Founding Fathers: Albert Tavkhelidze

News, 16 December 2022

On 16 December, the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research celebrates the birthday of a world-famous theoretical physicist, Doctor of Physics and Mathematics, Professor, RAS Academician Albert Nikiforovich Tavkhelidze (16.12.1930 – 27.02.2010).

Albert Tavkhelidze worked in Dubna from 1956 to 1970 and worked his way up from researcher to Deputy Director of the Laboratory of Theoretical Physics JINR. In cooperation with academicians Nikolay Bogoliubov and Anatoly Logunov, Albert Tavkhelidze developed the scientific team of the Laboratory. Despite being very busy, Albert Nikiforovich paid great attention to the Institute’s development even after he left Dubna.

In 2003 – 2008, Academician Tavkhelidze was a member of the JINR Scientific Council, in 2004-2010, he was a Plenipotentiary Representative of the Government of Georgia in JINR.

Albert Tavkhelidze always balanced a number of leading, organizational, professorial, editorial, and even political posts. He was the Director and the Head of the Department of Theoretical Physics and the Department of Particle Physics at several institutes in Russia, Georgia, and Ukraine. Tavkhelidze was a founder and the first Director (1970–1986) of the Institute for Nuclear Research of the USSR Academy of Sciences (INR RAS). He was also a member of several committees for awarding prizes to scientists.

From 1986 to 2005, Albert Tavkhelidze headed the Georgian Academy of Sciences. For many years he was a member of the Presidium of the USSR Academy of Sciences.

Albert Nikiforovich organized a number of major international conferences, seminars, and schools for young scientists, was the editor of several scientific journals. He was Deputy Editor-in-Chief of the journal of the USSR Academy of Sciences “Theoretical and Mathematical Physics” from 1967 to 1991. Since 1992 he was a member of the editorial board of the JINR journal “Physics of Elementary Particles and Atomic Nuclei”.

The area of his scientific interests included quantum field theory and elementary particle physics. He authored more than 200 scientific publications.

Together with Victor Matveev and Rudolf Muradyan

Together with Anatoly Logunov, the scientist obtained the Logunov – Tavkhelidze quasipotential equation. Together with Nikolay Bogoliubov and Boris Struminsky, Albert Tavkhelidze proposed (1965) a new quantum number of quarks – “colour”, and put forward the hypothesis on colourless hadrons. Together with Anatoly Logunov and Lev Soloviev, he obtained finite-energy sum rules. He formulated the principle of self-similarity in high-energy physics and developed a unified approach to the description of deep-elastic processes based on this principle. Together with Victor Matveev and Rudolf Muradyan, he established the Matveev – Muradyan – Tavkhelidze quark counting rules confirmed experimentally.

He received the USSR State Prize, the Lenin Prize, the State Prize of the Russian Federation for the creation of the Baksan Neutrino Observatory, the Prize of the Government of the Russian Federation for the creation of the high current linear proton accelerator of the Moscow Meson Factory.

He was an Honorary Doctor of JINR and the N. N. Bogoliubov Institute for Theoretical Physics of the NAS of Ukraine, and an Honorary Citizen of the cities of Tbilisi, Telavi, Bagdati, and Troitsk. His name was listed first in the Book of Honour of the INR RAS. In 2012, the INR RAS established the Academician A. N. Tavkhelidze Prize for young scientists.

Everyone who knew Albert Nikiforovich well noted his qualities such as devotion to the ideals of science, great willpower, rare efficiency, and ability to rally people to achieve their goals, reliability in friendship, and kindness.