Viktor A. Ambartsumian (Dictionary of World Biography: Twentieth Century)
Article abstract: Ambartsumian developed the astrophysics of stars and stellar origins and was instrumental in the theory of gigantic catastrophe formation in galaxies related to the evolution of stars and galaxies. He was the founder of the major school of theoretical astrophysics in the U.S.S.R.
Very few biographical details of Viktor A. Ambartsumian’s childhood are known. He was born in 1908, in Tiflis, Russia (modern Tbilisi, U.S.S.R.), the son of a local teacher of literature. Early in school, he developed a passion for mathematics and physics and became extremely interested in the formation, evolution, and energy generation of stars and other heavenly bodies. Following his instincts, he went to the University of Leningrad, from which he was graduated in 1928 with high honors. He performed so well and so amazed his instructors that he was offered a position at the university, where he stayed to teach until 1944. In that year, he went to Yerevan, Soviet Armenia, to become the founder and director of the Byurakan Observatory and its subsequent permanent director.
Very early in his career at the Byurakan Observatory, Ambartsumian became interested in the physics of stars and nebulas, combined with a general regard for astronomical topics of all characteristics. As a by-product of his work, he became the founder of the school for theoretical astrophysics in the...
(The entire section is 1842 words.)
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