Igor Tamm

About Igor Tamm

Who is it?: Physicist
Birth Day: July 08, 1895
Birth Place: Vladivostok, Russian Empire, Soviet Russian
Resting place: Novodevichy Cemetery, Moscow
Alma mater: Moscow State University Edinburgh University
Known for: Tamm states Neutron magnetic moment Cherenkov–Vavilov effect Frank–Tamm formula Tamm–Dancoff approximation Hydrogen bomb Tokamak Phonon
Awards: 1967 Lomonosov Gold Medal 1958 Nobel Prize in Physics 1954 Order of the Hero of Socialist Labour · Stalin Prize
Fields: Particle physics
Institutions: Second Moscow State University Moscow State University Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology Lebedev Physical Institute
Doctoral students: Vitaly Ginzburg Andrey Sakharov Leonid Keldysh Leonid Brekhovskikh Anatoly Vlasov

Igor Tamm

Igor Tamm was born on July 08, 1895 in Vladivostok, Russian Empire, Soviet Russian, is Physicist. Igor Yevgenyevich Tamm was a Soviet physicist and mathematician who was jointly awarded ‘Nobel Prize in Physics’ in 1958 with fellow physicists Pavel Alekseyevich Cherenkov and Ilya Frank, for elucidating along with Frank the science behind the Cherenkov radiation or the ‘Cherenkov effect’. It is a unique form of electromagnetic radiation, a phenomenon discovered by Cherenkov, which says, when charged particles like electrons travel with high velocity, faster than light, through a particular medium, a slight bluish light is emitted. Tamm was also reputed for his initial research work on specific types of electron bonding on the surfaces of crystalline solids, the concept of Tamm states. This work of Tamm was later significantly applied in the development of solid-state semiconductor devices. He held the chair of theoretical physics at the ‘Moscow State University’ following a stint as a lecturer in its physics department. He also served for decades as the head of the theoretical division of the ‘Lebedev Physical Institute’ (commonly abbreviated as ‘FIAN’), of the ‘Russian Academy of Sciences’, Moscow, one of the oldest research institutes in Russia. He also contributed towards devising the first thermonuclear bomb of the Soviet Union when he and his team from ‘FIAN’ worked under physicist Yuly Khariton’s direction on the project in a secret installation known as Arzamas-16. He was conferred the title ‘Hero of Socialist Labour’ in 1953.
Igor Tamm is a member of Scientists

Does Igor Tamm Dead or Alive?

As per our current Database, Igor Tamm has been died on 12 April 1971(1971-04-12) (aged 75)\nMoscow, Russian SFSR,\nSoviet Union.

🎂 Igor Tamm - Age, Bio, Faces and Birthday

When Igor Tamm die, Igor Tamm was 75 years old.

Popular As Igor Tamm
Occupation Scientists
Age 75 years old
Zodiac Sign Leo
Born July 08, 1895 (Vladivostok, Russian Empire, Soviet Russian)
Birthday July 08
Town/City Vladivostok, Russian Empire, Soviet Russian
Nationality Soviet Russian

🌙 Zodiac

Igor Tamm’s zodiac sign is Leo. According to astrologers, people born under the sign of Leo are natural born leaders. They are dramatic, creative, self-confident, dominant and extremely difficult to resist, able to achieve anything they want to in any area of life they commit to. There is a specific strength to a Leo and their "king of the jungle" status. Leo often has many friends for they are generous and loyal. Self-confident and attractive, this is a Sun sign capable of uniting different groups of people and leading them as one towards a shared cause, and their healthy sense of humor makes collaboration with other people even easier.

🌙 Chinese Zodiac Signs

Igor Tamm was born in the Year of the Goat. Those born under the Chinese Zodiac sign of the Goat enjoy being alone in their thoughts. They’re creative, thinkers, wanderers, unorganized, high-strung and insecure, and can be anxiety-ridden. They need lots of love, support and reassurance. Appearance is important too. Compatible with Pig or Rabbit.

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Tamm married Nataliya Shuyskaya (1894-1980) in September 1917. They eventually had two children, Irina (1921–2009, chemist) and Evgeny (1926–2008, experimental Physicist and famous mountain climber, leader of the Soviet Everest expedition in 1982).


According to Russian sources, Tamm had German noble descent on his father's side. His grandfather Theodor Tamm emigrated from Thuringia (other sources wrongly describe him as Jewish). He studied at a gymnasium in Elisavetgrad (now Kropyvnytskyi, Ukraine). In 1913–1914 he studied at the University of Edinburgh together with his school-friend Boris Hessen.


At the outbreak of World War I in 1914 he joined the army as a volunteer field medic. In 1917 he joined the Revolutionary movement and became an active anti-War campaigner, serving on revolutionary committees after the March Revolution. He returned to the Moscow State University from which he graduated in 1918.


On 1 May 1923, Tamm began teaching physics at the Second Moscow State University. The same year, he finished his first scientific paper, Electrodynamics of the Anisotropic Medium in the Special Theory of Relativity. In 1928, he spent a few months with Paul Ehrenfest at the University of Leiden. From 1934 until his death in 1971 Tamm was the head of the theoretical department at Lebedev Physical Institute in Moscow.


In 1932, Tamm published a paper with his proposal of the concept of surface states. This concept is important for MOSFET physics.


In 1934, Tamm and Semen Altshuller suggested that the neutron has a non-zero magnetic moment, the idea was met with scepticism at that time, as the neutron was supposed to be an elementary particle with zero charge, and thus could not have a magnetic moment. The same year, Tamm coined an idea that proton-neutron interactions can be described as an exchange force transmitted by a yet unknown massive particle, this idea was later developed by Hideki Yukawa into a theory of meson forces.


In late 1940s-early 1950s Tamm was involved in the Soviet thermonuclear bomb project, in 1949–1953 he spent most of his time in the "secret city" of Sarov, working as a head of the theoretical group developing the hydrogen bomb, however he retired from the project and returned to the Moscow Lebedev Physical Institute after the first successful test of a hydrogen bomb in 1953.


In 1945 he developed an approximation method for many-body physics. As Sidney Dancoff developed it independently in 1950, it is now called the Tamm-Dancoff approximation.


In 1951, together with Andrei Sakharov, Tamm proposed a tokamak system for the realization of CTF on the basis of toroidal magnetic thermonuclear reactor and soon after the first such devices were built by the INF. Results from the T-3 Soviet magnetic confinement device in 1968, when the plasma parameters unique for that time were obtained, showed temperatures in their machine to be over an order of magnitude higher than what was expected by the rest of the community. The western Scientists visited the experiment and verified the high temperatures and confinement, sparking a wave of optimism for the prospects of the tokamak as well as construction of new experiments, which is still the dominant magnetic confinement device today.


He was the Nobel Laureate in Physics for the year 1958 together with Pavel Cherenkov and Ilya Frank for the discovery and the interpretation of the Cherenkov-Vavilov effect.


In 1964 he was elected a Member of the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina.

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