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Person: Ambartsumian, Victor Amazaspovich
Viktor Ambartsumian was an Armenian astrophysicist who was born in what is now Georgia. He was one of the founders of theoretical astrophysics and worked in the field of the physics of stars and nebulae.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- It was Amazasp who encouraged the development of Victor's aptitude for mathematics and physics.
- Ambartsumian loved mathematics and became interested in astronomy at the age of twelve after reading a Russian translation of The Planetary and Stellar Worlds (1848) by Ormsby McKnight Mitchel (1809-1862).
- His teacher at the Gymnasium wrote on one of his reports, "this boy can become in future the founder of an astronomical observatory in Armenia." Ambartsumian gave lectures on astronomy while at the Gymnasium and, discovering that a Moscow trained astronomer Nikolai Ignatevich Sudakov was teaching at another Tiflis school he transferred there.
- Ambartsumian completed the Gymnasium courses rapidly and graduated before his sixteenth birthday.
- In 1925, Ambartsumian entered into the University of Leningrad (what is now known as the St Petersburg State University), as an undergraduate, hoping to devote his life's work to the research of astrophysics.
- Ambartsumian published a paper devoted to sun jets in 1926, Eine Methode der Bestimmung der Hole der Sonnenfackeln nach der Veranderung ihrer Helligkeit Ⓣ(A method of determining the hole of a sun jet after changing its brightness), the first of ten papers that he would publish as an undergraduate.
- Ambartsumian continued to undertake research at the Observatory until 1931.
- After three years' affiliation with Leningrad University, Ambartsumian founded and headed the first astrophysics chair in 1934, making him a professor at the university.
- The War years provided obstacles for Ambartsumian and his work.
- Ambartsumian spent four years there directing the work of the laboratories working both on military problems and on the scattering of light.
- Between 1941 and 1943, Ambartsumian was appointed pro-rector of the University, and while in this role he developed his theory of the behaviour of light in a scattering medium of cosmic space.
- Ambartsumian returned to Armenia to become the first vice-president of the new Academy.
- Ambartsumian made Byurakan an internationally known scientific centre.
- Ambartsumian's work in this fascinating field has undoubtedly been one of the most powerful influences in stimulating modern research on stellar evolution and galactic structure.
- Ambartsumian also studied radio signals coming from outside the Milky Way.
- Ambartsumian succeeded Orbeli and became the longest serving president of the Academy, heading it from 1947 to 1993.
- During the subsequent years, although vigorously contesting the Executive Committee's decision, Ambartsumian did not fail to continue his support to the Union as the world-wide organisation embracing astronomers from all countries.
- A minor planet discovered in May 1972 by T M Smirnova at the Crimea Observatory was named after Ambartsumian (1905 Ambartsumian).
- Ambartsumian died on 12 August 1996 in Byurakan, and is buried next to the Grand Telescope Tower there.
- For the first time in 2010, the Viktor Ambartsumian International Prize was awarded.
Born 18 September 1908, Tiflis, Russian Empire, now Tbilisi, Georgia. Died 12 August 1996, Byurakan, Armenia.
View full biography at MacTutor
Tags relevant for this person:
Astronomy, Origin Georgia
Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive