna Vikhireva (1943–1969; her death)
Yelena Bonner (1972–1989; his death)
Scientific career
FieldsNuclear physics, physical cosmology


Sakharov was born in Moscow on May 21, 1921. His father was Dmitri Ivanovich Sakharov, a private school physics teacher and an amateur pianist.[3] His father later taught at the Second Moscow State University.[4] Andrei's grandfather Ivan had been a prominent lawyer in the Russian Empire who had displayed respect for social awareness and humanitarian principles (including advocating the abolition of capital punishment) that would later influence his grandson. Sakharov's mother was Yekaterina Alekseyevna Sakharova, a great-granddaughter of the prominent military commander Alexey Semenovich Sofiano (who was of Greek ancestry).[5][6] Sakharov's parents and paternal grandmother, Maria Petrovna, largely shaped his personality. His mother and grandmother were churchgoers; his father was a nonbeliever. When Andrei was about thirteen, he realized that he did not believe. However, despite being an atheist,[7] he did believe in a "guiding principle" that transcends the physical laws.[8]

Education and career

Sakharov entered Moscow State University in 1938. Following evacuation in 1941 during the Great Patriotic War (World War II), he graduated in Aşgabat, in today's Turkmenistan.[9] He was then assigned to laboratory work in Ulyanovsk. In 1943, he married Klavdia Alekseyevna Vikhireva, with whom he raised two daughters and a son. Klavdia would later die in 1969. He returned to Moscow in 1945 to study at the Theoretical Department of FIAN (the Physical Institute of the Soviet Academy of Sciences). He received his Ph.D. in 1947.[10]

Development of thermonuclear devices

After World War II, he researched cosmic rays. In mid-1948 he participated in the Soviet atomic bomb project under Igor Kurchatov and Igor Tamm. Sakharov's study group at FIAN in 1948 came up with a second concept in August–September 1948.[11] Adding a shell of natural, unenriched uranium around the deuterium would increase the deuterium concentration at the uranium-deuterium boundary and the overall yield of the device, because the natural uranium would capture neutrons and itself fission as part of the thermonuclear reaction. This idea of a layered fission-fusion-fission bomb led Sakharov to call it the sloika, or layered cake.[11] The first Soviet atomic device was tested on August 29, 1949. After moving to Sarov in 1950, Sakharov played a key role in the development of the first megaton-range Soviet hydrogen bomb using a design known as Sakharov's Third Idea in Russia and the Teller–Ulam design in the United States. Before his Third Idea, Sakharov tried a "layer cake" of alternating layers of fission and fusion fuel. The results were disappointing, yielding no more than a typical fission bomb. However the design was seen to be worth pursuing because deuterium is abundant and uranium is scarce, and he had no idea how powerful the US design was. Sakharov realised that in order to cause the explosion of one side of the fuel to symmetrically compress the fusion fuel, a mirror could be used to reflect the radiation. The details had not been officially declassified in Russia when Sakharov was writing his memoirs, but in the Teller–Ulam design, soft X-rays emitted by the fission bomb were focused onto a cylinder of lithium deuteride to compress it symmetrically. This is called radiation implosion. The Teller–Ulam design also had a secondary fission device inside the fusion cylinder to assist with the compression of the fusion fuel and generate neutrons to convert some of the lithium to tritium, producing a mixture of deuterium and tritium.[12][13] Sakharov's idea was first tested as RDS-37 in 1955. A larger variation of the same design which Sakharov worked on was the 50 Mt Tsar Bomba of October 1961, which was the most powerful nuclear device ever detonated.

Sakharov saw "striking parallels" between his fate and those of J. Robert Oppenheimer and Edward Teller in the US. Sakharov believed that in this "tragic confrontation of two outstanding people", both deserved respect, because "each of them was certain he had right on his side and was morally obligated to go to the end in the name of truth." While Sakharov strongly disagreed with Teller over nuclear testing in the atmosphere and the Strategic Defense Initiative, he believed that American academics had been unfair to Teller's resolve to get the H-bomb for the United States since "all steps by the Americans of a temporary or permanent rejection of developing thermonuclear weapons would have been seen either as a clever feint, or as the manifestation of stupidity. In both cases, the reaction would have been the same – avoid the trap and immediately take advantage of the enemy's stupidity."

Sakharov never felt that by creating nuclear weapons he had "known sin", in Oppenheimer's expression. He later wrote:

After more than forty years, we have had no third world war, and the balance of nuclear terror ... may have helped to prevent one. But I am not at all sure of this; back then, in those long-gone years, the question didn't even arise. What most troubles me now is the instability of the balance, the extreme peril of the current situation, the appalling waste of the arms race ... Each of us has a responsibility to think about this in global terms, with tolerance, trust, and candor, free from ideological dogmatism, parochial interests, or national egotism."

— Andrei Sakharov[14]

Support for peaceful use of nuclear technology

In 1950 he proposed an idea for a controlled nuclear fusion reactor, the tokamak, which is still the basis for the majority of work in the area. Sakharov, in association with Tamm, proposed confining extremely hot ionized plasma by torus shaped magnetic fields for controlling thermonuclear fusion that led to the development of the tokamak device.[15]

Magneto-implosive generators

In 1951 he invented and tested the first explosively pumped flux compression generators,[16] compressing magnetic fields by explosives. He called these devices MK (for MagnetoKumulative) generators. The radial MK-1 produced a pulsed magnetic field of 25 megagauss (2500 teslas). The resulting helical MK-2 generated 1000 million amperes in 1953.

Sakharov then tested a MK-driven "plasma cannon" where a small aluminum ring was vaporized by huge eddy currents into a stable, self-confined toroidal plasmoid and was accelerated to 100 km/s.[17] Sakharov later suggested replacing the copper coil in MK generators with a large superconductor solenoid to magnetically compress and focus underground nuclear explosions into a shaped charge effect. He theorized this could focus 1023 protons per second on a 1 mm2 surface.

Particle physics and cosmology

After 1965 Sakharov returned to fundamental science and began working on particle physics and physical cosmology.[18] [19] [20] [21] [22] [23] [24] [25] [26] [27][28][29][30][31][32]

2D didactic image of Sakharov's twin universe model
2D didactic image of Sakharov's model of the universe with reversal of the arrow of time

He tried to explain the baryon asymmetry of the universe; in that regard, he was the first to propose proton decay and to consider CPT-symmetric events occurring before the Big Bang:

We can visualize that neutral spinless maximons (or photons) are produced at ''t'' < 0 from contracting matter having an excess of antiquarks, that they pass "one through the other" at the instant ''t'' = 0 when the density is infinite, and decay with an excess of quarks when ''t'' > 0, realizing total CPT symmetry of the universe. All the phenomena at t < 0 are assumed in this hypothesis to be CPT reflections of the phenomena at t > 0.[20]

His legacy in this domain are the famous conditions named after him:[20] Baryon number violation, C-symmetry and CP-symmetry violation, and interactions out of thermal equilibrium.

Sakharov was also interested in explaining why the curvature of the universe is so small. This lead him to consider cyclic models, where the universe oscillates between contraction and expansion phases.[30][29] In those models, after a certain number of cycles the curvature naturally becomes infinite even if it had not started this way: Sakharov considered three starting points, a flat universe with a slightly negative cosmological constant, a universe with a positive curvature and a zero cosmological constant, and a universe with a negative curvature and a slightly negative cosmological constant. Those last two models feature what Sakharov calls a reversal of the time arrow, which can be summarised as follow. He considers times t > 0 after the initial Big Bang singularity at t = 0 (which he calls "Friedman singularity" and denotes Φ) as well as times t < 0 before that singularity. He then assumes that entropy increases when time increases for t > 0 as well as when time decreases for t < 0, which constitutes his reversal of time. Then he considers the case when the universe at t < 0 is the image of the universe at t > 0 under CPT symmetry but also the case when it is not so: the universe has a non-zero CPT charge at t = 0 in this case. Sakharov considers a variant of this model where the reversal of the time arrow occurs at a point of maximum entropy instead of happening at the singularity. It should be noted that in those models there is no dynamic interaction between the universe at t < 0 and t > 0.

In his first model the two universes did not interact, except via local matter accumulation whose density and pressure become high enough to connect the two sheets through a bridge without spacetime between them, but with a continuity of geodesics beyond the Schwarzschild radius with no singularity, allowing an exchange of matter between the two conjugated sheets, based on an idea after Igor Dmitriyevich Novikov.[33] Novikov called such singularities a collapse and an anticollapse, which are an alternative to the couple black hole and white hole in the wormhole model. Sakharov also proposed the idea of induced gravity as an alternative theory of quantum gravity.[34]

Turn to activism

Since the late 1950s Sakharov had become concerned about the moral and political implications of his work. Politically active during the 1960s, Sakharov was against nuclear proliferation. Pushing for the end of atmospheric tests, he played a role in the 1963 Partial Test Ban Treaty, signed in Moscow.

Sakharov was also involved in an event with political consequences in 1964, when the USSR Academy of Sciences nominated for full membership Nikolai Nuzhdin, a follower of Trofim Lysenko (initiator of the Stalin-supported anti-genetics campaign Lysenkoism). Contrary to normal practice Sakharov, a member of the Academy, publicly spoke out against full membership for Nuzhdin, holding him responsible for "the defamation, firing, arrest, even death, of many genuine scientists."[35]:109 In the end, Nuzhdin was not elected, but the episode prompted Sergei Khrushchev to order the KGB to gather compromising material on Sakharov.[35]:109

The major turn in Sakharov's political evolution came in 1967, when anti-ballistic missile defense became a key issue in US–Soviet relations. In a secret detailed letter to the Soviet leadership of July 21, 1967, Sakharov explained the need to "take the Americans at their word" and accept their proposal for a "bilateral rejection by the USA and the Soviet Union of the development of antiballistic missile defense", because otherwise an arms race in this new technology would increase the likelihood of nuclear war. He also asked permission to publish his manuscript (which accompanied the letter) in a newspaper to explain the dangers posed by this kind of defense. The government ignored his letter and refused to let him initiate a public discussion of ABMs in the Soviet press.[36][37]

In May 1968 Sakharov completed an essay entitled "Reflections on Progress, Peaceful Coexistence, and Intellectual Freedom". In it, he described the anti-ballistic missile defense as a major threat of world nuclear war. After this essay was circulated in samizdat and then published outside the Soviet Union,[38] Sakharov was banned from conducting any military-related research and returned to FIAN to study fundamental theoretical physics.

Over the next twelve years, until his exile to Gorky (Nizhny Novgorod) in January 1980, Andrei Sakharov assumed the role of a widely recognized and open dissident in Moscow.[39]:21 He stood vigil outside closed courtrooms, wrote appeals on behalf of more than two hundred individual prisoners, and continued to write essays about the need for democratization.[39]:21

In 1970 Sakharov was among the three founding members of the Committee on Human Rights in the USSR along with Valery Chalidze and Andrei Tverdokhlebov.[39]:21 The Committee wrote appeals, collected signatures for petitions and succeeded in affiliating with several international human rights organizations. Its work was the subject of many KGB reports and brought Sakharov under increasing pressure from the government.[15]

Sakharov married a fellow human rights activist, Yelena Bonner, in 1972.[40]

By 1973 Sakharov was meeting regularly with Western correspondents, holding press conferences in his apartment.[39]:21 He appealed to the U.S. Congress to approve the 1974 Jackson-Vanik Amendment to a trade bill, which coupled trade tariffs to the Kremlin's willingness to allow freer emigration.[39]:24

Attacked by Soviet establishment, 1972 onwards

Meiman dissidents
Sakharov with Naum Meiman, Sofiya Kallistratova, Petro Grigorenko, his wife Zinaida Grigorenko, Tatyana Velikanova's mother, the priest Father Sergei Zheludkov; in the lower row are Genrikh Altunyan and Alexander Podrabinek. Photo taken on 16 October 1977.[41]

In 1972 Sakharov became the target of sustained pressure from his fellow scientists in the USSR Academy of Sciences, the Soviet press. The writer Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, sprang to his defence.[42]

In 1973 and 1974, the Soviet media campaign continued, targeting both Sakharov and Solzhenitsyn. While Sakharov disagreed with Solzhenitsyn's vision of Russian revival, he deeply respected him for his courage.

