Ambartsumian’ s view on astronomy of XX century


1931-1932         Scientific Secretary of the Pulkovo Observatory

1931-1934         Lecturer of astrophysics of the Leningrad State University

1934                 Professor of the Leningrad State University 

1934-1946         Head of the first in the Soviet Union department of astrophysics, founded in the Leningrad State University

1935                 Awarded the scientific degree of doctor of physical-mathematical sciences without defense of dissertation

1937-1944         Scientific head of the Yerevan Astronomical Observatory

1939                 Corresponding member of the USSR Academy of Sciences

1939-1941         Director of the astronomical observatory of the Leningrad State University

1940                 Member of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union

1940                 Title of Honored Scientist of the Armenian SSR

1941-1943         Pro-rector of the Leningrad State University on scientific affairs and head of scientific-research branch of University, evacuated to Yelabuga (Tatar ASSR)

1943                 Founding member of the newly organized Armenian SSR Academy of Sciences

1943                 Full member of the Armenian SSR Academy of Sciences 

1943-1947         Vice-President of the Armenian SSR Academy of Sciences

1944                 Labour Red Banner Order for outstanding services in preparing astronomy specialists and on the occasion of 125th anniversary of the Leningrad University

1944-1994         Head of the newly founded department of astrophysics of the Yerevan State University

1944-1946         Director of the Yerevan Astrophysical Observatory of the Armenian SSR Academy of Sciences

1944                 Chairman of the Astronomical Commission of the USSR Academy of Sciences

1944-1959         Editor-in-chief of the journal «Reports of the Armenian SSR Academy of Sciences»

1944-1979         Member of the editorial board of the «Astronomical journal» of the USSR Academy of Sciences

1945                 Lenin Order for outstanding services in development of science & engineering and on occasion of 220th anniversary of the USSR Academy of Sciences

1946                 USSR State prize for creation of new theory of light scattering in turbid medium

1946-1988         Director of the newly founded Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory of the Armenian SSR Academy of Sciences                   

1946-1985         Editor-in-chief of the «Communications of the Byurakan Observatory»

1946                 Member of the International Astronomical Union (IAU)

1947                 Honorary member of the American Astronomical Society (AAS)

1947                 Professor of the Yerevan State University

1947-1951         Deputy of the Armenian SSR Supreme Soviet

1947-1956         Chairman of the Editorial-Publishing council of the Armenian SSR Academy of Sciences

1947-1972         Member of the Committee on Lenin and USSR State prizes in the field of science and engineering at the USSR Council of Ministers

1947-1993         President of the Armenian SSR Academy of Sciences

1947                 Chairman of the «Knowledge» society administration of the Armenian SSR

1948-1955         Vice-President of the International Astronomical Union (IAU)

1948                 Member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Armenian SSR

1949-1953         Chairman of the Armenian Republican Committee of defenders of peace

1950                 USSR State prize for the discovery and study of new type of stellar systems («Stellar associations») (together with B.E.Markarian)

1950                 Deputy of the USSR Supreme Soviet

1952-1964         Chairman of the Committee on cosmogony of the USSR Academy of Sciences

1953                 Labour Red Banner Order for prolonged meritorious service and unexceptionable work

1953                 Full member of the USSR Academy of Sciences

1953                 Honorary member of the Royal Astronomical Society (Great Britain)

1953                 Corresponding member of the Royal Society (Academy of sciences) of Belgium (Liege)

1955                 Member of the Presidium of the USSR Academy of Sciences

1956                 Corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences of Austria

1956                 Jansen medal of the French Astronomical Society for scientific services

1957                 Corresponding member of the German Academy of Sciences in Berlin

1957                 Foreign Honorary member of the American Academy of Sciences and Arts (Boston)

1958                 Lenin Order for outstanding services in the field of development of astronomy and on the occasion of his 50th anniversary

1958                 Corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences of France 

1959                 Member of the USA National Academy of Sciences

1959                 Member of the German Academy of naturalists «Leopoldina» (Halle)

1959                 Honorary member of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada

1959                 Catarine Brus gold medal of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (CaliforniaUSA) for outstanding services in the field of astronomy

1960                 Gold Medal of the Great Britain Royal Astronomical Society for works in the field of theoretical astrophysics and stellar astronomy

1960                 Medal «For labour valour«

1961-1964         President of the International Astronomical Union (IAU)

1963                 Title of Honorary Doctor (honoris causa) of the Australian National University (Canberra)

1964-1987         Editor-in-Chief of the newly founded journal «Astrofizika»

