Alexander (Smbat) Abian (January 1, 1923—July 1999) was an Armenian-American mathematician who taught for over 25 years at Iowa State University and became notable for his frequent posts to various Usenet newsgroups.
Abian was born in Tabriz, Iran, and was of Iranian Armenian ethnicity. After earning an undergraduate degree in Iran, he emigrated to the United States in 1950, where he received a master's degree from the University of Chicago. Abian then obtained a Ph.D. from the University of Cincinnati, where he wrote a dissertation on a topic in invariant theory under the direction of Isaac Barnett. Before teaching posts in Tennessee, New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio, he joined the faculty of Iowa State in 1967. He wrote three books and published more than two hundred papers. He retired in 1993.
Moonless Earth theory
Abian gained a degree of international notoriety for his claim that blowing up the Moon would solve virtually every problem of human existence. He made this claim in 1991 in a campus newspaper. Stating that a Moonless Earth wouldn't wobble, eliminating both the seasons and its associated events like heat waves, snowstorms and hurricanes. Refutations were given toward that idea by NASA saying that part of the exploded Moon would come back as a meteorite impacting the Earth and causing sufficient damage to extinguish all life, while restoring the seasons in the process. Abian said that "Those critics who say 'Dismiss Abian's ideas' are very close to those who dismissed Galileo." This claim and others, made in thousands of Usenet posts during the last portion of his life, gained Abian mention (not entirely favorable) and even interviews in such diverse publications as Omni, People, and The Wall Street Journal.
- Alexander Abian at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
- Anderson, Rebecca (July 1999), "ISU professor Abian dies at 76", Mid-Iowa News, Ames Tribune.
- "YIKES!: GOODNIGHT, MOON Shoot the moon? Hell, says Prof. Alexander Abian, why not just blow it up?;". People. 1991-06-24. Retrieved 2006-10-18.
- Morin, Richard (2006-05-30). "Drunks + Kids = Profits". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2006-10-18.
- Valente, Judith. "Hate Winter? Here's A Scientist's Answer: Blow Up the Moon." The Wall Street Journal. April 22, 1991.
Books by Abian
- 1965. The theory of sets and transfinite arithmetic. Philadelphia: W. B. Saunders. LCCN 65023086.
- 1971. Linear associative algebras. New York: Pergamon. ISBN 0-08-016564-8. LCCN 74130799.
- 1976. Boolean Rings. Branden Press. ISBN 0-8283-1678-3. LCCN 76012065.
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