Vitaly Ginzburg

Russian physicist

Vitaly Lazarevich Ginzburg (October 4, 1916November 8, 2009) was a Russian theoretical physicist and astrophysicist and a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences. He was the successor to Igor Tamm as head of the Department of Theoretical Physics of the Academy's physics institute (FIAN), and an outspoken atheist. He won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2003 along with Alexei Alexeyevich Abrikosov and Anthony James Leggett.

Vitaly Ginzburg in 2004

Quotes edit

  • Every physicist (naturally, this equally applies to other specialities, but I restrict myself to physicists for definitiveness) should simultaneously know, apart from theoretical physics, a wealth of facts from different branches of physics and be familiar with the newest notable accomplishments.
    • in his Nobel lecture, December 8, 2003, at Aula Magna, Stockholm University.
  • In the past century, and even nowadays, one could encounter the opinion that in physics nearly everything had been done. There allegedly are only dim 'cloudlets' in the sky or theory, which will soon be eliminated to give rise to the 'theory of everything'. I consider these views as some kind of blindness. The entire history of physics, as well as the state of present-day physics and, in particular, astrophysics, testifies to the opposite. In my view we are facing a boundless sea of unresolved problems.
    • in his Nobel lecture, December 8, 2003, at Aula Magna, Stockholm University.
  • I am not a supporter of Marxism, but I fully agree with this formulation. Another thing is that opium can sometimes be useful, and its use justified. For example, I envy believers. Indeed, I am 86 years old, I understand that death is close. And it can turn out to be painful, and no less painful are thoughts about the fate of loved ones. How good it would be to believe in the existence of, say, an afterlife, etc. But the mind is given to man in order to control his emotions and not engage in self-deception, belief in miracles.
    • On Karl Marx's phrase “Religion is the opium of the people”.[1]

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