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Zhores Alferov

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Scientist

The Resume

    (March 15, 1930-March 1, 2019)
    Born in Viciebsk, Belarus
    Physicist
    Co-recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physics for developing the semiconductor heterojunction (2000)

Why he might be annoying:

    His first name is a Russified version of the last name of French socialist Jean Juares. (Could have been worse; his brother got saddled with Marx as a first name.)
    He moved into his lab when the Soviet government moved up the deadline for producing a batch of transistors for its submarine fleet (1958).
    He called the dissolution of the Soviet Union 'a great personal tragedy.'
    While serving in the State Duma (the lower house of the Russian parliament), he changed his political affiliation from the pro-Yeltsin party Our Home to the Communists (1999).

Why he might not be annoying:

    He developed the first laser that operated at room temperature.
    Hermann Grimmeiss of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (one of the bodies that awards Nobel Prizes) said, 'Without Alferov, it would not be possible to transfer all the information from satellites down to the Earth or to have so many telephone lines between cities.'
    He said he entered politics reluctantly and only to ensure continued government financing for scientific research.
    He was married to Tamara Darskaya for 51 years.

Credit: C. Fishel


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