Boris L. Altshuler[1]
P.N. Lebedev Physical Institute,
I.E. Tamm Theoretical Physics Department
 
Michael Vasiliev presenting the speaker:
Boris Altshuler was a participant of the Seminar of Theordep in the Lebedev Institute during decades. In January 1969 he defended his PhD Thesis in this Hall, although he did not work here at that time. Andrei Sakharov was one of his opponents at this defence and since then they were in close contacts in different fields for 20 years. During 5 years, in 1982-1987, Boris Altshuler was enforced to work as a street cleaner – as a result of pressure by authorities for his assistance to Sakharov and other repressed dissidents. Andrei Sakharov after his return from exile suggested in the Academy of Sciences taking Boris Altshuler to the Lebedev Institute and beginning with 1987 he has been working in the Theoretical Physics Department.
 
 
Andrei Sakharov as a physicist in all facets of his life Report at the Sakharov Memorial Session of the 4thInternational Sakharov Conference on Physics, May 18-23, 2009
 
 
Abstract
The main stages of life and activities of Andrei Sakharov are covered with an emphasize on his method of achieving the desirable non-trivial results. The analysis of Sakharov’s plural works and deeds shows that his method in science, in designing nuclear weapons, in defending human rights, in manufacturing world security was one and the same: he always  remained  a  man of exact  sciences,  a  physicist,  a  construction  engineer,  an implementor. The visible result may be the figures at the end of a formula-saturated paper or release of a victim of political repressions – no matter: in any case it was a sort of  scientific  research,  and  special  holism  of  Sakharov’s  mentality  proposed  the essentially unexpected steps to the solution which were at first often misunderstood or sometimes  even  shocking  for  his  contemporaries.  The  epigraph  of  this  Talk  is Sakharov’s motto: “Non-realized idea is not an idea yet”.
 
 
Contents
 
 
1. Introduction. Necessity to prevent thermonuclear Doomsday.
2. “Speaking horse”.
3. Igor Tamm. Niels Bohr and Arhimedes in Moscow. Vitali Ginzburg.
4. Making bombs. Who “hardens” and who “directs”?
5. Humor and Work.
6. One thousand years delayed crime and Moscow Test-Ban Treaty.
7. Pure science.
8. Pyotr Lebedev, FIAN, Klavdia Vikhireva, Elena Bonner.
Tatyana Yankelevich greets the Conference on behalf of Elena Bonner and reads her
Article “The Interregional Deputies Group and Andrei Sakharov”.
9. Comments to this Presentation: Sakharov’s last year.
10. Sakharov, Teller, Reagan.
11. Exile. The universal tool of “implosion” and Prince Rupert’s Drops phenomenon. Intuition and self-preservation instinct. Three general features of Sakharov’s approach.
12. “Beast in a skirt” and return to Moscow.
13. Photos with colleagues. Theordep, Matvei Bronstein, quantum gravity and Stalin’s purges.
14. “This is the miracle of science”.
 
 
 
 

 

Non-realized idea is not an idea yet
 
Andrei Sakharov

 

 
 
1 Сахаров Фото Юрия Роста.jpg
 
Fig. 1 Sakharov Andrei Dmitrievich, 21.05.1921 – 14.12.1989.
Photo by Yury Rost.
 
 
 
1.  Introduction. Necessity to prevent thermonuclear Doomsday.
 
 
 
Andrei Sakharov was one of the most outstanding personalities of the XXth century. A high-rate physicist-theorist and brilliant constructor, who has become an Academician at 32. “Father” of the Soviet H-bomb in 1950s and Nobel Peace Prize Winner in 1975. Famous human rights champion, non-formal leader of the Soviet dissidents whose non-violence opposition won after all over extremely violent communist regime. It is really a miracle of the history that Sakharov’s idea of the intimate connection of observation of individual human rights on the one hand and world  security on the  other  proved  to  be  working.  Thanks  to  Sakharov’s  public  activities Mankind drew back from the brink of thermonuclear precipice. Sakharov not once repeated that nuclear balance of superpowers, menace of the guaranteed mutual suicide (so called Mutual Assured Destruction) was an important factor which prevented the Third World War. But on the other hand the accumulation of nuclear weapons made this balance more and more unstable.
 
 
Alexander Yakovlev, a former many years member of Politburo, one of the top Soviet leaders and Gorbachev’s ally in making “Perestroika” was asked in 1994 by nuclear scientists Yury Smirnov (the one who together with Sakharov designed most powerful in history 50 Megatons

 

bomb  tested  at  Novaya  Zemlya  in  1961):  “If  all  this  fuss  about  possible  thermonuclear Doomsday was just a propaganda, a fraud, and in reality situation was more safe and under strong control ?”. And very well informed Soviet leader said: "I do not believe in mystical forces, though sometimes it seems to me, that some force stopped the most terrible. Mankind simply was lucky" ([1], p. 340).
 
 
Sakharov understood well this unbelievably high level of danger especially because he knew people around the Soviet nuclear button and practically absolute disconnection of their Olympus with reality. In the book «My Country and the World» published in the West in 1975 he warns that  Nixon-Brezhnev  agreement  on  the  limited  antimissile  defence  may  give  to  Soviet bureaucrats a free hand to begin the thermonuclear war (I explain: the agreement, discussed that time at the top level, supposed constructing rocket shields for two main towns in the USA and two in the USSR correspondingly). Sakharov writes about it: «Terrible suspicion creeps into the soul against one’s will, a scheme becomes patterned in one’s mind that with such a system of defence the major part of the territory and of the population of the country is sacrificed to the temptation of obtaining a decisive advantage of the first nuclear missile attack with the relative safety of the Moscow officials» [2]. Thus he had no illusions about these people and clearly saw that the precipice is here, nearby. To initiate the construction of more safe world relations meant to overcome the inertia of enormous bureaucratic system, and this was an extremely complex problem.  But  for  creative  people  like  those  in  this  Hall:  “the  more  complex  –  the  more interesting”. Sakharov did his best to work out the solution of the problem.
 
 
And for Sakharov himself it was not a simple process to evolve to the understanding cited above. Happily he was capable of creative evolution - for thinking and rethinking again and again the seemingly evident things and phenomena. Igor Tamm said about him: “He has a wonderful quality. He approaches any phenomenon anew, even if it has already been investigated twenty times and its nature has been established twenty times. He considers everything in  such a manner, as if he has a blank sheet of paper in front of him, and, owing to this, he makes striking discoveries” ([3], in the Chapter “Physicists about Sakharov”).
 
 
2.  “Speaking horse”
 
 
 
The first “brick” (or the first “formula” so to say) in this rebuilding the world to its more safe “phase state” was evidently to make those at the tops listen to you. One of the visible miracles, really strange  phenomenon,  was the  fact  that  for  a  quarter of a century Sakharov’s  voice penetrated to the highest political levels of the USSR and other great powers, his opinion – which was just an opinion of an independent expert – was attentively analyzed, his views and actions were considered in the most important decision makings. “You are on the top floor of the power”,  -  remarked  Lev  Altshuler  (my  father,  Sakharov’s  colleague  in  the  Soviet  nuclear

 

weapons program from its very beginning, one of the founders of the study of condensed matter under extremely high pressures in shock waves and Winner of the American Physical Society
1991 Award in this field) when he visited Sakharov on 10 January 1987 - soon after Gorbachev brought him and Elena Bonner back from exile and invited Sakharov to take part in the top level disarmament discussions. And Andrei Dmitrievich immediately responded to this my father’s remark: “I am not on the top floor. I am near the top floor, on the other side of the window”. This
Sakharov’s metaphor is mathematically exact.

 

 
 
 
2 Л.В.Альтшулер АД Сахаров 1987.JPG
 
Fig. 2. Lev Altshuler and Andrei Sakharov, Moscow, 10.01.1987.
 
 
“Why did you send your “Reflections” abroad?”, - Lev Altshuler asked Sakharov soon after New York Times published this famous Sakharov’s document in July 1968 and a great scandal in the Nuclear Center and essentially above burst out. “I decided to appeal to those who is ready to listen to me”, - was Sakharov’s answer, also exact. The point is that a year before Sakharov wrote the non-public Letter[2]  to the Communist  Party tops with the ideas like those in the “Reflections on Progress, Peaceful Coexistence, and Intellectual Freedom” later published in the West altogether in 20 million copies. And he did not receive any answer. Thus Soviet leadership did not react at all and then he made his views public. Many people around him considered this step of super-secret Sakharov, as well as many other his steps, absolutely crazy. “Sakharov is a speaking horse, but not all horses can speak”,  - used to  repeat Yakov Zel’dovich. “It  is a violation of the Law of conservation of energy”, etc.
 
