by Gennady Gorelik

Most recent
Web presentations
Book reviews

in Russian


Most recent


Hessen's explanation and the Needham question, or How Marxism helped to put an important question but hindered answering it (pdf, in Russian ) // Epistemology & Philosophy of Science 2018, vol. 55, no. 3, pp. 153–171

Matvei Bronstein and quantum gravity. Aracne, 2017

A Galilean Answer to the Needham Question // Philosophia Scientiæ 2017, 21(1), 93–110

A few good reasons to celebrate Galileo’s jubilee

The Needham Question and “Well-Ordered Science”. Letter to the Editor // Isis, Vol. 105, No. 2 (June 2014), pp. 398-399.

Matvei Petrovich Bronstein and Soviet Theoretical Physics in the Thirties, Modern Birkhäuser Classics, Springer Basel AG, 2011 (reprinted as an e-book)


Web presentations


The Paternity of the H-Bombs: Soviet-American Perspectives



Matvei BRONSTEIN: born 1906, arrested 1937, executed 1938



Andrei SAKHAROV: Photo-Chronology



Andrei SAKHAROV: Soviet Physics, Nuclear Weapons, and Human Rights
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How Modern Physics was invented in the 17th century // Scientific American Guest Blog. April 6-8, 2012  (The Needham Question -- Source of fundamental laws --Why Galileo didn’t discover universal gravitation?)

In illusory worlds of Andrei Sakharov, Edward Teller, and Klaus Fuchs // Wissenschaftliche Konferenz «Zum Gedenken an Klaus Fuchs: Vom atomaren Patt zu einer von Atomwaffen freien Welt», 25-26 November 2011, Berlin

The Riddle of the Third Idea: How Did the Soviets Build a Thermonuclear Bomb So Suspiciously Fast? // Scientific American Guest Blog. August 21, 2011

Why Is Quantum Gravity So Hard? And Why Did Stalin Execute the Man Who Pioneered the Subject?// Scientific American Guest Blog. July 14, 2011

Bremermann's Limit and cGh-physics // arXiv:0910.3424v2 [gr-qc]

The Paternity of the H-Bombs: Soviet-American Perspectives // Physics in Perspective, June, 2009, p. 169-197

Andrei Sakharov // New dictionary of scientific biography / Noretta Koertge, ed. Detroit : Charles Scribner's Sons/Thomson Gale, 2008.

Matvei Bronstein and quantum gravity: 70th anniversary of the unsolved problem  // Physics-Uspekhi 2005, vol 48, no 10, pp. 1039-1053 (pdf)

Andrei Sakharov// Encyclopedia of Science, Technology, and Ethics. Ed. C. Mitcham. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2005.

Stirrings of Religion in the Soviet H-bomb Lab // Center for History of Physics Newsletter, AIP, Spring 2003

Andrei Sakharov and Edward Teller // The Oxford Companion to the History of Modern Science. Ed. J. L. Heilbron. Oxford University Press, 2003.

The Problem of Conservation Laws and the Poincare Quasigroup in General Relativity// Einstein Studies in Russia. [Einstein Studies, Vol. 10.] Eds. Yu. Balashov, V. Vizgin. Boston:  Birkhaeuser, 2002. P. 17-43.

Hermann Weyl and Large Numbers in Relativistic Cosmology // Einstein Studies in Russia. [Einstein Studies, Vol. 10.] Eds. Yu. Balashov, V. Vizgin. Boston:  Birkhaeuser, 2002. P. 91-106.

The Metamorphosis of Andrei Sakharov // Scientific American, 1999, March, p.98-101
[text only in: The Science of War: Nuclear History. Scientific American Special Issue July 2002]

The Top Secret life of Lev Landau // Scientific American, 1997, August, p.72-77.

Lev Landau, prosocialist prisoner of the Soviet state // Physics Today, 1995, May, p. 11-15.

Vladimir Fock: Philosophy of Gravity and Gravity of Philosophy // The Attraction of Gravitation: New Studies in the History of General Relativity. [Einstein Studies, Vol.5] Eds. J.Earman, M.Janssen, J.D.Norton. Boston:  Birkhaeuser, 1993. P.308-331.

First Steps of Quantum Gravity and the Planck Values//  Studies in the history of general relativity. [Einstein Studies. Vol.3]. Eds. Jean Eisenstaedt, A.J. Kox.  Boston:  Birkhaeuser, 1992. P.364-379. pdf   

The reception of the Theory of Relativity in Russia // The Comparative reception of relativity. Ed. Thomas F. Glick. Dordrecht, Holland ; Boston : D. Reidel, 1987. P.256-326 (with V.P.Vizgin).



“H-bomb at the center of the Soviet Academic physics” (Lebedev Physical Institute Moscow, 26 Nov 2009)

“Biology between history and physics (E. Feinberg’s Credo)” (Institute for History of Science and Technology, Moscow, 3 Dec 2009)

“The Soviet Life of Lev Landau and the thermonuclear triangle: L.Landau+Ya.Zeldovich+A.Sakharov” (Lebedev Physical Institute Moscow, June 17, 2008)

“Science between religion and atheism” (Institute for History of Science & Technology, Moscow, June 26, 2008)

"Edward Teller and realities of illusory worlds," Boston Colloquium for Philosophy of Science, March 19, 2007

"[Lydia Chukovskaya and Matvei Bronstein: three cultures or the tree of culture]," Conference «[Korney and Lydia Chukovsky: the double jubilee]», Moscow,  March 28, 2007

"[Lydia Chukovskaya and Matvei Bronstein]," Archangelsk Regional Academic Library, Archangelsk, May 22, 2006

