Andrei Sakharov Biography
(Soviet Nuclear Physicist, Dissident and Winner of the 1975 Nobel Prize for Peace)
Birthday: May 21, 1921 (Gemini)
Born In: Moscow, Russia
Andrei Sakharov was a Russian physicist and Noble Prize winning activist, popularly known as ‘The Father of Soviet nuclear bomb’. He was a great nuclear scientist and an influential political activist, one of the twentieth century's most ardent and unrelenting champions of human rights and freedoms. He conducted research in controlled nuclear fusion and his work eventually led to the creation of the first Soviet hydrogen bomb. His work on the nuclear program, which he popularized as ‘The Third Idea’, ultimately led him down the road towards dissent. Following the test of the first Soviet hydrogen bomb, he became increasingly disturbed by the probable consequences of his work. After some time, he returned to fundamental science and began working on cosmology, but continued to oppose political discrimination. Later in life, he became an increasingly vocal advocate of human rights and when he denounced the Soviet military intervention in Afghanistan, the Soviet authorities banished him to internal exile. He remained a tireless advocate for political reform and human rights for the rest of his life. Despite being an atheist, he did believe that a non-scientific "guiding principle" governed the universe and human life. He was an extraordinary theoretical physicist and a renowned dissident, but above all, a noble symbol of courage, intelligence, and humanity.