However such marvelous “violations of the Law of conservation of energy” already happened before. Among the declassified documents of Nuclear Center Arzamas-16 (the Town of Sarov,
Soviet  Los-Alamos,  located  600  km.  East  from  Moscow)  there  is  the  Conclusion  of  the important Commission which came to Sarov from Moscow in November 1950 – in the depth of dreadful Stalin’s time. There are the following words in this document: “Chiefs of Labs Sakharov A.D. and Altshuler L.V. must be dismissed from the leadership of scientific collectives because they contest against the marxist-leninist elements of Soviet science” ([5], Vol. 2, Book 1, P. 73). All the leading scientists of the Nuclear Center, members of the Party or non-members like Andrei Sakharov and Lev Altshuler, were asked by Commission the same formal question “Do you agree with the politics of Communist Party?”, and only two expressed their disagreement with crackdown of genetics made by Stalin in 1948. This instruction - to dismiss Sakharov and Altshuler was never fulfilled. The athorities did not touch Sakharov at all, but Altshuler was doomed to banishing from the Nuclear Center with, as it could be guessed, subsequent inevitable arrest. It was solidarity of colleagues, including Sakharov, which prevented the banishment.
 
 
Thus we – physicists must realize that we are real force, strong force. It was solidarity of the world  scientific community which  in another  epoch helped to  survive Sakharov and other repressed Soviet scientists-dissidents. I take a chance to express gratitude to everybody who made this salutary contribution at that difficult time.
 
 
In the book “Facets of a Life. Reminiscences of colleagues about Sakharov” [6] compiled here in Theordep of FIAN and published in 1991, Lev Altshuler writes that his and Sakharov’s critical positions basically coincided but Sakharov went much further and globally deep in his critical review of the “first principles” of Soviet ideology. He also remembers there one real life episode which is quite demonstrative. It was in 1969, when they both already lived in Moscow, my father visited Sakharov to discuss some very critical Program of reforming the USSR   which was printed illegally and which my brother brought him from friends. Sakharov already knew the document and they discussed it openly being absolutely indifferent to the inevitable presence of the KGB “third party” which taped and listened through the walls every word pronounced in Sakharov’s  apartment.  But  when  Lev  Altshuler  began to  speak  about  their  previous  work Sakharov stopped him: “Let’s change the topic. I have clearance for secret information. You do too. But the people who are listening to our conversation do not have this clearance. We shall speak about something else” (Lev Altshuler, “Next to Sakharov”, in [6], P. 50-51).
 
3.  Igor Tamm. Niels Bohr and Arhimedes in Moscow. Vitaly Ginzburg.
 
Coming back to 1950s. Of course the reason why in Stalin’s time Sakharov and Altshuler were not punished for their opposition to the Party Line in biology was in the Bomb which Stalin vitally needed. Actually Bomb saved then all Soviet physics which was planned to be destroyed after biology. The theory of relativity and quantum mechanics were attacked as “idealistic”, “bourgeois”, contradicting the Great Teaching of Marx and Lenin. Lev Altshuler remembered


Igor Tamm’s great  indignation concerning the article of the well known Moscow physicist Dmitri Blokhintsev (who was Theordep member and hence Igor Tamm’s subordinate before the War) who published this sort of trash. Speaking about it at my father’s place in Sarov Igor Tamm severely smashed a chair against the floor and almost shouted: “He knows that this is a lie, but he
keeps writing it!” ([6], P. 48).

 

 
 
3 ИЕ Тамм.JPG
 
Fig. 3. Igor Tamm (1895-1971)
 
 

Igor Evgen’evich Tamm, Sakharov’s teacher, Nobel Prize Winner in Physics (1958) and for many years Chief of the Theoretical Physics Department of the Lebedev Institute. In 1950 he and Sakharov moved from Moscow to Sarov to continue there the creation of the Soviet H-bomb. And then they proposed the “magnetic  bottle”  to  hold  hot plasma  later  developed  by Lev Artsimovich and called Tokamak.  Fusion is perhaps the most realistic direction to resolve the growing energy problems of Mankind. This Spring, in April 2009, the extremely expensive International  project  ITER  targeted  at  constructing  huge  Tokamak  was  initiated,  Professor Christopher Llewellyn Smith spoke in this Hall about it last Sunday, on 17.06.2009, in his Public Lecture organized by The Dinasty Foundation in frames of this Conference. Professor Bruno Coppi who also takes part in our Conference advocates another, supposedly more cheap and effective development of Tokamak called Ignitor. Thus we see that Sakharov-Tamm 60-years old idea is still young. I note that in 1950s Sakharov also proposed the implosive method of receiving the super-high magnetic  fields called  “Magnetic Cumulation”.  This direction was elaborated by Alexander Pavlovsky and now it is actively developed in Russia and abroad.

 
 
 
Fig. 4. Niels Bohr and Igor Tamm, Lebedev Institute, May 1961.
 
 
In Fig. 4 are Niels Bohr and Igor Tamm in the Theoretical Physics Department in May 1961
 
when Bohr visited Russia. It was a year before Bohr passed away.
 
 
During this visit to Moscow, on the 7-th of May, Niels Bohr, his wife Margaret and son Aage Bohr took part in the great Festival called “Birthday of Arhimedes” invented and organized by students of the Physical Department of the Moscow University. In the beginning of 1960 at the X-th Komsomol (Communist Union of Young People) conference of the Physical Department students passed the Resolution: “To establish annual festival – The Day of Physicist. The Day of Physicist is the day of birth of Arhimedes. To enact that Arhimedes was born on 7 May 287
B.C.”.  With this they fixed the day of annual Festival.  It  lasted  during 10  years until the Communist Party authorities of the University prohibited it as “ideologically undesirable”. It was a fantastic event in May 1961.  I was there, and many of those who are now with us here at the Conference also were there among over a thousand students. There was a chariot (made from a properly decorated truck) on which Arhimedes (postgraduate Alexander Logginov) in an ancient Greek  tunic  and  with  a  laurel  wreath,  speaking  and  singing  through  the  loud  speaker, accompanied by Niels Bohr, Lev Landau and Igor Tamm slowly drove around the building of the Physical Department. And there was a great students’ performance on the steps of Physical Department. And in the evening of the same day, in the Big Hall of the Moscow University, quite an energetic and funny opera “Arhimedes” composed by students Valeryi Kaner  and Valeryi Milyaev was performed. The overcrowded hall periodically exploded with laughter, and every time after it, just when the hall calmed down Niels Bohr’s  well heard laughter followed. Landau and Tamm translated him the joke into both his ears and when he caught it he could not help  laughing  as  well,  but  there  was  a  certain  time  delay.  And  this  Niels  Bohr’s  laugh- intervention provoked a new burst of laughter of all the audience. An unforgettable scene. The opera speaks about difficulties in creating the Unified Field Theory and in its main song there are

 

the words: “Electron rotates around proton / This thing is called Bohr’s atom”. Niels Bohr did not want to say anything at the event, but having heard the opera he changed his mind, went to the stage and said some warm words to the students underlining that Unified Field Theory surely will be created if efforts are as strong and energetic as this students’ opera. The next day he read to the students of the Physical Department a Lecture on contemporary physics, complementarity etc.
 
 
And of course at this Festival the most popular through decades and generations Anthem of physics students of Russia called “Dubinushka”[3] was performed. This Anthem was composed in
1946 by Boris Bolotovsky, at that time the third year student of the University and later member of Theordep of the Lebedev Institute during 60 years. He is among us here in this Hall.
 
 
You can see two marble plaques at the main entrance of the Lebedev Institute – of Tamm and of
Sakharov. Both are from the Theoretical Physics Department.
 
 
Vitaly Ginzburg is another Nobel Prize Winner (2003) from Theordep of the Lebedev Institute. He is almost 93 now, he can not walk, but he is young and strong in his soul and brain. He was again  elected  a  Chief  Editor  of  Sov.  Phys.  Uspekhi  recently.  Already  this  year  he  gave impressive 30-40 minutes Talks dedicated to 90 years of Uspekhi and on some other important occasions. The Talks were filmed at his home and shown here in this Hall on the Screen. He is also quite active publicly. It was his initiative directed to President of Russia which triggered the State financing of creation of Lab on studying high-temperature superconductivity.  And he recently raised his voice in defence of imprisoned scientists falsely accused by secret services in espionage.
 
 
4.   Making bombs. Who “hardens” and who “directs”?
 
 
Fig. 5 shows young Sakharov and Ginzburg when here at the Lebedev Institute they, together with colleagues, worked out the first Soviet Hydrogen bomb based upon two ideas: the First Idea was Sakharov’s Sloika (to place needed substance in spherical layers, in Russian “sloi” – this was alternative to the dead alley Tube worked out by Zel’dovich) and the Second Idea was Ginzburg’s LiDochka (to use Litium –  Deiterium mixture in the H-bomb core). Lidia is  a woman’s name, Lidochka is the same girl’s tender name. In Fig. 6 you see these “tender” things.
But perhaps it is not a joke since it is a good physics after all – as Enrico Fermi put it.