Sakharov later described that it took "years" for him to "understand how much substitution, deceit, and lack of correspondence with reality there was" in the Soviet ideals. "At first I thought, despite everything that I saw with my own eyes, that the Soviet State was a breakthrough into the future, a kind of prototype for all countries". Then he came, in his words, to "the theory of symmetry: all governments and regimes to a first approximation are bad, all peoples are oppressed, and all are threatened by common dangers."[14]

After that he realized that there is not much

"symmetry between a cancer cell and a normal one. Yet our state is similar to a cancer cell – with its messianism and expansionism, its totalitarian suppression of dissent, the authoritarian structure of power, with a total absence of public control in the most important decisions in domestic and foreign policy, a closed society that does not inform its citizens of anything substantial, closed to the outside world, without freedom of travel or the exchange of information." [14]

Sakharov's ideas on social development led him to put forward the principle of human rights as a new basis of all politics. In his works he declared that "the principle 'what is not prohibited is allowed' should be understood literally", defying what he saw as unwritten ideological rules imposed by the Communist party on the society in spite of a democratic (1936) USSR Constitution.

In no way did Sakharov consider himself a prophet or the like:

"I am no volunteer priest of the idea, but simply a man with an unusual fate. I am against all kinds of self-immolation (for myself and for others, including the people closest to me)."[14]

In a letter written from exile, he cheered up a fellow physicist and human rights activist with the words: "Fortunately, the future is unpredictable and also – because of quantum effects – uncertain." For Sakharov the indeterminacy of the future supported his belief that he could, and should, take personal responsibility for it.

Nobel Peace Prize (1975)

In 1973, Sakharov was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize and in 1974 was awarded the Prix mondial Cino Del Duca.

Sakharov was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1975. The Norwegian Nobel Committee called him "a spokesman for the conscience of mankind".[2] In the words of the Nobel Committee's citation: "In a convincing manner Sakharov has emphasised that Man's inviolable rights provide the only safe foundation for genuine and enduring international cooperation."[14]

Sakharov was not allowed to leave the Soviet Union to collect the prize. His wife Yelena Bonner read his speech at the ceremony in Oslo, Norway.[43][44] On the day the prize was awarded, Sakharov was in Vilnius, where human rights activist Sergei Kovalev was being tried.[45] In his Nobel lecture, titled "Peace, Progress, Human Rights", Sakharov called for an end to the arms race, greater respect for the environment, international cooperation, and universal respect for human rights. He included a list of prisoners of conscience and political prisoners in the USSR, stating that he shares the prize with them.[44]

By 1976 the head of the KGB Yuri Andropov was prepared to call Sakharov "Domestic Enemy Number One" before a group of KGB officers.[39]:24

Internal exile (1980–1986)

The apartment building in the Scherbinki district of Nizhny Novgorod where Sakharov lived in exile from 1980 to 1986. His apartment is now a museum.

Sakharov was arrested on 22 January 1980, following his public protests against the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan in 1979, and was sent to the city of Gorky, now Nizhny Novgorod, a city that was off limits to foreigners.[46]

Between 1980 and 1986, Sakharov was kept under Soviet police surveillance. In his memoirs he mentions that their apartment in Gorky was repeatedly subjected to searches and heists. Sakharov was named the 1980 Humanist of the Year by the American Humanist Association.[47]

In May 1984, Sakharov's wife, Yelena Bonner, was detained and Sakharov began a hunger strike, demanding permission for his wife to travel to the United States for heart surgery. He was forcibly hospitalized and force-fed. He was held in isolation for four months. In August 1984 Bonner was sentenced by a court to five years of exile in Gorky.

In April 1985, Sakharov started a new hunger strike for his wife to travel abroad for medical treatment. He again was taken to a hospital and force-fed. In August the Politburo discussed what to do about Sakharov.[48] He remained in the hospital until October 1985 when his wife was allowed to travel to the United States. She had heart surgery in the United States and returned to Gorky in June 1986.

In December 1985, the European Parliament established the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, to be given annually for outstanding contributions to human rights.[49]

On 19 December 1986, Mikhail Gorbachev, who had initiated the policies of perestroika and glasnost, called Sakharov to tell him that he and his wife could return to Moscow.[50]

Political leader

In 1988, Sakharov was given the International Humanist Award by the International Humanist and Ethical Union.[51] He helped to initiate the first independent legal political organizations and became prominent in the Soviet Union's growing political opposition. In March 1989, Sakharov was elected to the new parliament, the All-Union Congress of People's Deputies and co-led the democratic opposition, the Inter-Regional Deputies Group. In November the head of the KGB reported to Mikhail Gorbachev on Sakharov's encouragement and support for the coal-miners' strike in Vorkuta.[52]


People gathered at the grave of Andrei Sakharov, 1990
Sakharov's grave, 1990

Soon after 21:00 on 14 December 1989, Sakharov went to his study to take a nap before preparing an important speech he was to deliver the next day in the Congress. His wife went to wake him at 23:00 as he had requested but she found Sakharov dead on the floor. According to the notes of Yakov Rapoport, a senior pathologist present at the autopsy, it is most likely that Sakharov died of an arrhythmia consequent to dilated cardiomyopathy at the age of 68.[53] He was interred in the Vostryakovskoye Cemetery in Moscow.


