Other than the obligatory course in high school, most people probably haven’t thought a lot about physics in their lifetimes. Although the structure of matter may not excite you in the very least, one man made it his life. So much so that he became known as the “father of the atomic bomb.”
This Soviet physicist was seriously dedicated
Andrei Sakharov was born in 1921 to a physics teacher, so it’s no shocker that he became talented at his craft.
His father would let him tag along when he went to the lab. As a young kid, Sakharov would have definitely aced any required high school psychics course.
Sakharov was bound to make some huge scientific discoveries—and let’s just say things got pretty explosive.
Okay, so maybe worldwide destruction kind of explosive. No big deal.
He literally created the first atomic bomb
In the book of huge accomplishments, creating the atomic bomb is high on the list.
Sakharov was the man behind the RDS-37, the first two-stage hydrogen atomic bomb created by Russia.
Although this garnered Sakharov some notable awards—including being elected to the Soviet Academy of Sciences in 1953—he began to feel the moral repercussions of his actions. Creating an atomic bomb is no joke, and his moral compass was definitely in the right place.
He took a stand
Sakharov took an active role against the testing of nuclear weapons, and his plight reached the world stage.
He wrote letters to the Soviet government and his strong views urged him to write his most famous article, “Progress, Peaceful Coexistence and Intellectual Freedom,” in 1968.
The Russian government was obviously not pleased with this man’s urges to end the seemingly devastating arms race. He was ultimately banished with his wife to live 20 miles outside of Moscow.
Despite becoming a leper in the eyes of the Soviet regime, Sakharov received the Nobel Peace Prize on October 9, 1975. He was recognized for his resistance against the arms race—despite his isolation from the scientific community.
Going on a limb for what you love? This guy was literally the biggest pro in that department. Enough to win a Nobel Peace Prize.