 

 
 
 
5 Sakharov 1948 and Ginzburg 1947.JPG
Fig. 5. Andrei Sakharov and Vitaly Ginzburg, late 1940-th. Courtesy Gennady Gorelik
 
 
 
Первая советская водородная бомба «Слойка-Лидочка», испытанная 12 августа 1953 г., была по сути первой в мире водородной бомбой, т.к. устройство «Майк», испытанное США в 1952 г., было устройством размером с трехэтажный дом. Однако, это устройство было основано на принципиально новой идее Улама-Теллера, в СССР неизвестной. В 1951-1952 годах американские ученые уже отказались от доказавшей свою бесперспективность конструкции «Трубы», подробная информация о которой советская разведка получила еще в 1948 году, и которую на основании этой информации разрабатывал, как уже говорилось, Я.Б. Зельдович (тоже постепенно, но только к 1954 году, убедившийся в тупиковости этого пути).
6 Три бомбы.JPG
 
Fig. 6. Three bombs in the Nuclear Weapons Museum in Sarov:
 
1. H-bomb – 1953 (Sakharov-Ginzburg “Sloika – LiDochka”).
 
2. Soviet original A-bomb – 1951,  two times less in size and two times more powerful than
 
Fat Man (Lev Altshuler, Yevgeny Zababakhin, Yakov Zel’dovich, Konstantin Krupnikov).
 
3. First Soviet A-bomb – 1949 (exact copy of the American Fat Man thrown on Nagasaki).

 

Soviet intelligence service received detailed information about the construction of the American A-bomb not from their professional residents but mostly from idealistic American scientists who with terrible risk to their life fulfilled their moral debt, as they understood it, to help to restore nuclear balance between two recent allies in the Anti-Hitler Coalition. The name of Klaus Fuchs is most familiar from them. The same feeling had Sakharov, my father, other pioneers of Soviet Nuclear Weapons Project: they did their best to restore the nuclear balance with the USA, to save Moscow from the destiny of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I avoid making judgments and just try to outline their sincere views at that time. Actually it is easy to make judgments 60 years after events with all the knowledge about subsequent history. As Vitaly Ginzburg likes to repeat: “I wish I was as clever yesterday, as my wife today!” However many, many years later Yakov Zel’dovich said with sadness: yes we were happy that we managed to do it, but Stalin with A- bomb in his hands was able to begin the Korean War where millions perished.
 
 
Sakharov began to realize the other side of the medal much earlier – for the first time in 1955, after  the  successful test  of the  Soviet  superbomb  based  on the  Third  Idea  (in Sakharov’s classification) – on the idea of  two-step A-H construction with the use of radiation implosion. This is Ulam-Teller construction independently developed  by Sakharov and  his colleagues. Absolutely ungrounded is the periodically expressed[4]  idea that this Soviet H-bomb was an intelligent-service  produced  copy  of  the  American  one.  It  is  well  established  that  Soviet leadership, although knew well about unordinary strong power of American “Mike” (tested on 1
November 1952) and of the Castle Series (from “Bravo” - 1 March 1954, to “Nektar” – 14 May 1954), but did not have the slightest idea about absolutely new principle of their construction. In his “Memoirs” ([7], P. 182-184) Sakharov remembers that at the beginning of 1954 there was strong  opposition  by their  Minister  Vyacheslav  Malyshev to  the  scientists’  proposal to  go another, previously unplanned way – way of “Third Idea”. This opposition would never take place  in  case  leadership,  including  Minister  Malyshev,  had  proper  information  from  the intelligence service.
 
 
In this sense situations with H-bomb and A-bomb were directly opposite: in 1948-1949 Chiefs of the Project just said to scientists to develop less effective (cf. two models in Fig. 6) “American” A-charge because they possessed detailed information about its construction and they wanted to minimize the risk of failure. It’s worth mentioning that most of the scientists did not even guess it. My father was strongly surprised when Yuli Khariton, Scientific Chief of the Nuclear Center, said in his interview in 1990 that the first Soviet A-bomb was a copy of the American one. Father said also that success of the 1949 test was practically guaranteed since the fission core of the bomb was made very close to the critical mass – to such an extent that when that time Minister Boris Vannikov (fat man with huge belly) approached the construction Geiger counters began to chatter crazily from neutrons reflecting from his belly.
 
And now about superbomb again. Fig. 7 shows Cover list of the Sakharov and Zel’dovich top secret (“written by hand, in 1 copy, 16 pages”) Report to Yuli Khariton, dated 14 January 1954, on the idea of construction H-bomb with the use of “Third idea”; in the picture you also see the Central Square of the Town of Sarov with the bell-tower of the famous Sarov monastery.

 
ADS-YaBZ_540114_Sarov_.jpg
 
 
Fig. 7. Sakharov and Zel’dovich Report (14.01.1954) on the two-step (A-H) construction combined with photo of Central Square of the Town of Sarov.
Courtesy by Gennady Gorelik who designed this picture.
 
 
This device, contrary to A-bombs and to Sloika had potentially unlimited power. There was a banquet after the successful test of superbomb on 22 November 1955 organized by the military chief of the test Army general Mitrofan Nedelin, where Sakharov as a hero of the event was proposed to tell the first toast. And he said: “May all our devices explode as successfully as today’s, but always over test sites and never over cities”. These pacifist words made a shock. Sakharov remembered that “the table was silent as if I had said something indecent”. Then Nedelin took the floor and said really indecent parable about old man and his wife who discuss who must “guide” and who must “harden”. The reprimand addressed to Sakharov meant that you
scientists must “harden” (make weapons) and we shall “guide” (make decisions how to use them). Sakharov writes: “My whole body tensed, and I think I turned pale – normally I blush. For a few seconds no one spoke, and then everyone began talking loudly…” ([7], P. 194). It must be noted that M.I. Nedelin, already being in the position of the Commanding General of all Soviet Strategic Rockets Troops (RVSN) burned alive on 24 October 1960, together with about

 

100 subordinate to him high officers and specialists, at the test of new intercontinental missile; the tragedy happened because he ordered to do something in direct violation of elementary safety arrangements  demands  ([7],  P.  195-196).  The  same  they  could  easily  do  with  the  whole Mankind.

 

 
 
8 Devil on the H-Bomb Arzamas-16 1953.JPG
Fig. 8. Joke-model of the First Soviet H- bomb (“Sloika”) with devil on it.
Done by Yuri Klintsov, Arzamas-16, 1953
 
 
 
Perhaps this nose, which in Fig. 8 devil shows supposedly to nuclear scientists, hints about the
 
second side of the medal discussed above ?
 
 
 
5. Humor and Work
 
 
 
Humor (as in the Fig. 8) is a good thing but the product of creative work of scientists was surely quite serious. Professor Vladimir Ritus, many years Theordep member and participant of our Conference, said to me recently the “snapshot of memory” from the early 1950s                                             when he worked in Sakharov’s group in Sarov. The only copy of “Sloika” which they developed at that time was suspended in the Assembly-Hall of the Factory # 2 of Explosives where the bombs were finally designed. Vladimir Ritus said that from his visits to this Factory he most of all was impressed by the huge, more than 1 meter diameter, shining hemispheres of explosives placed without any special security protection in huge hangar, where also plenty of A-bombs ready for use  were  stored.  And  between  them  there  walked  around  the  Army  or  Naval  officers  - representatives of the weapons-acceptance commissions.
 
 
Anatoly Mal’skii, Director of this Factory # 2, was a huge, vivid personality with loud laughter and plenty of most interesting stories about the war-time etc. I remember him well since my father liked to converse with him and he was an often guest in our home. On 26 June 1953, the day of arrest  of Lavrenty Beriya, Mal’skii  made a  practical joke which  became a  legend. Lavrenty Beriya was Minister of NKVD (later KGB), many years Chief of the Nuclear Project of

 

USSR, terrible personality, but at that time – second after Stalin (who died 110 days before the event, on 5 March 1953) and most respectable member in the divine hierarchy of the Soviet top power. Anatoly Mal’skii heard the announcement about the arrest of this “enemy of people” over the radio early in the morning, and coming to his workplace immediately went to the study of his friend Vasily Detnev, Beriya’s representative in the Nuclear Center (who, as it can be seen fro m the recently declassified documents, wrote so many nasty reports to his Chief about scientists). Surely Detnev had a huge portrait of Lavrenty Beriya over his table, and he did not know yet about the latest shocking events. Entering the room Mal’skii asked: “Vasily Ivanovich, why are you sitting under this bastard ?”. The effect was above all expectations. Later Malskii not once with great pleasure described Detnev’s picturesque horrifying reaction.
 