1965                 Title of Honorary Doctor (honoris causa) of the Paris (Sorbonne) University as a recognition of services to world science

1966                 Member of Executive Committee of the International Council of Scientific Unions (ICSU)

1967                 Title of Honorary Doctor (honoris causa) of the Liege University (Belgium)

1967                 Title of Honorary Doctor (honoris causa) of the Carlov (Praha) University (Czechoslovakia)

1967                 Member of the Italian National Academy of Sciences «Dei Lincei«

1967                 Chairman of the editorial board and scientific-publishing council of the first «Armenian Soviet Encyclopedia»

1968                 Title of the Hero of Socialist Labour with investiture of Lenin Order and Gold medal «Hammer and sickle» for great services in the development of astronomical science and on the occasion of his 60th anniversary

1968                 Title of Honoured Scientist of the Georgian SSR

1968-1972         President of the International Council of Scientific Unions (ICSU) (two periods)

1969                 Cyrill & Mefodiy Order of I degree by Presidium of the People’s Assembly of the People’s Republic of Bulgaria for successes in development of science

1969                 Honorary member of the London Royal Society (Great Britain Academy of sciences)

1969                 Honorary member of the Cambridge Philosophical Society (England)

1970                 S.I.Vavilov medal by the Presidium of Administration of All-Union society «Knowledge» for services in popularization of political and scientific knowledge

1970                 Member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences

1970                 Gold medal of the Slovak Academy of Sciences for outstanding scientific and social activity and for services to humanity

1970                 Chairman of the Committee of the Armenian SSR State prizes in the field of science and engineering at the Armenian SSR Council of Ministers

1971                 Member of the Royal Academy of Sciences of Denmark

1971                 Helmholz medal by the German Academy of Sciences in Berlin (GDR) for successes in the field of natural sciences

1971                 The highest award of the Academy — M.V.Lomonosov Gold medal by the Presidium of the USSR Academy of Sciences for outstanding achievements in the field of astronomy and astrophysics                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

1972                 Honorary member of the Azerbaijan SSR Academy of Sciences

1973                 Honorary member of the Royal Academy of Sciences of Sweden

1973                 Order of «Service» of the 3rd degree by the Government of Poland for outstanding scientific services

1973                 Title of Honorary Doctor (honoris causa) of the Nicolaus Copernic Torun University (Poland)

1973                 Honorary member of the New-York Academy of Sciences

1974                 Foreign member of the Academy of Sciences of Bulgaria

1974                 Title of Honorary Doctor (honoris causa) of the La-Plata University (Argentina)

1974                 Kotenius Gold medal by the German Academy of naturalists («Leopoldina«) in Halle (GDR)

1974                 Foreign member of the Cordoba (ArgentinaAcademy of Sciences

1974                 Sarmiento medal by the Cordoba (ArgentinaAcademy of Sciences for scientific and pedagogical services

1974                 Chairman of the United Scientific Council on astronomy of the USSR Academy of Sciences

1974                 Lenin Order for scientific services on the occasion of 250th anniversary of the USSR Academy of Sciences

1975                 Order of «Banner» of the Hungarian People’s Republic

1976                 Foreign member of the Academy of Sciences of India

1976                 Member of the Editorial board of the «Reports of the USSR Academy of Sciences»

1978                 Foreign member of the Academy of Sciences of Czechoslovakia

1978                 Foreign member (Associe etranger) of the Academy of Sciences of France

1978                 Lenin Order and second Gold medal «Hammer and sickle» of the Hero of Socialist Labour for outstanding services in the development of the Soviet science and on the occasion of his 70th anniversary 

1978                 Honorary member of the Academy of Sciences of the Georgian SSR

1978                 Corresponding member of the International Academy of Astronautics

1979                 Honorary member of the Academy of Sciences of Hungary

1982                 Honorary citizen of Tbilisi (Georgia)

1983                 Foreign member of the Academy of Sciences of Athens (Greece)

1983                 «October Revolution» Order for scientific services and on the occasion of his 75th anniversary

1984                 Gold medal of the Academy of Sciences of Czechoslovakia for scientific services

1984                 Deputy of the USSR Supreme Soviet

1984                 Foreign member of the Syrian Scientific Society (Academy of sciences)

1988                 Honorary director of the Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory

1992                 Full member of the European Academy (London)

1992                 Full member of the Russian Academy of Creation

1993                 Honorary President of the Armenian National Academy of Sciences

1994                 Counsellor of the Russian Academy of Sciences

1994                 Motherland Order and title of «National Hero of Armenia» for creation of scientific values of international significance, exceptional services in the field of organization of science

