Igor Kurchatov

Soviet nuclear physicist (1903-1960)

Igor Vasilyevich Kurchatov (Russian: Игорь Васильевич Курчатов); (12 January 19037 February 1960), was a Soviet physicist who played a central role in organizing and directing the former Soviet program of nuclear weapons.

Igor Kurchatov in 1948

Quotes edit

  • On the one hand, there are the approaches that lead to stationary thermonuclear reactions, and on the other hand, those that are based on the idea of utilizing an instantaneous temperature rise in transient processes of very brief duration. However, irrespective of the way the investigation is carried out, there is one problem that is inevitably encountered; namely, the insulation of the plasma, which is heated to a high temperature, from the walls of the vessel in which it is confined, In other words, a means must be found to keep the fast particles within the plasma over a period sufficient for the particles to have a good chance to react with each other.
  • In a sufficiently strong magnetic field, electrons and ions can move freely only along the lines of magnetic force. In a plane normal to these lines of force the particles will move along circles of small radius. The positions of the centers of these circles can vary only as a result of collisions, each collision displacing the center by a distance of the same order of magnitude as the radius of curvature of the particle trajectory.
  • We considered here some features of the phenomena that accompany the passage of Intense pulse discharges through rarefied gases. The success of further work in this direction will greatly depend on the possibility of creating conditions under which the plasma column will experience multiple oscillations during build-up of the current without coming into contact with the walls.

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