They all were young and joyful. Sakharov, like Yulii Khariton and Yakov Zel’dovich, being most important for the State nuclear scientists was obliged to have a personal armed body-guard who followed him everywhere like a shadow (but not inside the apartment, they waited outside). One day in Spring, when there was high water in River Satis near Sakharov’s cottage, and there were plenty of chaotically moving ice floes in the river, Sakharov suddenly began to jump fro m one ice floe to another. This was deadly dangerous. And his body-guard responsible for his life and security, being terribly frightened, began to run after him jumping over ice floes with a pistol in his hand and shouting a typical military guards’ order: “Stop, otherwise I’ll shoot you!” (Yu. Smirnov in [6], Pp. 591-619).

 

 
 
9 Zeldovich Sakharov Frank Kamen Sarov nachalo 50h.JPG
 
Fig. 9. Yakov Zel’dovich, Andrei Sakharov, David Frank-Kamenetskii, Sarov, mid-50-th.
 
 
In Fig. 9 we see these brilliant people when they created the superbomb. The photo was taken at the plot of David Frank-Kamenetsky’s cottage in Sarov. When, much later, Stephen Hawking met Yakov Zel’dovich at some international conference he was strongly surprised to see a single person. He said (with his talking machine): “I was sure that ‘Yakov Zel’dovich’ is a sort of

 

nickname for a team of scientists like say Burbaky”. David Al’bertovich Frank-Kamenetskii was also a very strong scientist. And they were very good people, with great sense of humor as well.
Fig. 10, 11 show Sakharov’s joke-pictures of these years.

 

 
 
10 Шарж 1.JPG
 

Fig. 10. Sakharov’s joke-pictures,

Sarov, 1950-th.

.
11 Шарж 2 Зельд Сах.JPG
Fig.11. The same: self-portrait, Yakov

Zel’dovich.

 
 
Jokes,  including  different  practical  jokes,  was  an  everyday  routine  for  scientists.  Yakov
 
Zel’dovich was # 1 in these adventures.
 
 
Also it is from this period the fantastic story about Sakharovs’ absolutely special way of thinking which Yakov Zel’dovich said not long before his death in 1987 to Professor Igor Dremin, working in the Theoretical Physics Department. He is also here in this Hall. Their talk in the Editorial Office of “Uspekhi” began from the Zeldovich’s note: “I can classify all physicist in the Soviet Union arranging them systematically. But I am incapable to find the place for Sakharov in this row”.  And to the Dremin’s surprised “Why?” Zel’dovich said the following story. One day, in the process of constructing the bomb they came to the necessity of receiving one crucial figure. Since the State terms were short Institute was given a month to receive this figure. And because of its importance the assignment was given to two theoretical groups (one chaired by Zel’dovich and other by Sakharov) and two experimental groups, all of them were not informed about others. Only Zel’dovich knew that the work is fulfilled in 4 parallel teams. Zel’dovich said to Dremin that his group worked hard but did not manage to receive any definite result. Then after a month he came to Sakharov and asked about the situation in his group. Sakharov said that he himself contemplated and estimated and received some figure. Zel’dovich asked him to put down the figure on the blackboard, and closing it with a palm invited to the room the first experimental group also asking to write their result on the same blackboard. And also closed it with the second palm. Then the second experimental group was invited and they wrote their figure. When Zel’dovich removed his palms everybody could see that all three figures coincide. How Sakharov guessed the figure is an enigma. And it is not the only story of his miraculous

 

guesses. In this connection Zel’dovich used to tell: “my brain is a computer which works 10 times better than brain of ordinary man, Sakharov’s brain is designed in some different way”. And let us remember Igor Tamm’s words about Sakharov and blank sheet of paper which I cited at the beginning of the Talk.
 
 
6.  One thousand years delayed crime and Moscow Test-Ban Treaty

 

 
12 Sakharov Kurcharov 1958.JPG
 
Fig. 12. Andrei Sakharov and Igor Kurchatov, Moscow, 1958.
 
 
In 1958 Igor Kurchatov, Scientific Chief of all Soviet Nuclear Weapons Project, asked Sakharov to  write a paper about  harmful biological consequences of the nuclear tests in atmosphere. Sakharov came to the conclusion that many thousands of people from future generations will inevitably die because of genetic damages produced by modern tests. And he began his dramatic struggle for reduction and total prohibition of the nuclear tests which make radioactive pollution of environment. His arguments were really strange: he insisted that death from cancer (because of the far off mutations produced by the modern nuclear tests) of some person one thousand years later is a CRIME perpetrated by those who today made this explosions; the fact of absolute anonymity of the perpetrator of this crime makes it even more serious and immoral.  Nobody understood this Sakharov’s logic. This logic shows that attention to the tragedy of one single person (no matter when and where the person lives), a sharp feeling of responsibility for this tragedy was  an essential facet  of Sakharov’s personality.  Later  this  deep  spiritual position became the mile stone of his human rights activities.
 
 
And this resulted in the famous August 5, 1963 Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapon Tests in the
 
Atmosphere, in Outer Space and Under Water. The point is that in the Big Politics like in tennis

 

you must “catch the ball” – catch the moment of the intervention. All these topics were actively discussed in the Theory Department of the Nuclear Center, and some moment in mid-1962
Sakharov’s colleague in creating H-bombs Viktor Adamsky (he regularly read Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists which they received in the Nuclear Center and attentively followed the events) drafted the Proposal to the Soviet tops with the idea to cut out from the test-ban negotiations the highly  problematic  topic  of  the  underground  nuclear  tests.  Sakharov  liked  the  idea  and approached with this proposal to their Atomic Minister who said it to Soviet Leader Nikita Khrushchev, who in turn used the idea as the profitable “political ball”. As a result there are no polluting nuclear tests during 46 years. (See in more detail in [7] P. 224-232; [4] P. 229-231).
 
 
However  earlier  –  in  1961-1962  Nikita  Khrushchev  was  strongly  irritated  by  Sakharov’s insisting proposals to decrease the number of Soviet nuclear tests in atmosphere. Sakharov’s failure to persuade Khrushchev to cancel one of two H-bombs’ duplicate tests in atmosphere was a great blow to him which resulted in essential turn in his general understanding and general position: “It was the ultimate defeat for me. A terrible crime was about to be committed, and I could do nothing to prevent it. I was overcome by my impotence, unbearable bitterness, shame, and humiliation. I put my face down on my desk and wept. That was perhaps the most terrible lesson from my life: you can’t sit on two chairs at once…” [7], P. 229.
 
 
Sakharov told me that on one of these dramatic days Khrushchev summoned him to the Kremlin. When Andrei Dmitrievich entered his study, Khrushchev did not invite him to take a seat, but stood up in front of him and began to speak angrily: “Who are you, you don’t understand anything, imperialists will eat us up…”. Becoming more and more excited and angry short Khrushchev  stamped,  went  read  and  almost  shouted.  Tall  Sakharov  listened  silently.  This reprimand continued for a number of minutes, after that Khurshchev said sharply: “Go away”. When Sakharov went out the room he encountered face to face with Leonid Brezhnev, that time one of the top Party leaders, who after the Coup in October 1964 took the Khrushchev’s position of the First Leader of USSR. Brezhnev knew Sakharov very well, and according to Sakharov’s words while he was walking along a very, very long Kremlin corridor Brezhnev went after him repeating  and  repeating  about  his  most  deep respect  for  Sakharov (when  Khrushchev was dismissed he was accused among other things in ignoring the opinions of scientists). Yes, they all at the “top floor” knew him well, but he stayed “on the other side of the window”.
 
 
7.   Pure science
 
 
 
In mid-60-th Sakharov, in parallel with his nuclear weapons work, returned to pure physics. In his first paper from this period published in 1965 he put forth the idea of primordial vacuum quantum fluctuations as a source of a non-uniform distribution of matter in later cosmological epoch  [8].  The  interest  to  this  work  was  strongly  revived  10  years  ago  with  COBE  and

 

subsequent experiments - to see it it’s sufficient to dial words “Sakharov oscillations” in Google. There is an enormous number of references. Yakov Zel’dovich and Rashid Syunyaev developed the idea later, Rashid Syunyaev made the Plenary Talk here, on the first day of the Conference. And it must be appreciated that in their first work of 1970 Zel’dovich and Syunyaev honestly referred to pioneer Sakharov’s paper of 1965. This was not trivial since at  1970 Sakharov already was a “political pariah” and the authorities did their best to eliminate references to his name in any published materials.
 
 
This Talk is not a review of Sakharov’s scientific achievements. I just name several. I already said above about “magnetic bottle” and Magnetic Cumulation. In 1967 his two “pure science” classical papers were published: on the possibility of the Einstein gravity action being induced by quantum vacuum fluctuations [9], and explanation of the barion asymmetry of the Universe with “crazy” idea of instability of proton [10] – naturally introduced 12 years later in GUT.
 
 
It is worthwhile to note that his paper “Cosmological transitions with changes in the signature of the metric” [11] (1984) written under most difficult conditions in the exile, is also often referred to as a pioneer one - at this conference in particular.
 