"[Science and life at the Dawn of cGh-physics]," Seminar on Quantum Gravity and Cosmology dedicated to the 100th birthday of Matvei Bronstein

(St.Petersburg, Nov 30 - Dec 2, 2006)

"Secret Physics and Scientific Ethics," Institute for History of Science & Technology, Moscow, June 1, 2006

"A Russian-American Perspective on the Fathers of the H-Bombs,"  Boston Colloquium for Philosophy of Science, April 24, 2006

"Circulating Top-Secret Knowledge for the history of H-bomb," 5th British-North American Joint Meeting of the BSHS, CSHPS, and HSS, Halifax, Nova Scotia, August 7, 2004

"The Best Defense, or the Worst one? Physics and politics in the history of Russian ABM program," the Annual Meeting of History of Science Society, Cambridge, MA, November 21, 2003

"A Russian Perspective on the Father of the American H-Bomb," Colloquium on the History of Science & Technology at the University of Minnesota, April 19, 2002

"The best defense or the worst one: ABM as the problem and emblem of the century," Institute for History of Science & Technology, Moscow, March 28, 2002

"Soviet life of Lev Landau: phase transition of the 1937," P.L.Kapitsa Institute of Physical Problems, Moscow, Nov 22, 2001

"Edward Teller and Lev Landau: Theoretical Physicists in the Time of Cold Nuclear War," P.L.Kapitsa Institute of Physical Problems, Moscow, October 25, 2001

"Two Parallels Among Three Perpendiculars: Andrei Sakharov, Edward Teller, and Robert Oppenheimer," Institute for History of Science & Technology, Moscow, May 31, 2001

"Andrei Sakharov: Theoretical Physics and Practical Humanics," Commemorative Ceremony on the Occasion of the 10th Anniversary of the death of Andrei Sakharov, European Parliament, Strasbourg, December 14, 1999

"Authority of Physics in the Authoritarian State," Boston Colloquium "Science Without Freedom in the Twentieth Century", Boston University, May 9-10, 1999

"Andrei Sakharov: from Russian Theoretical Physics to International Practical Humanics" International conference "Physicists in the Postwar Political Arena: Comparative Perspectives," University of California, Berkeley, January 22-25, 1998

"Lebedev Physical Institute and Soviet thermonuclear project," International Symposium "History of the Soviet Atomic Project", Dubna, Russia, May 14, 1996

"Igor Tamm and Lev Landau, the Theoretical Physicists in Soviet Practice,"  Harvard University, December 8, 1995; and the Annual Meeting of History of Science Society, Minneapolis, MN, October 27, 1995;

"How Sakharov invented the Soviet H-bombs," Rossendorf Center for Nuclear Physics, Dresden, March 27, 1995

"How Planck Discovered Quantum Gravity Scale," Congress of German Physical Society, Emergence of Modern Physics, Berlin, March 22, 1995

"Looking Back at the History of Sakharov's H-bomb," Michigan State University, January 24, 1995

"Andrei Sakharov, the Fundamental Physicist and Fundamental Politician," Los Alamos National Laboratory, November 2, 1994

"Philosophical background of Sakharov's H-bomb," Annual Meeting of HSS, New Orleans, October 14, 1994, and the Boston Colloquium for the Philosophy of Science. January 1994

"Looking Back at the History of Soviet A- and H-bombs," Smithsonian workshop on the Cold War. May 11, 1994

"Humanitarian Physicist under Inhumane Circumstances (Andrei Sakharov in his generation of Soviet physics)," Workshop on Science and Political Authority, MIT, Cambridge (MA), May 1992

"Vladimir Fock: Philosophy of Gravity and Gravity of Philosophy," Third International Conference on the History and Philosophy of General Relativity, University of Pittsburgh, June 1991


Book reviews


Judging the stars of Stalin's science (Alexei B Kojevnikov. Stalin's Great Science: The Times and Adventures of Soviet Physicists. Imperial College Press 2004) // PHYSICS WORLD, Novenber 2005.

Zeldovich: Reminiscences. Ed. R. A. Sunyaev. Chapman & Hall/CRC, Boca Raton, FL, 2004. // PHYSICS TODAY, August 2005.

Richard Lourie. Sakharov: A Biography. Brandeis University Press 2002 // PHYSICS WORLD, August 2002.

Richard F. Mould. Chernobyl Record: The Definitive History of the Chernobyl Catastrophe. Philadelphia: Institute of Physics Publishing, 2000. // PHYSICS TODAY, August 2001, p. 51-52.

Laurie M. Brown; Helmut Rechenberg. The Origin of the Concept of Nuclear Forces. Bristol, England /Philadelphia: Institute of Physics Publishing, 1996. // ISIS, 1998, 89: 4, p.751; ВИЕТ 2000, № 2, с.181.

David Holloway. Stalin and the Bomb: The Soviet Union and Atomic Energy, 1939-1956. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1994. // THE INTERNATIONAL HISTORY REVIEW, 1996, 18: 2, p.458-460.

Letter to the Editor // ISIS, 1996, 87: 1, p.130.

Richard Rhodes. Dark Sun. The making of the hydrogen bomb. NY: Simon & Schuster, 1995 // PHYSICS TODAY, January 1996, p.61-62; August 1996, p.84.

B.Breizman, J. Van Dam (Ed.) G.I.Budker: Reflection and Remembrances. NY: AIP, 1994 // ISIS, 1995, 86: 1, p.137-139.

Roald Sagdeev. The Making of a Soviet Scientist: My Adventures in Nuclear Fusion and Space - From Stalin to Star Wars. NY: John Wiley & Sons, 1994 // SCIENCE, May 27, 1994, 264, p. 1347-9.