Obituaries in the news

AP News
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Posted: Nov 10, 2009 6:04 AM

Vitaly Ginzburg

MOSCOW (AP) _ Vitaly Ginzburg, a Nobel Prize-winning Russian physicist and one of the fathers of the Soviet hydrogen bomb, died Sunday. He was 93.

The Russian Academy of Sciences said Ginzburg died of cardiac arrest in Moscow.

Ginzburg won the 2003 Nobel Prize in physics with two other scientists for their contribution to theories on superconductivity, the ability of some materials to conduct electricity without resistance.

In the late 1940s and early 1950s, Ginzburg was a key member of the group working under Igor Tamm that developed the Soviet hydrogen bomb. Ginzburg wrote that he and Andrei Sakharov _ considered the father of the Soviet H-bomb _ formulated the two ideas that made it possible to build the thermonuclear device.

Ginzburg was born into a Jewish family in 1916, a year before the Bolshevik Revolution, and grew up in times of economic degradation and hunger, according to his autobiography written for the Nobel Prize Committee.

His career began in the late 1930s, a time of Stalinist purges and pervasive anti-Semitism. Ginzburg was blacklisted and faced persecution, but "was saved by the hydrogen bomb," he wrote in the autobiography.

He became a member of the Soviet Academy of Sciences in 1953. He also was a longtime editor of a leading scientific magazine on theoretical physics and educated hundreds of disciples.