 
Who knows, perhaps another Sakharov’s paper [12] (1986) written in the exile where he studies the processes of quantum evaporation of black miniholes will be strongly demanded soon. I mean not once repeated “crazy” idea of possibility of observing black miniholes at LHC. In their comments to paper [12] in Collection [13] Igor Novikov and Valery Frolov say that the results of
[12] indicate new possibility of observing Dark Matter through its influence upon evaporation of black miniholes. And Valery Rubakov in his comments in [13] writes that “this article is aimed at distant future since it proposes perhaps the only possible tool of direct experimental studying of processes at the energies which can not be reached at accelerators, up to Planck scale”; Rubakov also underlines that in [12] the interesting task of calculation of probability for the production of strings and monopoles by black miniholes is considered.
 
 
In more detail one may study Sakharov’s  scientific work from the Collections [13]-[15].
 
 
8. Pyotr Lebedev, FIAN, Klavdia Vikhireva, Elena Bonner.
 
 
 
There were many threads which connected Sakharov with the Lebedev Physical Institute which was founded on 28 April 1934. Less than a month ago FIAN’s 75 anniversary was celebrated. The building in the Fig. 13 was built by Russian philanthropists for Pyotr Lebedev after he, because of inhuman behavior of Tzar authorities, was enforced  to leave the Moscow University in 1911, and his Lab was destroyed (see more in [4], P. 3-15). Unfortunately Lebedev himself could not use this building since he died in March 1912. At that time he already was nominated

 

to the Nobel Prize 1912 for his discovery of pressure of light, but Nobel Prizes are not given posthumously. The same pressure of radiation but many times stronger Sakharov used half a century later as a tool of implosion to compress the core of the hydrogen bomb. The elementary Lebedev’s device is placed behind the glass in the study of Director of Lebedev Institute, one floor below.

 

 
 
13 Petr Lebedev 1866-1912 FIAN in 1934.JPG
 

Fig. 13. Pyotr Lebedev (1866-1912)
and FIAN in 1934. Courtesy
Gennady Gorelik.

 
 
 
 
Sakharov came to FIAN in 1945, worked here until 1950 when he moved to Sarov, and returned
 

here after he was expelled from the Nuclear Center in 1968. In March 1969 his first wife and mother of his three children Klavdia Vikhireva died from cancer. I was at the funerals. It was a tragedy.

 
 
 
 
14 With Klavdiya Vihireva and children Sarov 50th.JPG
 

Fig. 14. Sakharov and Klava with friends

and children, Sarov, 1950-th.

 
 
 
 
Sakharov was deeply depressed after her death. Then Professor Evgeny Feinberg from Theordep,
 
he passed away 4 years ago, came to his place and asked to write an official request for the position in FIAN. Sakharov wrote something absolutely non-formal on a piece of paper, it was submitted and he returned here.
 
Simultaneously his human rights activities and contacts developed. He met Elena Bonner on this ways, they got married in January 1972.

 

 
 
15 With Elena Bonner.JPG
Fig. 15. Andrei Sakharov and Elena Bonner.
 
 
This was a happy meeting of two. Sakharov not once said that Elena Bonner’s activity in helping concrete people directed him from more abstract and general schemes to the importance of protection of individual rights.
 
 
Now I stop for a while and give the floor to Elena Bonner’s daughter Tatyana Yankelevich, who has just come from the airport and who will speak on behalf of Elena Bonner. I’ll make only two short notes in connection with Elena Bonner and Sakharov’s physics:
 
 
1) Elena Bonner remembered that once in the mid 70-th they had an evening walk under the dark sky full of stars. Andrei Dmitrievich asked: “Do you know what I like most of all ?”. And himself answered: “Background radiation”.
 
 
2) Recently in the interview Elena Bonner was asked to characterize Sakharov shortly. And she said the downright truth: “He was a physicist”.
 
 
And  to  present  Tatyana  Yankelevich I  must  add  that  all  historically  important  Sakharov’s victories would be impossible without proper support and proper pressure on the political circles of the West and through it on the Soviet political circles. This was to be organized by somebody. Everything important in this world is done not by systems but by individuals often acting on their  own.  The  organizational  center  of  support  of  Sakharov  from  abroad  were  Tatyana Yankelevich, Elena Bonner’s daughter, and her husband Efrem Yankelevich who unfortunately passed away two months ago. We all of course express to Tatyana our deep condolences in connection with this loss.
 
 
Tatyana Yankelevich greets the Conference
on behalf of Elena Bonner and reads her Article
“The Interregional Deputies Group and Andrei Sakharov”.
 
 
9. Comments to this Presentation: Sakharov’s last year.
 
 

Commenting  Presentation  by  Tatyana  Yankelevich  I  point  out  that  so  called  Interregional Deputies Group (IDG) of democratic MPs described by Elena Bonner was created at the time and after the First  People’s Congress in June  1989  most  known with Sakharov’s dramatic speeches there (see Fig. 16, 17).

 
 
16 Сахаров Горбачев июнь 1989.JPG17 Congress 1989 Sakharov Gorbachev Lukyanov.JPG
 
Fig. 16, 17. Andrei Sakharov speaks at the People’s Congress, Michael Gorbachev
at the background. Moscow, June 1989.
 
 
Elena Bonner writes about Sakharov’s last days which were marked by the difficult realization of his initiative of the all-USSR 2-hour Political Strike with demand to cancel the Article # 6 of the Soviet Constitution proclaiming the Ruling Role of the Communist Party.
 
 
Nevertheless the Strike was announced through Western radio and through democratic activists and it was really conducted all over the country, there were tens of thousands of telegrams and letters of support, the flood of them came also here to the address of the Lebedev Institute. On 11
December, three days before his unexpected death, Sakharov spoke at this 2-hour Political Strike in the Levedev Institute – see. Fig. 18. Crossed “6” at the poster means the main Strike’s demand

to cancel Article # 6 of the Soviet Constitution.

 
 
 
18 In FIAN 11 12 1989.JPG
 

Fig. 18. Andrei Sakharov at the 2-hours

Political Strike in the Lebedev Institute. 11

December 1989. Sakharov initiated this

Strike throughout the USSR

 
 
 
 
 
Sakharov brought the boxes of thousands of messages of support of this demand to the Second People’s Congress and publicly gave it there to Gorbachev, who was not happy about it and made some angry reprimand to Sakharov. It was on 12 December and all the country could see the scene on TV. After Sakharov’s death on 14 December in the evening people said that he died because of Gorbachev’s reprimand, but it is absolutely childish explanation. Sakharov surely could not be upset with such a  trifle. When he died he was alone in the apartment with the outer door which was never locked. Official Medical Conclusion said the truth: he died because his heart stopped. But it did not answer the question “Why did it stop?” To my mind Sakharov’s death at the age 68 is a history enigma which will never be revealed.
 
 
Many thousands of people came to bid farewell to Sakharov. Top people of the State, beginning with  Michael  Gorbachev,  took  part  in  the  Ceremony.  Photo  19  shows  the  funerals  on  18

December 1989.

 
 
19 Funerals 18 12 1989.JPG
 

Fig. 19. Funerals of Andrei

Sakharov. Moscow, 18 December

1989

 
 
 
 
 
10. Sakharov, Teller, Reagan, Mitterand
 
 
I must say that I share sadness expressed in Elena Bonner’s strong Article read here by Tatyana. The same demand which was a motto of the named above December 1989 political strike in Russia  was  two  weeks  earlier  proclaimed  in  Czechoslovakia  and  it  brought  to  the  streets hundreds of thousands demonstrations, as a result the Government had resigned, the Rule of Communist Party was over and a democratic page in the history of the country was opened. Contrary to this in Russia this Sakharov’s initiative was not supported even by most of his nearest democratic partners.
 
Russia throughout all its many centuries history is a cemetery of good proposals and unrealized expectations of a better society. And nothing refuting this tragic universal rule happened so far. This does not mean however that this will not happen in future. As Sakharov put it: "The future is unpredictable, and more than that - because of quantum laws it is not determined... It is created by all of us step by step in our infinitely complicated interaction". And it is just the place to present Edward Teller's words: "Sakharov was an optimist. A pessimist is a person who is always right but gets no enjoyment from it. An optimist is a person who believes that the future is uncertain and does his best to bring about an improvement" ([6], p. 637).
 

Sakharov and Teller met only once in Washington in November 1988 at  the 80th Teller’s anniversary. They had only 40 minutes between Sakharov’s airplanes, which they used to discuss their different views upon SDI[5] see Fig. 20.

 
 
20 Teller & Sakharov November 1988 Washington.JPG
 

Fig. 20. Andrei Sakharov and Edward Teller, Washington, November 1988.