Memorial prizes

The Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought was established in 1988 by the European Parliament in his honour, and is the highest tribute to human rights endeavours awarded by the European Union. It is awarded annually by the parliament to "those who carry the spirit of Soviet dissident Andrei Sakharov"; to "Laureates who, like Sakharov, dedicate their lives to peaceful struggle for human rights."[54]

An Andrei Sakharov prize has also been awarded by the American Physical Society every second year since 2006 "to recognize outstanding leadership and/or achievements of scientists in upholding human rights".

The Andrei Sakharov Prize For Writer's Civic Courage was established in October 1990.[55]

In 2004, with the approval of Yelena Bonner, an annual Sakharov Prize for journalism was established for reporters and commentators in Russia. Funded by former Soviet dissident Pyotr Vins,[56] now a businessman in the US, the prize is administered by the Glasnost Defence Foundation in Moscow. The prize "for journalism as an act of conscience" has been won over the years by famous journalists such as Anna Politkovskaya and young reporters and editors working far from Russia's media capital, Moscow. The 2015 winner was Yelena Kostyuchenko.[57]

Andrei Sakharov Archives and Human Rights Center

The Andrei Sakharov Archives and Human Rights Center, established at Brandeis University in 1993, are now housed at Harvard University.[58] The documents from that archive were published by the Yale University Press in 2005.[59] These documents are available online.[60] Most of documents of the archive are letters from the head of the KGB to the Central Committee about activities of Soviet dissidents and recommendations about the interpretation in newspapers. The letters cover the period from 1968 to 1991 (Brezhnev stagnation). The documents characterize not only Sakharov's activity, but that of other dissidents, as well as that of highest-position apparatchiks and the KGB. No Russian equivalent of the KGB archive is available.

Legacy and remembrance


Andrei Sakharov-IMG 0887-raffi kojian
A statue of Andrei Sakharov in Yerevan, Armenia
A portrait Andrey Sakharov by Dmitry Vrubel, as restored in July 2009
"Thank you Andrei Sakharov" mural on the Berlin Wall
1991 CPA 6322
Andrei Sakharov on Soviet Nobel Peace Prize winners, the USSR stamp issued on 14 May 1991


  • In the 1984 made-for-TV film Sakharov starring Jason Robards.
  • In the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation, one of the Enterprise-D's Shuttlecraft is named after Sakharov, and is featured prominently in several episodes. This follows the Star Trek tradition of naming Shuttlecraft after prominent scientists, and particularly in The Next Generation, physicists.
  • The fictitious interplanetary spacecraft Cosmonaut Alexei Leonov from the novel 2010: Odyssey Two by Arthur C. Clarke is powered by a "Sakharov drive". The novel was published in 1982, when Sakharov was in exile in Nizhny Novgorod, and was dedicated both to Sakharov and to Alexei Leonov.
  • Russian singer Alexander Gradsky wrote and performed the song "Памяти А. Д. Сахарова" ("In memory of Andrei Sakharov"), which features on his Live In "Russia" 2 (Живем в "России" 2) CD.[65]

Honours and awards

In 1980, Sakharov was stripped of all Soviet awards for "anti-Soviet activities".[66] Later, during glasnost, he declined the return of his awards and, consequently, Mikhail Gorbachev did not sign the necessary decree.[67]



  • Sakharov, Andrei (1974). Sakharov speaks. Collins: Harvill Press. ISBN 978-0-00-262755-9.
  • Sakharov, Andrei (1975). My country and the world. Knopf. ISBN 978-0-394-40226-0.
  • Sakharov, Andrei (1978). Alarm and hope. The world-renowned Nobel laureate and political dissident speaks out on human rights, disarmament, and détente. Knopf. ISBN 978-0-394-50369-1.
  • Sakharov, Andrei (1982). Collected scientific works. Marcel Dekker Inc. ISBN 978-0-8247-1714-8.
  • Sakharov, Andrei (1991). Moscow and beyond: 1986 to 1989. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-394-58797-4.
  • Sakharov, Andrei (1992). Memoirs. Vintage. ISBN 978-0679735953.
  • Сахаров, Андрей (1996). Воспоминания. В 2 томах [Memoirs. In 2 volumes] (in Russian). Vol. 1. Moscow: Права человека. ISBN 978-5-7712-0011-8.CS1 maint: Ignored ISBN errors (link)
  • Сахаров, Андрей (1996). Воспоминания. В 2 томах [Memoirs. In 2 volumes] (in Russian). Vol. 2. Moscow: Права человека. ISBN 978-5-7712-0026-2.CS1 maint: Ignored ISBN errors (link)

