According to Wikipedia, Sakharov in his early scientific career investigated cosmic rays. It offers no other details. It claims that it was for this work that he was awarded his doctorate.

However according to Spartacus Educational, he joined the Lebedev Institute in 1945 to work on his doctorate under the supervision of Igor Tamm and defended his thesis on nuclear physics two years later. There is no mention of cosmic rays here.

Of course it is likely that Sakharov worked on a number of projects during this period. What research did he specifically carry out in investigating these rays?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ This is his first published paper: Сахаров А. Д. Генерация жесткой компоненты космических лучей // ЖЭТФ, 1947, Т. 17, С. 686. You can find an English translation in "A.D. Sakharov: Collected Scientific Works," 1982, p. 239. $\endgroup$ – Moishe Kohan Jun 4 '20 at 14:32
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Cosmic rays and nuclear physics are in fact quite closely related. They were the only way to get very high energy particles at the time (higher then the early Cockroft-Walton, Van de Graaff, or cyclotrons could provide). $\endgroup$ – Jon Custer Jun 4 '20 at 15:23
  • $\begingroup$ I just checked Web of Science, and it lists 191 papers year to date with 'Cosmic Ray' in the title. These include titles such as 'Searching for dark photon dark matter with cosmic ray antideuterons', 'Calibration of large neutron detection arrays using cosmic rays', and 'Applications of cosmic-ray muons' all with nuclear physics implications. $\endgroup$ – Jon Custer Jun 4 '20 at 18:54
  • $\begingroup$ @jon custer: This seems kind of irrelevant. I doubt very much Sakharov would have been investigating questions about dark matter in the mid 1940s. That is a much more contemporary issue. $\endgroup$ – Mozibur Ullah Jun 5 '20 at 9:45
  • $\begingroup$ Just demonstrating that cosmic rays remain a key player in nuclear and particle physics. You did not seem to see that intimate connection. $\endgroup$ – Jon Custer Jun 5 '20 at 12:45

According to a biography of Sakharov, his first published paper was in the Journal of Theoretical and Experimental Physics, and 'estimated the cross-section for the production of mesons as the hard components of cosmic rays according to a model proposed by Tamm'

  • $\begingroup$ Nice that you self-answered your question! Would you mind including some bibliographic information about the biography? Thanks! $\endgroup$ – Hermann Gruber Aug 9 '20 at 18:02

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.