 
 
 
It was the first in Sakharov’s life trip abroad. At the end of December he came back to Moscow and soon came to the weekly Seminar here in the Lebedev Institute. And colleagues asked him to tell about his journey. It was extremely interesting 2-hour story. Sakharov said in particular about his meeting with the US President Ronald Reagan, they discussed disarmament problems, Sakharov expressed his motivated disagreement with the Reagan’s SDI program etc. Professor Boris Bolotovsky asked Sakharov: “Andrei Dmitrievich, are you sure that Reagan understood what you said?”. And Sakharov answered: “It does not matter at all. I deliberately spoke slowly so that the assistants could have time to put down my words, because only written stuff is analyzed afterwards”. This is an approach of a real scientist, a constructor.
 
 
And it is absolutely impossible to forget the described by Sakharov picture of his and Elena Bonner’s reception by French President Francois Mitterand (Elena Bonner did not accompany Sakharov in the USA but joined him at the European part of his tour). Sakharov said that they moved over Paris with escort of presidential motorcyclists, and when they came to Elysees Palace  Mitterand with his spouse met them at the gate. They saw the long staircase leading to the Palace covered with red carpet with two lines of guardsmen along it with broadswords at their feet. And the very moment when Mitterand and Sakharov with their wives – four of them in line - made their first step on the staircase guardsmen suddenly raised their broadswords up. Sakharov said that it was very impressing and quite solemn, and he asked Mitterand “Why such a ceremony?”. And French President turning towards him answered: “You are the Guest of Republic!”. I remind that this was in December 1988.
 
 
11. Exile. The universal tool of “implosion” and Prince Rupert’s Drops phenomenon. Intuition and self-preservation instinct.
Three general features of Sakharov’s approach.
 
 
 
And about 9 years earlier, on 22 January 22 1980, Sakharov was arrested in the street, on his way to Seminar in FIAN, taken to airplane and sent to the exile to the town of Gorki, 600 km. East from Moscow, 100 km. North from the Nuclear Center where he worked for many years. This exile lasted almost 7 years. There were many dramatic events during this period. They are described in Sakharov’s “Memoirs” [7] and in Elena Bonner’s book “Alone together” [16].
 
 
Immediately after the exile there was enormous pressure on Theordep and FIAN with a demand to dismiss Sakharov. But the authorities failed.  Colleagues made a sort of difficult  “Italian strike” insisting that the Academician, according to the rules, has no obligation to come to the workplace and can not be fired for “not coming”, etc. That time Chief of Theordep Vitaly Ginzburg did his best to persuade Party tops to permit theoreticians to visit Sakharov in Gorki. Finally at the beginning of March 1980 top USSR authorities agreed to it all. Surely it happened because  of  enormous  pressure  from  abroad,  first  of  all  pressure  by  the  world  scientific community. But “internal” unwillingness of colleagues to obey the authorities’ demands played

 

also a crucial role. Thus the needed result was reached with implosion, i.e. with pressure from different directions to the same point - like in construction of the atomic or hydrogen bomb.
 
 
This sort of “public implosion” was not once used at that time to save people. This is an example how it worked, I showed this demonstrative picture (Fig. 21) speaking in 1991 at the First Andrei
Sakharov Conference on Physics.

 

 
 
 
21 Nosorog.JPG
 
Fig. 21. Implosion creates miracles. December, 1981.
 
 
It was December 1981 when Sakharov was in exile in Gorky and when he and his wife Elena Bonner declared the mortal hunger strike with the only demand – to let the girl Liza Alexeeva go abroad to her fiancé – Elena Bonner’s son. Liza was not their relative, she had nothing to do with State secrets and she was not a dissident. But she was made by the merciless authorities a sort of hostage of Sakharov’s activities. It was really a dreadful situation. And after 17 days of the hunger strike they won – they did not die and the authorities permitted the girl to go abroad. But this miracle happened only due to the collective effect of plural support, of the enormous efforts aimed at one point on all sides. And this seemingly smallest case actually was the most important brick in the building of a new and safer world. Because letting this girl out from the USSR was absolutely against the rules of Soviet system. And when this enormous system was enforced to behave against its laws it was like in Prince Rupert’s Drops (or “glass drops”) where breaking

 

off the smallest tip changes the structure of all big crystal. (The transparent description of this event from the global point of view is given by Harry Lipkin in his reminiscences “Andrei Sakharov and the Weizmann Institute”, [6] Pp. 450-451).
 
 
This was Sakharov’s approach clearly formulated in his Nobel Lecture: the observing of the individual human rights, insisting on elementary humanity is the best guarantee of the world security. Rulers and Governors who violate rights of their own people are dangerous to the whole world; non-interference into internal affairs in the human rights issues is unacceptable. It sounds elementary but paradoxically the most elementary things prove to be most difficult for understanding. Sakharov emphatically advocated this approach being a teacher, a researcher and sometimes an object of the seemingly mortal self-made “probe experiments” so to say. We know these cases from the history of science when a researcher inventing new vaccine makes the first probe injection to himself. Then there are two options: if his idea was wrong he dies, if not wrong he survives and millions survive after him. Sakharov not once performed dangerous steps
mortal according to common views. And survived. In this way changing the world.
 
 
The  brilliant  illustration  of  this  Sakharov’s  approach  was  given  by  member  of  Theordep Professor David Kirzhnits6  ([17], P. 40). He compared steps and actions of Sakharov with the feat of the World War I Russian pilot Konstantin Artseulov. This pilot had an intuitive idea about the mechanism by which an airplane may emerge from the fatal tail-spin, which nobody had been capable  to  do  before.  To  test the  idea and  to  demonstrate its correctness  Konstantin Artseulov, the first in the history of aircraft,  purposely dropped the plane into a tail-spin in sight of hundreds of observers (committing, as everyone was sure, a demonstrative suicide at public), and safely came out of it. With this he created a technique saving the lives of hundreds of pilots. (David Kirzhnits told me that he knew Artseulov and that this famous test-pilot did not escape Stalin's camps). According to Artseulov it was necessary to operate unnaturally: not to resist the plane's deviations from the course but, on the contrary, to increase them in contradiction to the self-preservation instinct, to make the plane fall even more steep, and by that to gain the speed at which the subsequent exit from a pique is possible.
 
 
Many  actions  of  Sakharov  also  seemed  to  contemporaries  completely  unnatural  and  in contradiction to the self-preservation instinct. Like e.g. at the first in the life of the  top secret scientist press-conference for foreign journalists in Moscow on 21 August 1973 where Sakharov said about supermilitarization of the USSR, about its aggressiveness and great threat of this “evil” to the whole world, explaining with it his main idea: without inner democratic reforms and observation  of  human  rights  in  the  USSR  economical  détente  will  prove  to  be  extremely dangerous. And he stayed alive although nobody could understand “Why?”. Even now it is a question for historians.

In my Opening Word at the Sc3 here in FIAN in 2002 I, rather symbolically, described three
 
«dynamical characteristics» of Sakharov’s way of thinking and implementing the ideas:
 
1)    His holism (“ability to count to two”), i.e. ability to see the problem as a whole, to see “the other side of the medal”, which is a difficulty for many.
2)    Second feature of Sakharov’s mentality, evidently crossing with the first one, may be called «a permanent feeling of possible personal error». It was a surprise for everybody, also for me at the beginning of our acquaintance, - Sakharov did not like to argue, to answer back. For him a conversation was just a chance to reach better understanding of the problem. He was a very attentive listener, but quite often he did not say a word in answer; it was evident that while listening to the interlocutor he thinks, perhaps reconsiders something “from a blank sheet of paper”, - as Igor Tamm put it. Sakharov writes in «Memoirs»: «My statements on general issues are often tentative, meant to provoke discussion, and subject to revision. I agree with Leszek Kolakowski when he writes: Inconsistency is simply a secret awareness of the contradictions   of         this     world… a     permanent      feeling   of possible personal error, or if not that, then of the possibility
that one’s antagonist is right7. My only quarrel, - continues Sakharov after this
quotation of Kolakowski, - is with the word “inconsistency”, which I would replace with one that conveys my belief that intellectual growth and social awareness should combine dynamic self-criticism and a set of stable values… I am not a professional politician. Perhaps that is why I am always burdened by doubt about the usefulness and consequences of my actions. I inclined to the belief that a combination of moral criteria and unrestricted inquiry provides the only possible  compass.»        ([7],  pp.  579-580).  Sakharov’s  statements,  beginning  with  1968 “Reflections…”, possess unordinary strong convincing effect just because they are not prophetic ones, because he does nor argue but tries to find truth together with the reader, presuming “the possibility that one’s antagonist is right”.
3)    And he was a professional constructor in all.  After Sakharov came to a certain conclusion he thought about the implementation, which of course demanded plenty of additional ideas – see the epigraph. That is why his articles finish as a rule with some calculated concrete figures, and in all other fields of activity the concrete visible result was to be constructed. And in doing it he acted most resolutely, with use in necessity of the “Artseulov method” described by David Kirzhnits (see above).
 