Articles and interviews

See also


  1. ^ "Sakharov Human Rights Prize 25th anniversary marked in US". Voice of America. January 15, 2014.
  2. ^ a b "Andrei Sakharov: Soviet Physics, Nuclear Weapons and Human Rights".
  3. ^ "Andrei Sakharov – Biographical".
  4. ^ Sidney David Drell, Sergeǐ Petrovich Kapitsa, Sakharov Remembered: a tribute by friends and colleagues (1991), p. 4
  5. ^ Bonner, Yelena. Об А.Д. Сахарове (in Russian). Archived from the original on November 18, 2010. Retrieved November 2, 2009.
  6. ^ Греки в Красноярском крае (Материалы из книги И.Джухи "Греческая операция НКВД") (in Russian). Archived from the original on November 18, 2010. Retrieved November 2, 2009.
  7. ^ Gennady Gorelik; Antonina W. Bouis (2005). The World of Andrei Sakharov: A Russian Physicist's Path to Freedom. Oxford University Press. p. 356. ISBN 9780195156201. Apparently Sakharov did not need to delve any deeper into it for a long time, remaining a totally nonmilitant atheist with an open heart.
  8. ^ Sidney D. Drell, George P. Shultz. Andrei Sakharov: The Conscience of Humanity. Hoover Press. ISBN 9780817918965. I am unable to imagine the universe and human life without some guiding principle, without a source of spiritual 'warmth' that is nonmaterial and not bound by physical laws.
  9. ^ "Nobel Prize Laureates from MSU". Moscow State University. Retrieved October 8, 2017.
  10. ^ Mastin, Luke (2009). "Andrei Sakharov - Important Scientists". The Physics of the Universe. Retrieved October 8, 2017.
  11. ^ a b Zaloga, Steve (17 February 2002). The Kremlin's Nuclear Sword: The Rise and Fall of Russia's Strategic Nuclear Forces 1945–2000. Smithsonian Books. ISBN 1588340074.
  12. ^ Sakharov, Andrei (1992). Memoirs. Vintage. ISBN 978-0679735953.
  13. ^ Gorelik, Gennady; Bouis, Antonina (2005). The world of Andrei Sakharov: a Russian physicist's path to freedom. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0195156201.
  14. ^ a b c d e Gorelik, Gennady (2008). "Andrei Sakharov". In Koertge, Noretta (ed.). New dictionary of scientific biography. Detroit: Charles Scribner's Sons/Thomson Gale.
  15. ^ a b "Andrei Sakharov: Soviet Physics, Nuclear Weapons and Human Rights".
  16. ^ Sakharov, A. D. (January 1966). "Взрывомагнитные генераторы" (PDF). Uspekhi Fizicheskikh Nauk (in Russian). 88 (4): 725–734. doi:10.3367/ufnr.0088.196604e.0725. Translated as: Sakharov, A. D. (1966). "Magnetoimplosive generators". Soviet Physics Uspekhi. 9 (2): 294–299. Bibcode:1966SvPhU...9..294S. doi:10.1070/PU1966v009n02ABEH002876. Republished as: Sakharov, A. D.; et al. (1991). "Взрывомагнитные генераторы" (PDF). Uspekhi Fizicheskikh Nauk (in Russian). 161 (5): 51–60. doi:10.3367/UFNr.0161.199105g.0051. Translated as: Sakharov, A. D.; et al. (1991). "Magnetoimplosive generators". Soviet Physics Uspekhi. 34 (5): 387–391. Bibcode:1991SvPhU..34..385S. doi:10.1070/PU1991v034n05ABEH002495.
  17. ^ Sakharov, A. D. (December 7, 1982). Collected Scientific Works. Marcel Dekker. ISBN 978-0824717148.
  18. ^ Sakharov, A. D. (July 1965). "Начальная стадия расширения Вселенной и возникновение неоднородности распределения вещества". Pi'sma ZhÉTF (in Russian). 49 (1): 345–358. Translated as: Sakharov, A. D. (January 1966). [t "The Initial Stage of an Expanding Universe and the Appearance of a Nonuniform Distribution of Matter"] Check |url= value (help) (PDF). JETP. 22 (1): 241–249. Bibcode:1966JETP...22..241S.
  19. ^ Maximum temperature of thermal radiation, ZhETF Pis'ma 3 : 439-441 (1966) ; Tr. JETP Lett. 3 : 288-289 (1966)
  20. ^ a b c Sakharov, A. D. (January 1967). "Нарушение СР–инвариантности, С–асимметрия и барионная асимметрия Вселенной". Pi'sma ZhÉTF (in Russian). 5 (1): 32–35. Translated as: Sakharov, A. D. (January 1967). "Violation of CP invariance, C asymmetry, and baryon asymmetry of the universe" (PDF). JETP Letters. 5 (1): 24–26. Bibcode:1967JETPL...5...24S. Republished as Sakharov, A. D. (May 1991). "Violation of CP invariance, C asymmetry, and baryon asymmetry of the universe" (PDF). Soviet Physics Uspekhi. 34 (5): 392–393. Bibcode:1991SvPhU..34..392S. doi:10.1070/PU1991v034n05ABEH002497.
  21. ^ Sakharov, A. D. (January 1967). "Кварк–мюонные токи и нарушение СР–инвариантности". Pi'sma ZhÉTF (in Russian). 5 (1): 36–39. Translated as: Sakharov, A. D. (January 1967). "Quark-Muonic Currents and Violation of CP Invariance" (PDF). JETP Letters. 5 (1): 27–30. Bibcode:1967JETPL...5...27S.
  22. ^ Preprint Collection of the Institute for Applied Mathematics of the USSR Academy of Sciences "Gravitation and field theory", art.3, (oct. 1967)
  23. ^ Dokl. Akad. Nauk SSSR 177, 70 (1967) [trans. Sov. Phys.-Dokl. 12, 1040 (1968)]
  24. ^ Sakharov, A. D. (1969). "Антикварки во Вселенной" [Antiquarks in the Universe]. Problems in Theoretical Physics (in Russian): 35–44. Dedicated to the 30th anniversary of N. N. Bogolyubov.
  25. ^ Paper at seminar, Phys. Inst. Acad. Sci., June 1970
  26. ^ A multisheet Cosmological Model of the Universe, Preprint collection of the Institute for Applied Mathematics of the USSR Academy of Sciences, art.7, (1970)
  27. ^ Sakharov, A. D. (1972). "Топологическая структура элементарных зарядов и СРТ–симметрия" [The topological structure of elementary charges and CPT symmetry]. Problems in Theoretical Physics (in Russian): 243–247. Dedicated to the memory of I. E. Tamm.
  28. ^ Sakharov, A. D. (April 1979). "Барионная асимметрия Вселенной". Pi'sma ZhÉTF (in Russian). 76 (4): 1172–1181.Translated as: Sakharov, A. D. (April 1979). "The baryonic asymmetry of the Universe" (PDF). JETP Letters. 49 (4): 594–599.
