The educational project “Personalities of the Russian Community Abroad. 1920-1945”

George Kistiakowsky

George Kistiakowsky

George Kistiakowsky

(1900 – 1982)

A chemist, a member of the Manhattan Project, one of inventors of A-bomb. He was born in 1900. After finishing a high school in 1917 he joined the White Army. In 1920 he moved from Crimea to Turkey, and then to the Kingdom of Serbians, Croatians and Slovenians (Yugoslavia in the future).  

In 1921 he entered the Berlin University where he studied the full course within three and a half years. In 1926 he was invited to Princeton University to work with a professor.

Since 1933 he was an associate professor at Harvard University. Kistiakowsky’s work was focused on thermodynamics, spectroscopy and chemical kinetics. He became one of the best experts in explosives, so in 1941 he was elected a member of the US National Academy of Sciences.

In 1942, Robert Oppenheimer, who later became one of “fathers of the atomic bomb”, got interested in Kistiakowsky’s research and invited the scientist as “a consultant for explosions”.  Kistiakowsky created Baratol for the slow explosive. The invention helped to finally solve the problem of triggering chain reaction in nuclear explosive. That is how nuclear weapons were invented.

In 1959-1961 Kistiakowsky worked in the President's Science Advisory Committee during the Eisenhower Administration. He contributed significantly as an expert into the high-level negotiations between the USSR and the USA regarding disarmament and arms control.


News Close