 
12. “Beast in a skirt” and return to Moscow.
 
 

The history event during Sakharov’s exile was his Open Letter “Danger of Thermonuclear War. Answer to Professor Sydney Drell” (1983, see in [7], P. 664-670). In this Letter Sakharov supported President Reagan’s military plans directed against Soviet “Empire of evil”. Sakharov

logic was quite simple: if the West wants to reach real nuclear disarmament – then the West must be strong. And more general dialectics: difficulties provoke reforming. Soviet overwhelmingly influential military tops really believed (mistakenly - as it became evident later) that Reagan’s programs will soon make all Soviet nuclear power an unnecessary garbage. And because of it they supported the reformer Michail Gorbachev in his difficult struggle for power at the crucial Party Meeting in April 1985. This was the beginning of “Perestroika”, soon superpowers came to the table of real nuclear disarmament negotiations and Ronald Reagan came to Moscow to the Red Square.
 
 
This Sakharov’s Letter to Sydney Drell was not understood by the part of the American scientific community which opposed Reagan’s politics (“…President Reagan’s “Star Wars” speech of March, 1983, was such an anathema to the federation’s[6] goals and positions…”, - Professor Jeremy  Stone  in  [6],  P.  625);  nevertheless  these  colleagues  tried  to  help  Sakharov  in  his desperate struggle in exile. As well as SOS (Scientists For Sakharov, Orlov And Shcharansky) Committee, The Committee of Concerned Scientists, and many, many other foreign scientists in the USA and all over the world who were not involved in the questionable “peacemaking” politics, but just followed elementary motives of humanity and solidarity. - Which is the best and direct way to world security according to Sakharov’s main Message summed up in his Nobel Lecture.
 
 
And this assistance was vitally needed. In the USSR Letter to Sydney Drell inevitably made angry  Soviet  most  terrible  hard-liners.  After  the  Letter  was  published  in  the  West  at  the beginning  of  July  1983  the  great  anti-Sakharov  and  anti-Bonner  campaign  was  initiated. Actually it was Elena Bonner who managed to smuggle the Letter from Gorki, and she became the main target of slandering propaganda which principal position was simple: Sakharov is a sort of feeble-minded  child governed  by this  monstrous woman –  agent  of imperialism and of Zionism.
 
 
It is quite curious to read the transcript of Session of Politburo (top body of the ruling USSR pyramid) of the August 1985 where Gorbachev proposed to yield to Sakharov’s half a year hunger strike and to permit his wife to make the bypass heart surgery in the USA. I must explain here that in May 1984 Elena Bonner was also locked in Gorky. With this the “mousetrap” shut finally and Sakharov’s isolation from the outer world became absolute. To accept this situation obediently would be a sort of suicide for him. Also at this time Elena Bonner already had severe infarction and the treatment when every doctors’ step was directed by KGB was impossible. Thus authorities did not leave him any option but to struggle. To save his wife’s life Sakharov went on one (in 1984) and then another (in 1985) many months excruciating hunger strikes with the only demand – let his wife go for medical treatment abroad.
 
Thus when they – top Soviet leaders, those with their finger on the nuclear button in particular, – discussed in the August 1985 Gorbachev’s proposal they characterized Elena Bonner as “agent of imperialism full of spite”, “beast in a skirt”. “This is a real face of Zionism”, - said Gorbachev supposedly pretending to please this gang. But he managed to insist on his proposal, Elena Bonner got permission to go abroad for the bypass operation and Sakharov stopped his 6 months hunger strike. It was in September 1985. This victory also was a sort of breaking the tip of Prince Rupert’s Drop. And surely Gorbachev would be never capable to pass this salutary decision without great pressure from abroad. Important contribution in this campaign belongs to Elena Bonner’s son Alexei Semenov who on 25 August 1985 began the unlimited hunger strike before the Soviet Embassy in Washington; he stopped it only in mid-September after US Congress passed the tough Resolution in support of Sakharov. In this situation not to give in to Sakharov’s demand would mean to hamper the Gorbachev’s already appointed meetings with Mitterand and Reagan.
 
 
In June 1986 Elena Bonner came back from the USA and they both were again locked in Gorky until the famous telephone call by Gorbachev in December 1986. On 23 December Sakharov returned to Moscow after 7 years of exile, and on the same day he came here to Theordep to take

part in the weekly Tuesday seminar.

 

 

 
 
22 На вакзале 23 Дек 1986.JPG
 

Fig. 22. Returning from the exile. Early morning at the Moscow railway station.
23 December 1986.

 
 
 
23 OTF pered dveryu kabineta 23 12 1986 December.JPG
 
Fig. 23. Before his door in Theordep. December 1986.
 
 
 
The sign “A.D. Sakharov” on the door of his study was preserved in Theordep all long 7 years of his exile. We made now in this study a sort of memorial presentation of photos, and there is also a retro-table which belonged to Igor Tamm and later was inherited by Sakharov.
 
 
13. Photos with colleagues. Theordep, Matvei Bronstein, quantum gravity and Stalin’s purges.
 
 
 

In Fig. 24, 25 we see Sakharov among his colleagues at the Theoretical Physics Department. I pay attention to the presence of  Professor Yakov Alpert, many year scientist-refuzenik, chief of the Jewish scientists-refuzeniks’ non-official Seminar, he lives now in Boston (“refuzenik” was called a person who was refused by Soviet authorities to leave the country). His presence in FIAN in 1987, when “Perestroika” was on the march, was not a surprise, but I take a chance to inform that during all the difficult years different “suspected persons” (like another famous scientist-refuzenik Naum Meiman or street-cleaner – author of this Talk) had a possibility to visit weekly Theordep Seminars in the Lebedev Institute.

 
 
24 OTF seminar 1987 AD Sakharov VYa Fainberg YaL Alpert.jpg
 

Fig. 24. At the Seminar in FIAN, 1987.
First row: Andrei Sakharov, Vladimir Fainberg, Yakov Alpert. Second row: Anatoly Shabad, Anatoly Nikishov, Vladimir Ritus.

 
 
25 OTF seminar 1987 Feinberg Sakharov Fainberg Alpert Fradkin.jpg
 
Fig. 25. At the Seminar in FIAN, 1987:
 
Evgeny Feinberg, Andrei Sakharov, Vladimir Fainberg, Yakov Alpert, Efim Fradkin.
 
 

Following  photos  26,  27  are  taken  at  the  IV  International  Seminar  on  Quantum  Gravity (Moscow, May 25-29, 1987). You may see at Fig. 26: Bryce deWitt, Andrei Sakharov and Yakov Zel’dovich. And at Fig. 27: Stephen Hawking and Andrei Sakharov.

 
 
26 Де Витт Сахаров Зельдович Москва 1987.JPG
 
Fig. 26. Bryce deWitt, Andrei Sakharov and Yakov Zel’dovich at the Quantum Gravity Seminar,
 
Moscow, 1987.

 

 
 
27 Sakharov abd Hawking Moscow 1987.JPG
Fig. 27. Stephen Hawking and Andrei Sakharov, the same.

 
 
Also in 1988 Sakharov took part in huge A.A. Friedmann Centenary Conference in Leningrad (now  Saint  Petersburg),  22-26  June  1988.  He  presented  there  the  Review  Talk  “Baryon Asymmetry of the Universe” (Pp. 417-421 in [15]) with his own illustration of the Galileo Galilei experiment – see Fig. 28. I remember Stephen Hawking active participation in this

Conference, and also him with his wife and children on a boat trip over Leningrad.

 
28 Sakharov Pizan Tower.jpg
 
Fig. 28. Glileo Galilei experiment at the Pizan tower depicted by Sakharov for his Report at the
 
Friedmann Centenary Conference, Leningrad, 22-26 June, 1988.
 
 
Now, speaking about quantum gravity, Theordep and peculiarities of Russian history the name of Matvei  Bronstein  must  be  said.  This  name  was  already  mentioned  at  the  Conference  in discussions. In Fig. 29 is the photo of Matvei Bronstein shortly before he was arrested on 6
August 1937 and shot dead in Stalin’s jail on 18 February 1938 at the age 31. He worked at the
 

Lebedev Institute, in the Theoretical Physics Department.

 
 
 

Fig. 29. Matvei Petrovich Bronstein
(1906-1938). Last photo. Courtesy Gennady Gorelik.

 
 
 
 
In 1938 young Sakharov just finished school and entered Moscow University. Surely he did not
 
know Matvei Bronstein, but much later he knew well his wife, his widow Lidiya Chukovskaya, a well known writer and courageous dissident, friend of Sakharov.
 