  29. ^ a b Sakharov, A. D. (September 1980). "Космологические модели Вселенной с поворотом стрелы времени". Pi'sma ZhÉTF (in Russian). 79 (3): 689–693.Translated as: Sakharov, A. D. (September 1980). "Cosmological models of the Universe with reversal of time's arrow" (PDF). JETP Letters. 52 (3): 349–351.
  30. ^ a b Sakharov, A. D. (October 1982). "Многолистные модели Вселенной". Pi'sma ZhÉTF (in Russian). 82 (3): 1233–1240. Translated as: Sakharov, A. D. (October 1982). "Many-sheeted models of the Universe" (PDF). JETP. 56 (4): 705–709.
  31. ^ Sakharov, A. D. (August 1984). "Космологические переходы с изменением сигнатуры метрики". Pi'sma ZhÉTF. 87 (2): 375–383. Translated as: Sakharov, A. D. (August 1984). "Cosmological transitions with changes in the signature of the metric" (PDF). JETP. 60 (2): 214–218.
  32. ^ Sakharov, A. D. (September 1986). "Испарение черных мини–дыр и физика высоких энергий". Pi'sma ZhÉTF (in Russian). 44 (6): 295–298. Translated as: Sakharov, A. D. (September 1986). "Evaporation of black mini-holes and high-energy physics" (PDF). JETP Letters. 44 (6): 379–383. Bibcode:1986JETPL..44..379S.
  33. ^ Novikov, I. D. (March 1966). "The Disturbances of the Metric when a Collapsing Sphere Passes below the Schwarzschild Sphere" (PDF). JETP Letters. 3 (5): 142–144. Bibcode:1966JETPL...3..142N.
  34. ^ Sakharov, A. D. (1967). "Вакуумные квантовые флуктуации в искривленном пространстве и теория гравитации". Proceedings of the USSR Academy of Sciences (in Russian). 177 (1): 70–71. Translated as: Sakharov, A. D. (1991). "Vacuum Quantum Fluctuations in Curved Space and the theory of gravitation" (PDF). Soviet Physics Uspekhi. 34 (5): 394. Bibcode:1991SvPhU..34..394S. doi:10.1070/PU1991v034n05ABEH002498.
  35. ^ a b Crump, Thomas (2013). Brezhnev and the Decline of the Soviet Union. Routledge Studies in the History of Russia and Eastern Europe. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-134-66922-6.
  36. ^ Gennady Gorelik. The Metamorphosis of Andrei Sakharov. Scientific American, 1999, March.
  37. ^ Web exhibit "Andrei SAKHAROV: Soviet Physics, Nuclear Weapons, and Human Rights" at American Institute of Physics [1]
  38. ^ Initially on July 6, 1968, in the Dutch newspaper Het Parool through intermediary of the Dutch academic and writer Karel van het Reve, followed by The New York Times: "Outspoken Soviet Scientist; Andrei Dmitriyevich Sakharov". New York Times.
  39. ^ a b c d e f Rubenstein, Joshua; Gribanov, Alexander (2005). The KGB File of Andrei Sakharov. Joshua Rubenstein, Alexander Gribanov (eds.), Ella Shmulevich, Efrem Yankelevich, Alla Zeide (trans.). New Haven, CN. ISBN 978-0-300-12937-3.
  40. ^
  41. ^ Подрабинек, Александр (2014). Диссиденты [Dissidents] (in Russian). Moscow: АСТ. ISBN 978-5-17-082401-4.
  42. ^ "30.12 Materials about Sakharov". A Chronicle of Current Events. January 16, 2016.
  43. ^ Y.B. Sakharov: Acceptance Speech, Nobel Peace Prize, Oslo, Norway, December 10, 1975.
  44. ^ a b Y.B. Sakharov: Peace, Progress, Human Rights, Sakharov's Nobel Lecture, Nobel Peace Prize, Oslo, Norway, December 11, 1975.
  45. ^ Gorelik, Gennady (2005). The World of Andrei Sakharov: A Russian Physicist's Path to Freedom. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-534374-8.
  46. ^ “Andrei Sakharov From Exile – Banishment”, ‘’International League For Human Rights’’, (New York, Oct. 1983)
  47. ^ "Humanist of the Year". Archived from the original on January 14, 2013. Retrieved November 21, 2012.
  48. ^ The Bukovsky Archives, 29 August 1985.
  49. ^ "AIP_Sakharov_Photo_Chronology".
  50. ^ Michael MccGwire (1991). Perestroïka and Soviet national security. Brookings Institution Press. p. 275. ISBN 978-0-8157-5553-1.
  51. ^ "IHEU Awards | IHEU". IHEU. Retrieved December 2, 2018.
  52. ^ The Bukovsky Archives, 14 November 1989.
  53. ^ Coleman, Fred (1997). The Decline and Fall of the Soviet Empire: Forty Years That Shook the World, from Stalin to Yeltsin. New York: St. Martin's. p. 116.
  54. ^ "Sakharov Prize Network". European Parliament. Retrieved December 10, 2013.
  55. ^ "For Writer's Civic Courage" Archived May 26, 2008, at the Wayback Machine, Literaturnaya Gazeta, October 31, 1990
  56. ^ "No 49 : 14 May 1978". A Chronicle of Current Events. October 7, 2013.
  57. ^ "Glasnost defence foundation digest No. 734".
  58. ^ Harvard University. KGB file of Sakharov Archived May 16, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  59. ^ The KGB File of Andrei Sakharov. (edited by Joshua Rubenstein and Alexander Gribanov), New Haven: Yale University Press, 2005; ISBN 978-0-300-10681-7
  60. ^ The KGB File of Andrei Sakharov Archived May 21, 2007, at the Wayback Machine, online version with original texts and the English translations in English and in Russian (text version in Windows-1251 character encoding and the pictures of the original pages).
  61. ^ Washington's Sakharov Plaza: A Message to Russia, Toledo Blade, 27 August 1984. Retrieved May 2013
  62. ^ (in Russian). Photo exhibition "Sakharov Gardens" Archived September 27, 2007, at the Wayback Machine (
  63. ^ Aaron Curtiss (November 22, 1991). "Sakharov Junction". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles. Archived from the original on November 18, 2010. Retrieved September 14, 2010.
  64. ^ Anderson, Susan; Bird, David (August 10, 1984). "New York day by day; human rights reminder posted near Soviet mission". The New York Times.
  65. ^ "Alexander Gradsky official website" (in Russian). Retrieved February 3, 2013.
  66. ^ "Andrei Sakharov, 68, Soviet 'Conscience,' Dies". The New York Times. Retrieved March 24, 2018.
  67. ^ Gennady Gorelik, The World Of Andrei Sakharov, (Oxford: Oxford U. Press) 2005, pp. xv, 351-355

