Rashid Sunyaev

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Rashid Sunyaev
Sunyaev in 2010
Born (1943-03-01) 1 March 1943 (age 74)
Tashkent, Uzbek SSR, Soviet Union
Residence Munich, Germany
Nationality Russian, German
Alma mater Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MS),
Moscow State University (Ph.D)
Known for Cosmic microwave background radiation
Awards King Faisal International Prize for Physics (2009),
Heineman Prize (2003),
Crafoord Prize (2008),
Kyoto Prize (2011)
Scientific career
Fields Astronomer
Institutions Russian Academy of Sciences, Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics

Rashid Alievich Sunyaev (Cyrillic: Раши́д Али́евич Сюня́ев; born March 1, 1943 in Tashkent, USSR) is a Soviet and Russian astrophysicist of Tatar descent. He was educated at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MS). He became a professor at MIPT in 1974. Sunyaev was the head of the High Energy Astrophysics Department of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and has been chief scientist of the Academy's Space Research Institute since 1992. He has also been a director of the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics in Garching, Germany since 1996.


Sunyaev and Yakov B. Zel'dovich developed the theory for the evolution of density fluctuations in the early universe. They predicted the pattern of acoustic fluctuations that have been clearly seen by WMAP and other CMB experiments in the microwave sky and in the large-scale distribution of galaxies. Sunyaev and Zel’dovich stated in their 1970 paper, “A detailed investigation of the spectrum of fluctuations may, in principle, lead to an understanding of the nature of initial density perturbations since a distinct periodic dependence of the spectral density of perturbations on wavelength (mass) is peculiar to adiabatic perturbations.” CMB experiments have now seen this distinctive scale in temperature and polarization measurements. Large-scale structure observations have seen this scale in galaxy clustering measurements.

With Yakov B. Zel'dovich, at the Moscow Institute of Applied Mathematics, he proposed what is known as the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect, which is due to electrons associated with gas in galaxy clusters scattering the cosmic microwave background radiation.[1][2][3][4]

Sunyaev and Nikolay I. Shakura developed a model of accretion onto black holes, from a disk,[5] and he has proposed a signature for X-radiation from matter spiraling into a black hole. He has collaborated in important studies of the early universe, including the recombination of hydrogen and the formation of the cosmic microwave background radiation. He led the team which operated the X-ray observatory attached to the Kvant-1 module of the Mir space station and also the GRANAT orbiting X-ray observatory. Kvant made the first detection of X-rays from a supernova in 1987. His team is currently preparing the Spectrum-X-Gamma International Astrophysical Project and is working with INTEGRAL spacecraft data. At Garching he is working in the fields of theoretical high energy astrophysics and physical cosmology and participates in the data interpretation of the ongoing ESA Planck spacecraft mission.

Honors and awards[edit]


  • Yudhijit Bhattacharjee: In the Afterglow of the Big Bang - Toiling behind the Iron Curtain under a tough mentor, a Russian astrophysicist uncovered secrets of the universe that have led to discoveries 4 decades later, in: Science, 1 January 2010, Vol. 327, Page 26


  1. ^ Sunyaev RA; Zel'dovich YB (1969). "The interaction of matter and radiation in a hot-model universe". Astrophys. Space Sci. 4 (3): 301–16. Bibcode:1969Ap&SS...4..301Z. doi:10.1007/BF00661821. 
  2. ^ Sunyaev RA; Zel'dovich YB (1970). "Small-scale fluctuations of relic radiation". Astrophys. Space Sci. 7 (1): 3–19. Bibcode:1970Ap&SS...7....3S. doi:10.1007/BF00653471. 
  3. ^ Sunyaev RA; Zel'dovich YB (1972). "The observations of relic radiation as a test of the nature of X-ray radiation from the clusters of galaxies". Comm. Astrophys. Space Phys. 4: 173. Bibcode:1972ComAp...4..173S. 
  4. ^ Sunyaev RA; Zel'dovich YB (1980). "Microwave background radiation as a probe of the contemporary structure and history of the universe". Annu. Rev. Astron. Astrophys. 18 (1): 537–60. Bibcode:1980ARA&A..18..537S. doi:10.1146/annurev.aa.18.090180.002541. 
  5. ^ Shakura NI; Syunyaev RA (1973). "Black holes in binary systems. Observational appearance". Astron. Astrophys. 24: 337–55. Bibcode:1973A&A....24..337S. 
  6. ^ HEAD AAS Rossi Prize Winners
  7. ^ Winners of the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society
  8. ^ 2000 Bruce Medalist
  9. ^ 2000 ASP Annual Award Winners
  10. ^ a b Awards and best publications. ICR RAS
  11. ^ Dannie Heineman Prize for Astrophysics
  12. ^ 2003 Gruber Cosmology Prize
  13. ^ "Rashid Sunyaev". Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. Archived from the original on 14 February 2016. Retrieved 14 February 2016. 
  14. ^ The Crafoord Prize in Mathematics and Astronomy 2008
  15. ^ Henry Norris Russell Lectureship
  16. ^ "Recipients of the Karl Schwarzschild Medal". Retrieved 2008-09-24. 
  17. ^ Kyoto Prize for Russian astronomer
  18. ^ "Benjamin Franklin Medal in Physics". Franklin Institute. 2012. Retrieved 2013-04-07. 

External links[edit]