Sergey Kapisa

Picture of Sergey Kapisa

Date of Birth: 02/14/1928

Age: 84

Place of birth: Cambridge

Citizenship: Russia

Sergei Kapitsa: "WHEN THE BURNT Ostankino Tower, crime dropped by a third"

- Sergey Petrovich, it is assumed that scientists live in an ivory tower. What recent events have attracted your attention?

- Without a doubt, the war in Iraq. Very sad event. This is not a war, which is to the liking of any of the parties. As a result, the whole order of the world can be turned upside down. The United States have adopted the latest achievements of science - the enemy was doomed.

- In one of the novels of Kurt Vonnegut created image of the scientist who created the miracle bomb that destroyed half the world, but at the time of use of these weapons, he reflected on the most important, in his view, the problem: curved spine turtle or reduced, when she pulls her head under the shell?

- The first scientists noticed seems to Napoleon. Remember his famous team during the Egyptian campaign: "Scientists and donkeys - at the center of the convoy!" And it was not only Egyptologists, who were engaged in the export of old values, but serious scientists, such as Fourier.

- Some would call these actions robbery, someone - a restitution. Among your awards have UNESCO International Award. What is your attitude to the scandal associated with the Baldin collection and its possible return in Germany?

- I believe that great works of art do not belong to a particular owner or museum - only to mankind. The owners - only the guardians of these works. Destruction of, for example, Rembrandt is regarded as a crime against humanity. The Nazis destroyed the Catherine Palace - a huge crime. The dispute over the property is meaningless. The situation is similar to the ownership of the great discoveries in science. It is owned by Germany`s Ohm`s law? Or - Russian open my father superfluidity?

- And yet the idea that science - the free exchange of ideas, like the light from the lamp, which is not decreasing, though a man used this light is out of date. What is the responsibility of Pythagoras his theory? But today science often bears no light and fire and destruction.

- With regard to the Pythagorean you are mistaken. He is conscious of the responsibility for their knowledge, kept them secret from the public. Science is often seen as the secret power over society. And the scientist responsible at various times has been nothing less than the responsibility of the church for the secrecy of confession, for loyalty to the teachings.

The discovery of the atomic bomb is no different from the discovery that as a weapon, you can use the stone. The difference in scale. Each opening has two sides - it is possible to move the wheel man. After the atomic bomb, its creators and in the Soviet Union and the United States have done much to make this bomb was not used. Kurchatov after the first test of a hydrogen bomb said Anatoly Alexandrov: "Anatolius, it was a monstrous spectacle can not allow these weapons began to be applied."

- On the other hand, young Sakharov proposed to build a "king-bomb", which would have opened a huge tsunami wave destroyed the American city. Against it were the military.

- Sugars possessed the qualities of a brilliant scientist. He was thinking like a physicist and brought the idea, on which he worked until the end. A kind of scientific extremism. First Sakharov worked on weapons. Then he reconsidered his position, became the champion of the world - and also did not accept compromises.

I am the deputy chairman of the UNESCO Commission on Ethics in Science and Technology, which discusses their moral side. We sit and argue, but no consensus. Create oath scientist, like the Hippocratic oath, does not work. Researchers should be free, which is devoid of a doctor who does not have the right to experiment. Scientist can develop a deadly poison that will eventually saving in the fight against dangerous diseases.

There are still responsible for the completeness of knowledge, for advice. For example, an astronomer admits neutrino flux does not correspond to the flow of light and more in the nature of the Sun remains to be seen, with the result that raises doubts about the power of science. Astrologer confidently break it down and tell you when we get married, when and with whom to fight, but not burdened with any knowledge and, in eloquence, nothing has. Now even the major newspapers publish reports astrologers - it`s utter nonsense! Some military leaders know precisely, in great secrecy are the help of astrologers.

Incidentally, I once saw Juneau general`s dress. He displayed cowardice, made together with it in the headquarters of the Warsaw Pact. Juna, as I remember, instantly captured the audience, one colonel fell off his chair. Juna was convincing me that I invited her to transfer "Obvious - unbelievable." But here I was adamant. Then he wrote a letter to Marshal Kulikov, that is very dangerous top generals under the guise of science to demonstrate this rubbish. The answer is not received, and the Warsaw Pact disintegrated after three months.

- At all times and in all countries during the period of social upheaval weight gain is not as serious scientists, many different poshiba lzhenovatory that promise a quick solution to all problems. And we have that no year - revolution or reform ...

