Объединенный институт ядерных исследований

The Cousins Dzhelepov: Both Physicists and Sportsmen

For over 20 years, the tennis tournament of the Cousins Dzhelepov has been held in Dubna. The cousins Venedikt Petrovich (1913–1999) and Boris Sergeevich (1910–1998) were avid for tennis, and they did a lot to promote it. Both were renowned physicists, corresponding members of the AS of the USSR and RAS, participants of the Atomic Programme of the USSR under the guidance of I. V. Kurchatov, outstanding science administrators, developers of research facilities, authors of many scientific papers. They graduated from Leningrad institutes. The son of B. S. Dzhelepov recalled that both cousins attended the nuclear bomb test on Novaya Zemlya and undersigned the final protocol.

Is this similarity of interests just a coincidence?

The pedigree of the Dzhelepovs is still waiting for its researcher. There is only poor information available from which we know that the father of Venedikt Petrovich, Petr Fedorovich Dzhelepov, was an office worker, graduated from the Moscow Commercial Institute. The father of Sergey Borisovich, Boris Fedorovich Dzhelepov, was an officer, a captain in the Odessa military region (the fate of both after the revolution in 1917 is still obscure).

How did it happen that the cousins devoted their lives to physics and were keen on sports? Maybe a coincidence. Maybe, the interests and hobbies of cousins were influenced by their uncle, Petr Ivanovich Lukirsky (1894−1954). He was a renowned physicist, science administrator, academician of the AS of the USSR. He graduated from the Saint Petersburg University. There were A. I. Alikhanov and L. A. Arzimovich among his students. His research areas were electronics, X-ray physics, nuclear physics. He was fond of sports – sailing (had his own yacht), skiing, figure skating, playing tennis.

The family tradition went on with the descendants of the Lukirskys and Dzhelepovs. The son of Petr Ivanovich, Andrey Petrovich, and the son of Boris Sergeevich, Igor Borisovich Dzhelepov, became well-known physicists and no less known tennis players.

In the photo – P. I. Lukirsky (left), B. S. Dzhelepov