Further reading

External links


1979 Sakharov

1979 Sakharov, provisionally designated 2006 P-L, is a stony Vestian asteroid from the inner regions of the asteroid belt, approximately 4.5 kilometers in diameter. It was discovered during the Palomar–Leiden survey in 1960, and named after Russian physicist Andrei Sakharov.

Alexander Lavut

Alexander Pavlovich Lavut (Russian: Алекса́ндр Па́влович Лаву́т; 4 July 1929 – 23 June 2013) was a mathematician, dissident and a key figure in the civil rights movement in the Soviet Union.

Andrei Sakharov Freedom Award

The Andrei Sakharov Freedom Award, officially known as the Sakharov Freedom Award and named after Soviet scientist and dissident Andrei Sakharov, was established in 1980 by the Norwegian Helsinki Committee with the support and consent of Andrei Sakharov himself, to help people that because of their opinions, beliefs and conscience are persecuted or imprisoned.

The fund's assets are to be used for direct support to those persecuted in their home country, mainly by granting the Sakharov Freedom Award.

Andrei Sakharov Prize (APS)

The Andrei Sakharov Prize is a prize that is to be awarded every second year by the American Physical Society since 2006. The recipients are chosen for "outstanding leadership and/or achievements of scientists in upholding human rights". The prize is named after Andrei Sakharov (1921-1989), Soviet nuclear physicist, dissident and human rights activist; as of 2007 it is valued at $10,000.

Andrei Sakharov Prize For Writer's Civic Courage

The Andrei Sakharov Prize For Writer's Civic Courage (1990-2007) was an annual literary prize established in the Soviet Union by the "Writers in Support of Perestroika" association (also known as the "Aprel" (April) association) in October 1990. It ceased to exist in 2007 when the "Aprel" Association was wound up.

The first recipient was Lydia Chukovskaya. The last recipient was Galina Drobot, the editor-in-chief of the "Aprel" almanac. As the following list of recipients indicates, the prize was a "lifetime achievement" award and went to established figures. In this respect it differed from the Andrei Sakharov "Journalism as an Act of Conscience" Award, which was first awarded in 2004.

Andrei Tverdokhlebov

Andrei Nikolayevich Tverdokhlebov (Russian: Андре́й Никола́евич Твердохле́бов, 30 September 1940, Moscow – 3 December 2011, Pennsylvania, United States) was a Soviet physicist, dissident and human rights activist. In 1970, he founded - along with Valery Chalidze and Andrei Sakharov - the Committee on Human Rights in the USSR. In 1973, Tverdokhlebov - along with Valentin Turchin - founded the first chapter of Amnesty International in the Soviet Union. He also helped found Group 73, a human rights organization that helped political prisoners in the Soviet Union. He was the author/editor of several samizdat publications while in the Soviet Union, which were compiled in the book, "In Defense of Human Rights", published by Khronika Press, New York, in 1975.

Antonina W. Bouis

Antonina W. Bouis is a literary translator from Russian to English. She has been called "the best literary translator from Russian" by Publishers Weekly.

Committee on Human Rights in the USSR

The Committee on Human Rights in the USSR (Russian: Комите́т прав челове́ка в СССР) was founded in 1970 by dissident Valery Chalidze together with Andrei Sakharov and Andrei Tverdokhlebov.

Gennady Gorelik

Gennady Gorelik (born 1948, Lviv) is a research fellow at the Center for Philosophy and History of Science, Boston University. A physicist by education and historian by occupation, he published ten books and many articles on popular science and history of science, including in-depth biographies of 20th-century Russian physicists, Matvei Bronstein, Andrei Sakharov, and Lev Landau.

In his biography of Sakharov, he provides the documentary explanation of Sakharov's metamorphosis from a secret father of the Soviet H-bomb to most prominent advocate of human rights in the Soviet Union.In 1995, he received a Guggenheim Fellowship.

ISKRA lasers

The ISKRA-4 and ISKRA-5 lasers are lasers which were built by the Soviet Union at RFNC-VNIIEF in Arzamas-16 (Арзама́с-16) with the approximately 2 kJ output ISKRA-4 laser being completed in 1979 and the 30 kJ output ISKRA-5 laser which was completed in 1989. The main use for both lasers being the investigation into inertial confinement fusion, high energy density physics and nuclear weapons research. The Russian laser fusion program was first initiated on the suggestion of Andrei Sakharov in 1962 concerning the possibility that lasers may be capable of achieving the conditions for fusion in imploding spherically symmetrical fuel capsules.

Induced gravity

Induced gravity (or emergent gravity) is an idea in quantum gravity that space-time curvature and its dynamics emerge as a mean field approximation of underlying microscopic degrees of freedom, similar to the fluid mechanics approximation of Bose–Einstein condensates. The concept was originally proposed by Andrei Sakharov in 1967.


Kontinent was an émigré dissident journal which focused on the politics of the Soviet Union and its satellites. Founded in 1974 by writer Vladimir Maximov, its first editor-in-chief, it was published in German and Russian and later translated into English. A Norwegian edition, Kontinent Skandinavia, was published from 1979 to 1981.

Its Editorial Board included Raymond Aron, George Bailey, Saul Bellow, Józef Czapski, Robert Conquest, Milovan Djilas, Alexander Galich, Jerzy Giedroyc, Gustaw Herling-Grudzinski, Eugène Ionesco, Arthur Koestler, Naum Korzhavin, Mihajlo Mihajlov, Ludek Pachman, Alexander Sakharov, Alexander Schmemann, Zïnaida Schakovskoy, Wolf Siedler, Ignazio Silone, Strannik, and Carl-Gustav Ströhm.

This initial issue featured a debate between Andrei Sakharov and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn regarding Solzhenitsyn's Letter to the Soviet Leaders.

Lilia Shibanova

Lilia Shibanova is a Russian activist and is the head of the independent election monitoring group Golo. She was awarded the Andrei Sakharov Freedom Award.

Lydia Chukovskaya

Lydia Korneyevna Chukovskaya (Russian: Ли́дия Корне́евна Чуко́вская, IPA: [ˈlʲidʲɪjə kɐrˈnʲejɪvnə tɕʊˈkofskəjə] (listen); 24 March [O.S. 11 March] 1907 – February 8, 1996) was a Soviet writer, poet, editor, publicist, memoirist and dissident. Her deeply personal writings reflect the human cost of Soviet totalitarianism, and she devoted much of her career to defending dissidents such as Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and Andrei Sakharov. The daughter of the celebrated children's writer Korney Chukovsky, she was wife of scientist Matvei Bronstein, and a close associate and chronicler of the poet Anna Akhmatova.

She was the first recipient in 1990 of the new Andrei Sakharov Prize For Writer's Civic Courage.


Sakharov (feminine: Sakharova) (Russian: Сахаров, Сахарова) is a Russian surname, derived from the word "сахар" (sugar). Other spellings of the surname are Saharov / Saharova, Sakharoff , Saharoff.

The surname may refer to:

Aleksander Saharov (born 1982), Estonian professional footballer

Alexander Sakharoff was a Russian dancer, teacher, and choreographer

Alik Sakharov (born 1959), American television director.

Andrei Sakharov (1921–1989), Russian physicist and anti-Soviet dissident

Andrey Nikolayevich Sakharov (born 1930), Russian historian

Anton Sakharov (born 1982), Russian footballer

Berry Sakharof, Israeli rock guitarist, songwriter and singer

Gleb Sakharov (born 1988), Uzbek–French tennis player

Julia Sakharova, Russian violinist

Nikita Sakharov (1915–1945), Soviet Evenk writer

Sophrony (Sakharov), Christian monk, mystic and teacher

Vladimir Sakharov (born 1948), former Soviet footballer

Vladimir Viktorovich Sakharov (1853–1920), general of the Russian Imperial Army

Yuri Sakharov (1922–1981), Ukrainian chess master

Sakharov Center

The Sakharov Center (Russian: Са́харовский центр) is a museum and cultural center in Moscow devoted to protection of human rights in Russia and preserving the legacy of the prominent physicist and Nobel Prize winning human rights activist Andrei Sakharov. It was founded by the "Public Commission to Protect the Legacy of Andrei Sakharov", an international non-governmental organization established in 1990 through the efforts of Sakharov's widow Yelena Bonner and other Sakharov's friends and colleagues.

Sakharov Prize

The Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, commonly known as the Sakharov Prize, honours individuals and groups of people who have dedicated their lives to the defense of human rights and freedom of thought. Named after Russian scientist and dissident Andrei Sakharov, the prize was established in December 1988 by the European Parliament. A shortlist of nominees is drawn up annually by the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Committee on Development, with the winner announced in October. The prize is accompanied by a monetary award of €50,000. The first prize was awarded jointly to South African Nelson Mandela and Russian Anatoly Marchenko. The 1990 award was given to Aung San Suu Kyi, but she could not receive it until 2013 as a result of her political imprisonment in Burma. The prize has also been awarded to organisations, the first being the Argentine Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo in 1992. Five Sakharov laureates were subsequently awarded the Nobel Peace Prize: Nelson Mandela, Aung San Suu Kyi, Malala Yousafzai, Denis Mukwege, and Nadia Murad.Razan Zaitouneh (2011) was kidnapped in 2013 and is still missing. Nasrin Sotoudeh (2012) was released from prison in September 2013, but is still barred from leaving Iran, along with fellow 2012 laureate Jafar Panahi. The 2017 prize was awarded to the Democratic Opposition in Venezuela, under boycott of the European United Left/Nordic Green Left.

Yelena Bonner

Yelena Georgievna Bonner (Russian: Еле́на Гео́ргиевна Бо́ннэр; 15 February 1923 – 18 June 2011) was a human rights activist in the former Soviet Union and wife of the physicist Andrei Sakharov. During her decades as a dissident, Bonner was noted for her characteristic blunt honesty and courage.

Zoya Krakhmalnikova

Zoya Alexandrovna Krakhmalnikova (Russian: Зоя Александровна Крахмальникова; January 14, 1929 – April 17, 2008) was a Russian Christian writer, of Ukrainian origin. She was an activist and former Soviet dissident who was repeatedly arrested by the authorities of the former Soviet Union for her publications. She was a recipient of the Andrei Sakharov Prize For Writer's Civic Courage.

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