Georgy Flyorov

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Georgy Nikolayevich Flyorov
Stamp recognition of Georgy N. Flyorov (1913–1990)
Born(1913-03-02)2 March 1913
Died19 November 1990(1990-11-19) (aged 77)
Resting placeNovodevichy Cemetery, Moscow
Alma materLeningrad Polytechnic Institute
Known forDiscovery of spontaneous fission, Soviet atomic bomb project
AwardsHero of Socialist Labor (1949)
Scientific career
FieldsNuclear physics
InstitutionsJoint Institute for Nuclear Research
USSR Academy of Science
Notable studentsYuri Oganessian

Georgy Nikolayevich Flyorov (also spelled Flerov,[1] Russian: Гео́ргий Никола́евич Флёров, IPA: [gʲɪˈorgʲɪj nʲɪkɐˈlajɪvʲɪtɕ ˈflʲɵrəf]; 2 March 1913 – 19 November 1990) was a Soviet nuclear physicist who is known for his discovery of spontaneous fission and his contribution towards the physics of thermal reactions. In addition, he is also known for his letter directed to Joseph Stalin, during the midst of World War II, to start the atomic bomb project in the Soviet Union.[1]

In 2012, element 114 was named flerovium after the research laboratory at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research bearing his name.[2]


Flyorov was born in Rostov-on-Don and attended the Leningrad Polytechnic Institute (now known as the Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University) and majored in thermal physics and nuclear physics.

He discovered spontaneous fission in 1940 with Konstantin Petrzhak.

He is known for writing to Stalin in April 1942 as an air force lieutenant and pointing out the conspicuous silence within the field of nuclear fission in the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany.[3] Flyorov's urgings to "build the uranium bomb without delay"[4] eventually led to the development of the Soviet atomic bomb project.

In the 1970s, he claimed as his discovery two transition metal elements: seaborgium[5] and bohrium.[6]

He founded the Flyorov Laboratory of Nuclear Reactions (FLNR), one of the main laboratories of the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna in 1957, and was director there until 1989. Also during this period, he chaired the Scientific Council of the Soviet Academy of Sciences.

Honours and awards[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Georgy N. Flerov". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 10 December 2019.
  2. ^ Brown, Mark (6 June 2011). "Two Ultraheavy Elements Added to Periodic Table". Wired. Retrieved 6 June 2011.
  3. ^ Kean, Sam (12 July 2010). The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements. Little, Brown. pp. 86–. ISBN 978-0-316-08908-1.
  4. ^ Cochran TB et al. (1995) Making the Russian bomb from Stalin to Yeltsin Archived 14 December 2010 at the Wayback Machine. Natural Resources Defense Council
  5. ^ Oganesyan Yu.Ts.; Tret'yakov Yu.P.; M'inov A.S.; Demin A.G.; A.A. Pleve A.A.; Tret'yakova S.P.; Plotko V.M.; Ivanov M.P.; Danilov N.A.; Korotkin Yu.S.; Flerov G.N. (1974). "Synthesis of neutron-deficient isotopes of fermium, kurchatovium, and element 106". JETP Letters. 20 (8): 265. Bibcode:1974JETPL..20..265O. Original Russian version.
  6. ^ Oganesyan Yu.Ts.; Demin A.G.; Danilov N.A.; Ivanov M.P.; Il'inov A.S.; Kolesnikov N.N.; Markov B.M.; Plotko V.M.; Tret'yakova S.P.; Flerov G.N. (1976). "Experiments on the synthesis of element 107". JETP Letters. 23 (5): 277. Bibcode:1976JETPL..23..277O. Original Russian version.

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