Igor Tamm, 1958
|Born||Igor Yevgenyevich Tamm
8 July 1895
Vladivostok, Russian Empire
|Died||12 April 1971
Moscow, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
|Institutions||Second Moscow State University
Moscow State Pedagogical University
Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology
USSR Academy of Sciences
|Alma mater||Moscow State University|
|Doctoral students||Leonid Brekhovskikh
|Known for||Cherenkov–Vavilov effect
|Notable awards||Order of the Hero of Socialist Labour and Stalin Prize (1954)
Nobel Prize in Physics (1958)
Igor Yevgenyevich Tamm (Russian И́горь Евге́ньевич Тамм; 8 July 1895 – 12 April 1971) was a Soviet physicist who received the 1958 Nobel Prize in Physics, jointly with Pavel Alekseyevich Cherenkov and Ilya Frank, for their 1934 discovery of Cherenkov radiation.
According to Russian sources, Tamm was born in Vladivostok, Russian Empire (now Russia) into a noble family of German extraction. His grandfather Theodor Tamm emigrated from Thuringia, and other sources describe him as Jewish. He studied at a gymnasium in Elisavetgrad (now Kirovohrad, 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.
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 of 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.
Tamm was a student of Leonid Isaakovich Mandelshtam in science and life.
- Chernenko, Gennady (19 October 2004). "Igor Tamm". biographical encyclopedia peoples.ru. Retrieved 2009-09-07.
- Marshall Sklare (1982). Understanding American Jewry. Transaction Publishers. p. 108. ISBN 978-0-87855-454-6.
- Joan Comay; Lavinia Cohn-Sherbok (2002). Who's who in Jewish history: after the period of the Old Testament. Routledge. p. 362. ISBN 978-0-415-26030-5.
- Bernard S. Schlessinger; June H. Schlessinger (1996). The who's who of Nobel Prize winners, 1901-1995. Oryx Press. p. 201. ISBN 978-0-89774-899-5. "Parents: Father, Evgen Tamm; Mother, Olga Davidova Tamm. Nationality: Russian. Religion: Jewish."
- Ioan Mackenzie James (2009). Driven to innovate: a century of Jewish mathematicians and physicists. Peter Lang. p. 262. ISBN 978-1-906165-22-2.
- Wentzel Van Huyssteen (2003). Encyclopedia of Science and Religion, Volume 2. MacMillan Reference USA. p. 493.
- Evgeniĭ Lʹvovich Feinberg, Reminiscences about I. E. Tamm (1987)
- Vitaliĭ Lazarevich Ginzburg (2005). About Science, Myself and Others. CRC Press. p. 253. ISBN 9780750309929. "Nowadays, when we are facing manifestations of religious and. more often, pseudoreligious feelings, it is appropriate to mention that Igor Evgenevich was a convinced and unreserved atheist."
- Physicists: Epoch and Personalities (2 ed.). World Scientific. 2011. p. 86. ISBN 9789812834164.
- L. I. Mandelshtam, I. E. Tamm "The uncertainty relation between energy and time in nonrelativistic quantum mechanics", Izv. Akad. Nauk SSSR (ser. fiz.) 9, 122-128 (1945). English translation: J. Phys. (USSR) 9, 249-254 (1945).