Article name Academician Sergey L. Sobolev in the Soviet Atomic Project
Authors Krayneva I.A. Ershov Institute of Informatics Systems, DOI: 10.21209/1996-7853-2019-14-6-71-80.
Bibliographic description Krayneva I. A. Academician Sergey L. Sobolev in the Soviet Atomic Project // Humanitarian Vector. 2019. Vol. 14, No. 6. PP. 71–80. DOI: 10.21209/1996-7853-2019-14-6-71-80.
Section History, people, values
UDK 929
DOI 10.21209/1996-7853-2019-14-6-71-80
Article type
Annotation This paper is dedicated to Academician Sergey Lvovich Sobolev (1908–1989), an outstanding scientist of the 20th century. The relevance of this study stems from the details of Academician Sobolev’s involvement in the Soviet atomic project (SAP), where he worked in the Laboratory of Measuring Instruments (LIPAN, Laboratory no. 2, now a National Research Center, the so-called Kurchatov Institute). This study has become possible thanks to the open publication of SAP documents. The new information concerns, in particular, the development of the diffusion method for obtaining highly enriched uranium-235. The purpose of the paper is to highlight the previously unknown talents of the scientist and the ways he applied them. The author employs both the external and internal approaches to the history of science, microanalytical strategy, biographical method, content analysis of sources. It has become evident that Sergey Sobolev did not limit himself to mathematical calculations. His areas of concern included science, organization and pedagogics. For 13 years, from 1943 to 1956, Sobolev was involved in the Soviet Atomic Project. He was appointed one of the deputies of I. V. Kur­chatov. As the study shows, he had to solve a large number of diverse scientific, technological and organizational problems. Apart from setting tasks for calculators, he worked on the automatic regulation of industrial isotope separation and reduction of production losses. Working for the Atomic Project, Sobolev got interested in computational mathematics and became an adept of electronic computing. He supported the foundations of science and protected it against the ideological interference of functionaries. His stout support of genetics and cybernetics produced an effect. As a founder of the Siberian Branch of the USSR Academy of Sciences, S. L. Sobolev became its iconic image; the Institute of Mathematics he founded was named after him.
Key words S. L. Sobolev, I. K. Kikoin, F. Lange, atomic project of the USSR, diffusion method, uranium isotope separation, computational mathematics
Article information
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