 
Bronstein’s works on quantum gravity were published in mid 1930s. His ideas on necessity of reconsidering the concepts of space and time, possible refuse from Riemann geometry when gravity  is  quantized  were  really  pioneer  ones.  These  papers  and  Bronstein’s  ideas,  being absolutely forgotten, were revived by Gennady Gorelik (review [18] and previous publications beginning from the one in the 1992 Issue of Einstein Studies). Gradually Bronstein’s works entered the “reference fund” of modern physics; they are discussed in two major “Quantum Gravity” reviews published in 2004 (one by C. Keifer and another by C. Rovelli, see Ref. 65 in
[18]). Lee Smolin writes in 2006: “A few people already understood this in the 1930s. Probably the first PhD thesis ever written on the problem of quantum gravity was the 1935 dissertation of the Russian physicist Matvei Petrovich Bronstein…” Smolin also names another pioneer of quantum gravity “brilliant young French physicist Jacques Solomon” who was killed by the Germans in 1942, and concludes: “I have worked on the problem of quantum gravity all my life and I learned of them only while finishing this book” ([19, P. 85]).
 
 
It must be added that in Stalin’s times almost everyone had a victim of repressions either in the family or in the close circle. However practically everyone considered their personal tragedy a result of some rare tragic mistake. And society was misinformed to such an extent that nobody could imagine the mass scale of “mistakes” when millions of innocent were repressed. Matvei Bronstein  was  one  of  millions  milled  with  this  well  done  and  self-consistent  system  of extermination of people  not  demanding any (logical,  legal)  “external”  justifications  for  the

 

arrests and killings. Young Sakharov was not an exception in this blindness (“I was largely ignorant of the crimes of the Stalin era” [7], P. 272). In his “Memoirs” he writes about his astonishment, already in 1966, when he  first read the documentary research presenting the general picture of disaster, which surely was one more reason for him to reconsider critically the “first principles” of the Soviet system.
 
 
14. Conclusion. Don’t be occupied with political games when barbarous deeds are committed. “This is the miracle of science”
 
 
It is interesting to note that problems of Sakharov’s attention were as a rule of a huge scale, let it be construction of H-bomb, stages of evolution of Universe or future of Mankind.  And he miraculously felt the “painful points” of the problem, the “small” which crucially influence the “big”, and concentrated upon this “small” problem. And with all his life activities he proved that the “key” to solution of heavy problems of Mankind is in the observation of the individual human rights, of the primary moral principles when every ideology and political step is in mandatory way checked against the simplest criteria of humanity, sympathy, fairness. In other words: don’t be occupied with political games when barbarous deeds are committed.
 
 
Concluding I repeat the main thought of the Report: Sakharov’s mentality, his method in science and in solution of problems of human society were the same, in all fields of his plural activities he remained a man of exact sciences, a physicist, a construction engineer, an implementor. And it won’t be the exaggeration to say that he worshiped the science, admired it, which is also obvious from two quotations below.
 
 
In his Lecture “Science and Freedom” (so called “Lion Lecture”) at the Annual Congress of the
 
Physical Society of France in Lion, 27 September 1989, Sakharov said in particular:
 
In about 10 years the XXth century will be over… This was the century of two World Wars and of many “small wars” which took  the life of millions. This was a century of the unseen before in history genocide. A few weeks ago I, together with 5 thousands compatriots, stood near the open grave where  re-burial of victims of Stalin’s terror was performed… And at the same time the XXth century possesses the feature which I consider extremely important. The XXth century – is a century of science, of its great breakthrough…”.
 
 
In August 1989, completing his second (and last) book of Memoirs, Andrei Dmitrievich wrote on its last page:
«Of course the end of the work on this book creates a feeling of a boundary, a summary. Paraphrasing  a line of  A.S.  Pushkin:  “Why does an  incomprehensible  sadness trouble  me secretly?”  And at the same time – a feeling of the powerful flow of life, which began before us and will continue after us. This is the miracle of science. And although I do not believe in

 

the  possibility  of  rapid  creation  (or  creation  generally?)  of  an  all-encompassing  theory, nevertheless I see gigantic, fantastic achievements in the course of even only my own life and

expect that this flow will not dry up, but, quite the reverse, will expand and branch out…» [20].

 
 
 
30 Sakharov 1981.JPG
Fig. 30. Andrei Sakharov. 1981
 
 
References
 
1.  Viktor  Adamsky  and  Yury  Smirnov,  “Moral  Responsibility  of  Scientists  and  of
Political Leaders in Nuclear Epoch”. In the book “History of Soviet Atomic Project (HISAP)”.
Proceedings of the International Symposium HISAP-96 (40’s - 50’s), Dubna, 14-18 May 1996. Vol. 1. – Moscow. Izdat. 1997.
 
2. Andrei Sakharov, “My Country and the World”. Alfred A. Knopf. New York. 1975.
 
3.   “On  Sakharov”.   Alfred  A.   Knopf.   New  York.   1982.   [Transl.  from  Russian “Sakharovskii Sbornik. To 60-th anniversary of A.D. Sakharov”. Ed. Alexander Babyonyshev, Raisa Lert, Evgeniya Pechuro. “Khronika Press”. New York. 1981].
 
4.  Gennady  Gorelik  with  Anronina  W.  Bouis,  “The  World  of  Andrei Sakharov.  A Russian Physicist’s Path to Freedom”. Oxford University Press. 2005.
 
5. “History of creation of nuclear weapon in USSR. 1946-1953 (in documents)”. In 7 volumes. Ministry of Atomic Energy of Russia.  Russian Federal Nuclear Center - VNIIEF. Sarov (Arzamas-16). 1999.
 
6. “Andrei Sakharov. Facets of a Life. Reminiscences of colleagues”. Ed. Board: B.L. Altshuler,  B.M.  Bolotovsky,  I.M.  Dremin,  V.Ya.  Fainberg,  L.V.  Keldysh  (chairman).  P.N.

 

Lebedev  Physics  Institute,  I.E.  Tamm  Theoretical Physics  Department.  Editions  Frontieres.
1991.
 
7. Andrei Sakharov, “Memoirs”. Alfred A. Knopf. New York. 1990.
 
8. A.D. Sakharov, “The Initial Stage of an Expanding Universe and the Appearance of a
Nonuniform Distribution of Matter”. JETP 49 (1), 345-358 (1965).
 
9. A.D. Sakharov, “Vacuum Quantum Fluctuations in Curved Space and the Theory of
Gravitation”. DAN USSR. 177 (1), 70-71 (1967).
 
10. A.D. Sakharov, “Violation of CP Invariance, C Asymmetry, and Baryon Asymmetry of the Universe”. Letters to JETP. 5 (1), 32-35 (1967).
 
11. A.D. Sakharov, “Cosmological Transitions with Changes in the Signature of the
Metric”. JETP. 87 (2), 375-383 (1984).
 
12. A.D. Sakharov, “Evaporation of black miniholes; high energy physics”. Letters to
JETP.44(6), 295-298 (1986).
 
13. “Academician Andrei Sakharov. Scientific Works” (in Russian). Ed. Board: B.L. Altshuler, L.V. Keldysh (chairman), D.A. Kirzhnitz, V.I. Ritus. P.N. Lebedev Physics Institute, I.E. Tamm Theoretical Physics Department. Tsentrkom, Moscow. 1995.
 
14. “Academician Andrei Dmitrievich Sakharov. Collected Scientific Works”. Ed. D. ter
Haar, D.V. Chudnovsky, G.V. Chudnovsky. Marcel Dekker INC. New York and Basel. 1982.
 
15.  Soviet  Physics  Uspekhi.  Special  Issue:  To  the  Seventieth  Birthday  of  Andrei
Dmitrievich Sakharov. 34 (5), May 1991.
 
16. Elena Bonner, “Alone Together”. Alfred A. Knopf. New York. 1986.
 
17. "Sakharov Remembered. A tribute by friends and colleagues". Ed.: S.D. Drell, S.P. Kapitza, in cooperation with Priroda magazine, USSR. American Institute of Physics & Physical Society of the USSR & Priroda magazine, New York, 1991.
 
18. Gennady Gorelik, “Matvei Bronstein and quantum gravity: 70th anniversary of the unsolved problem”. Physics-Uspekhi 2005, vol 48, no 10, pp. 1039-1053.
 
29. Lee Smolin, “The Trouble with Physics”. 2006.
 

20. Andrei Sakharov, "Moscow and Beyond", Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1991.

 

 


[1] baltshuler@yandex.ru
[2] Sakharov never  mentioned  this Letter of 1967 honestly observing its privacy; science historian Gennady Gorelik found it in the Archive of the Communist Party Central Committee and it had the stamp “secret” ([4], P. 263-268).
[3] “One who became physicist / he will be never sad again. / At the Phys. Dep. there is not life, but paradise. / Only physicists are the salt of the earth / all the others are sheer zeroes…”.
[4] Like e.g. in “The Nuclear Express: A Political History of the Bomb and its Proliferation,” by Thomas C. Reed and Danny B. Stillman, 2008.
[5] Strategic Defense Initiative.
[6] Федерация американских ученых (Federation of American Scientists - FAS).