Viktor Hambartsumian was one of the founders of theoretical astrophysics. His discoveries and his theories were at the vanguard of the new and burgeoning field.
Hambartsumian was born in Tiflis (present-day Tbilisi, Georgia) in 1908 and moved to Leningrad (modern-day St. Petersburg) to study.
Claim to fame
His discoveries in the field of theoretical astrophysics and for his founding of the Byurakan Observatory in Armenia, an important center of astronomical research. He was one of the founding members of the Armenian Academy of Sciences and its longest-serving president. He was also the professor of Benjamin Markaryan, who would later discover the eponymous Markaryan Galaxies.
What he said
“I had a love for mathematics, for computations from the very beginning.”
“Thus I live with interest and hope that the next generation of younger astronomers will be able to carry forth this work for real, better than us.”
What others said
“[Hambartsumian] put Armenia on the astronomical map.” – The Independent
“…One of the most powerful scientists of his time.” – Royal Society Biographical Memoirs
“…A giant of world astrophysics…” – David Cherry, 21st Century Science & Technology