Konstantin Antonovich Petrzhak

(04.07.1907 - 10.10.1998)

The famous Russian scientist, one of founders of Nuclear Physics research in this country Professor Petrzhak Konstantin Antonovich passed away on October 10 this year. He aged 91.

He began his research career as experimentalist in Radium Institute (St.Petersburg) in 1936 studying Radiochemistry and Physics of Nuclei. He worked in this institue to his last days.

Just during this time in the institute the base of these research were intensely being developed under general guidance of reknown scientist Academician V.G.Khlopov.

K.A.Petrzhak's name entered history of science especially by his (together with G.N.Flerov) work which lead to discovery of spontaneous fission of atomic nuclei. The importance of this phenomenon is not only of great epistemological value, showing bounderies of Periodical Table of Elements and clearing physical properties of nuclei. It also turned out of vital importance for constructing nuclear weapon.

This and other works by K.A.Petrzhak in Nuclear Physics and adjacent fields made him widely known in world Nuclear Physics community.

K.A.Petrzhak took part in World War 2 and served as reconnaissance head of artillery combat battalion until he in March 1942 was send out for taking part in Nuclear Weapon Program.

Bright and inventive experimentalist K.A.Petrzhak founded large school of his pupils - specialists in Fission of Nuclei and Nuclear Technology Materials studies.

He was awarded State Prize two times.