Brothers Abraham and Artyom Alikhanian, Nuclear physicists

Brothers Abraham and Artyom Alikhanian, Nuclear physicists

Abraham and Artyom Alikhanian (Abraham would go by the last name Alikhanov) were brothers and nuclear physicists. Their discoveries and leadership greatly advanced the study of nuclear physics.


The brothers were born in Tiflis (present-day Tbilisi, Georgia) during the days of the Russian Empire.  

Claim to fame

Abraham founded the first nuclear reactor in the Soviet Union, as well as the Institute for Theoretical and Experimental Physics in Moscow. Artyom was the first European to conduct the Loeb lectures at Harvard University and is sometimes called the “father of Armenian physics.” Together, they founded the Armenian Academy of Sciences.

What they said

“Armenia has many creative sons to tell the world about the fairness of her nature and her people's beautiful soul.”

What others said

 “You represent the only generation of physicists who were blessed to witness the greatest times; the times when the very elements of science were broken down and transformed.”-- Lev Artsimovich to Abraham Alikhanian

The film “Hello, That’s Me” was based on Artyom Alikhanian's biography. The main character was played by Armen Dzhigarkhanyan. The motion picture was nominated to Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival.

“It was bestowed upon him to change the face of this land, and as the founder of the Physical Science in Armenia he can be named among the country’s torch bearers.” -- A.B. Migdal about Artyom Alikhanian