1994                 George Gamov prize and medal of the Russian Academy of Creation for outstanding contribution in the development of astrophysics

1994                 Annual national prize of the All-Armenian Foundation «Hayastan» in the field of science and culture

1995                 State prize of the Russian Federation in the field of science and engineering for the scientific work «Dynamics of the structure of stellar systems»

1996                 Member of the Euro-Asian Astronomical Society (EAAS)               





Victor AMBARTSUMIAN (1908-1996)

Victor Amazasp Ambartsumian was born in September 18, 1908, in Tbilisi. After the graduation of the Leningrad (Saint-Petersburg) University and post-graduate studentship in Pulkovo Observatory, he founded in the University the first department of astrophysics in the Soviet Union. In 1943 V.A.Ambartsumian was one of the founding members of the Armenian Academy of Sciences and its vice-president. Soon, in 1947, he became the president of the Academy, and since 1993 he was its honorary president.


* * *

In 1946 the Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory of the Academy of Sciences of Armenia was founded. Since the first days till 1988 V.A.Ambartsumian was the director and scientific leader of the Byurakan Observatory. And since 1988 he was its honorary director. Thanks to Ambartsumian’s and his colleagues’ works it became one of the known observatories in the world. Ambartsumian’s works are distinguished in perfection and almost every time opened new directions in astrophysics. His works on physics of gaseous nebulae and radiation transfer theory are classic. They played important role in this field, in particular, in the theory of multiple light scattering. The invariance principle, formulated in these works for the first time, had a wide application in a number of other fields of the science. Ambartsumian’s investigations on the problem of stellar evolution brought in 1947 to revealing of stellar systems of new type — stellar associations. The existence of stellar associations in the Galaxy, dynamically non-stable and disintegrating systems, was the first observational evidence in favour of continuing at present star-formation in it. Ambartsumian  put forward a hypothesis  about  the  joint  origin  of  the diffuse matter and stars  of  dense  matter  of  unknown nature — protostarsAmbartsumian’s studies of early stages of evolution of stars and stellar systems are rather significant. It was shown, that in the early stages of the evolution, the instability of state reveals itself, being the regular phase of the cosmogonic processes. Among these results the conclusions about the existence  of  stellar systems  of  positive  total  energy  in the Galaxy, non-thermal  nature  of  ultraviolet  stellar  radiation of T Tauri  type  and  flare stars, are to be mentioned. New principle results were achieved by V.A.Ambartsumian in study of evolution of galaxies.  It was shown for the first time, that the central regions of galaxies — their nuclei, play decisive role in  the phenomena of instability, observed in galaxies. Besides the stars and diffuse matter they must contain dense massive bodies of unknown nature. The activity of galactic nuclei defines their evolution. At present the active galactic nuclei (AGN) are the most intensively studied objects in extragalactic astronomy.

Ambartsumian has carried out some other investigations of great importance in astrophysics as well, such as the study of interstellar absorbing matter in the Galaxy (the idea of  its  ragged  structure,  the theory of fluctuations of light of the Milky Way), works on stellar dynamics (establishing of the base of  new, statistical mechanics of stellar systems), statistical investigations of flare stars, and others. Ambartsumian was an outstanding organizer of science, who significantly promoted the international scientific cooperation.  In 1948-1955 he was the vice-president, and in 1961-64 — the president of the International Astronomical Union (IAU), in 1968 and 1970 he was twice elected the president of the International Council of Scientific Unions (ICSU). His many-sided activity accepted high estimate. He was awarded governmental prizes, orders and medals of a number of countries (Twice Hero of Socialist Labour in 1968 and 1978, USSR State Prizes in 1946 and 1950, Russian State Prize in 1995, National Hero of Armenia in 1994), gold medals of a number of academies and scientific societies. He was elected honorary and foreign  member  of 28 Academies of Sciences, including USA, UK, France, Italy, Holland, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Greece, Czechoslovakia, India, Argentina, and  other National Academies, honorary member of scientific societies of many countries, honorary doctor of the  Universities of Canberra (Australia), La Plata (Argentina), Warsaw and Torun (Poland), Praha (Czechoslovakia), Liege  (Belgium) and Sorbonne (France).V.A.Ambartsumian has published about 20  books  and booklets, more  than 200 scientific papers, numerous popular articles.

Victor A. Ambartsumian passed away in August 12, 1996 in Byurakan. He will remain forever as one  of  the most outstanding scientists of the XX century.