“The discovery of uranium fission and possibility in principle of uranium chain reaction has predestined both the fate of century and mine one.” These lines were written by Yakov Zeldovich, three times Hero of the Socialist Labor, laureate of Lenin Prize and four USSR State Prizes, one of the creators of Soviet atomic bomb and thermonuclear bomb. Yakov Zeldovich was carried away by science since youth and took such an interest in it that failed to obtain higher education. “This were blessed times,” the scientist wrote, “when the Higher Attestation Commission would give a permission for defending a thesis to people having no higher education." Zeldovich was generating ideas like hot cakes and would bring them to life. What can be more practical than Katyusha jet-propelled projectile? Zeldovich had a direct relationship to its development. After the Second World War, Yakov the Genius, as Kurchatov called him, continued his work devoted to uranium fission theory bringing to life his inventions made before the war in the company of Yuli Khariton. The newly elected correspondent member of the Academy of Sciences worked on development of thermonuclear weapons at the top secret Arzamas-16. Stalin awarded him with Pobeda car for that, while the government later marked his achievements with Volga vehicle. However, Zeldovich himself believed the awareness of his duty having been done to be the best award for him. “The work in the field of explosion theory would psychologically prepare me for investigating stellar explosions and explosion of the Universe,” he wrote in his memoirs later. It was at that time that the whole world came to know the top secret scientist. Moreover, his works produced such an impression in the West that many people believed Zeldovich to be a pseudonym of a whole group of Soviet scientists. When they finally found out that this name stands for a single person, they considered him an astronomer of genius and elected to about ten academies of the world. However, Zeldovich failed to win the Nobel Prize. The foreign colleagues wanted to nominate him as candidate, yet could not decide whether he deserved the prize in physics or chemistry.
In 1914, Soviet physicist Yakov Zeldovich was born