Why Soviet physicists have conducted nuclear experiments in the Moscow metro

History 01/01/20 Why Soviet physicists have conducted nuclear experiments in the Moscow subway

a few months before the beginning of the great Patriotic war in the Moscow metro really was a nuclear test. Their initiators were students of the famous physicist Igor Kurchatov. These experiments in the subway, in a sense, were the first harbingers of an atomic bomb.

Why is the station “Dinamo”?

the need for the construction of the metro station “Dinamo”, as you might guess, was due to the presence of the eponymous stadium. How to write Kusy I. A. and L. M. Naumov in the publication “the Moscow metro”, the stadium “Dinamo” contained at that time about 25 thousand fans and was the largest sports facility in the capital. In this mass of people and had to be calculated with the new station. It is not surprising that in order to accommodate everyone, it was planned to build 2 ground lobby, the architect of which was the winner of the Stalin prize Dmitry Chechulin.

According to the project of Chechulina, the interior of the station “Dinamo”, which was opened in September 1938, was designed in an antique style and decorated with bas-reliefs and porcelain medallions with images of athletes. However, the visitors were impressed not only with the decoration of the station. According to Matthew Grechko, the author of the book “Secret of the Moscow metro. The new data”, the depth at which the station is 40 meters. At that time it was the deepest station of the metro. That is why it was chosen for nuclear tests.

Nuclear experiments in the subway

the initiators of the experiment were students of the “father” of the Soviet atomic bomb Igor Kurchatov, Georgi Flerov and Konstantin Petrzhak. How to write Faith and wil Dorofeeva in its publication, “one Hundred years of ascent”, at that time Flerov and Petrzhak studied uranium and suspected that the fragile core of this chemical element capable of spontaneous disintegration. Here only check fort his hypothesis, scientists could not. The fact that neutrons that are included with almost omnipresent cosmic radiation, could ruin the experience since it would be impossible to understand whether the split uranium nucleus by themselves or under the influence of external factors.

in order to avoid space interference, Flerov and Petrzhak and decided to conduct research deep under the ground. The perfect venue for this was the station “Dynamo”. According to Maxim Kalashnikov, author of “Defiance. Russia is doomed to success” in 1940, Georgy and Konstantin Antonovich sat in the office of the chief of the metro station. By the way, the station at the time of test was not closed. Every day there were thousands of people, and none of them knew that in the offices of physics “conjure” over uranium.

Persistent Flerov

Georgi Flerov and Konstantin Petrzhak was the world’s first scientists who discovered the phenomenon of spontaneous fission of uranium. In September 1940, “Journal of experimental and theoretical physics” published an article students Kurchatov called “Spontaneous fission of uranium.” It was a sensation, which meant that the creation of the atomic bomb possible. However, eminent experts are assured what to speak about something like this prematurely. However, the young people, that is, Flerov and Petrzhak, thought otherwise. According to the author of the book “Secrets of the past century. The power of strife, the background” Nikolay Zenkovich, in 1941, Flerov, while at the front, wrote a letter to Stalin, stating the need of building an atomic bomb.

At that moment the Germans were near Moscow, and to think about anything else, one was not. But Georgy showed admirable tenacity and in the following year again sent a message to the leader. This time to the proposal of the Flerov listened. In August 1942, physics withdrew from the front to the Academy of Sciences. At about this time, as he mentions in his book “Stalin: Generalissimo of the great Victory”, Yury Emelyanov, on the personal orders of Stalin was the General descriptioncentralized laboratory No 2 on the nuclear problem, the head of which was appointed Igor Kurchatov.

Yulia Popova

© Russian Seven

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