- From individuals who invent perpetual motion machines, there is no particular harm. Grow old boys who kept the curiosity. Or petty thieves, violators Convention. Worse, when science begins to play along with pseudoscience. That is what we now see, pseudoscience thrives under the auspices of the state. His Lysenko there almost every direction. One historian, Fomenko is worth, according to his university lectures read books! And it`s a lot of money. And what`s going on in medical science? Such amount panacea history is not known. This is not petty thieves who amuse themselves for. They deceive society, taken from the treasury huge money. Yes, we know, not all the mysteries of nature. From the perspective of an ordinary man of the Middle Ages radio - clear proof of the existence of magic. Modern man should still be aware that the incomprehensible does not mean the supernatural.

I remember my father told me about the American inventor who invented a device to eliminate the force of gravity. At the Pentagon bought invention, allocated one million dollars. Our generals convened academics required to overtake the foe. A year later, an American escaped. With a million and a secretary. The father then said, "All the same investment in the use of science there."

And we readily believe in nonsense. When the rage was the so-called phenomenon of Kuleshova - tactile clairvoyance, my friend jokingly wrote in a research institute about his friend, who has the gift of "chlenovideniya". What do you think? We believe!

- Pseudoscience - property not only of our country. Ufology in general have come from the West. As psychics. And so, perhaps, it makes no sense to sprinkle ashes on his head? Perhaps the attraction to the irrational in human nature and, as a counterbalance, increased with the advent of scientific progress?

- Painting pervasive that due to the rapid transition to an information society, when a person does not have time to digest the monstrous increased flow of information. The collapse of the church family - signs of this phenomenon. The speed of change has led to the deformation of ethical values. Firm, with ancient canons standing lopsided, the new values ??do not have time to ripen. Although kitsch was at all times, this disorder in art has never happened before in history.

- Psychologist Alexey Leontiev said that the excess of information leads to an impoverishment of the soul. How do you feel about the Internet?

- During the years of my youth was a popular song: "I fell in love on the radio, on the radio, I got married, and then on the radio daughter was born." Then it seemed that the radio will change the world, reborn man. So the Internet will become a routine. This is just a new, faster form of address. Internet does not change human spiritual world.

- Never in the history of science did not occupy such a position. Marx did not foresee that knowledge become a productive force. In contrast, even from industrial XIX century is now no achievement - from microchip and drugs to nuclear power stations - is not possible without basic research. Another question is whether science has affected our perception of the world?

- Science has changed the purpose of man and became the only global knowledge of the world system. There was an ethical revolution of the power of authority to an understanding of the objective laws of nature. Even in the XIX century, religious, ethical, national representation were tied to the same cultural tradition that in ancient times. In XX century, science has brought mankind to realize its unity. This is an important signal that science has given civilization. Among other signals - Darwin and Marx, who overturned a static picture of the world and gave the idea of ??evolution. We know that some legal rights to stars and Earth. For a man so interested in the question of life in the universe.

- Do you believe in it personally? There is a coherent theory that life on earth - a unique and unrepeatable event.

- This theory is remarkable scientist Joseph Shklovsky. But he formulated it after severe heart attack. And before that he claimed that intelligent life is widely represented in other worlds. Scientific theories are highly dependent on subjective feelings of the scientist. One of the most outstanding scientists - Academician Nikita Moiseev became convinced that civilization moves almost to the end of the world. But as it was joyous, yet it did not collapse disease! Well, that`s one side of science, which gives it a unique charm. Science is done by people - this is interesting.

- A large part of your life, almost 30 years, is connected with the transfer "Obvious - unbelievable." For it you have received the State Prize. Suddenly, in the early 1990s, the popularity of the transfer closed. She resumed on another channel. But in order to "Obvious - unbelievable" was not expelled again, it is necessary to understand why encroached upon you the first time.

- It is natural that the attack on the transmission began in the beginning of the 1990s. I was offered to do laudatory stories about pseudoscience - I refused. Then everywhere prevailed militant ignorance, and we become its victims. People are taught to primitive stamp that Pinocchio thought. A little more complicated - it is already someone else to air. The highest rating - in crime in one form or another. I heard from a forensic when burned Ostankino Tower, crime has decreased by one third! Unclaimedness science and, as a result, TV programs about science - to Russia is a very serious problem.

- Rumor says, due to the fact that for many years you were a TV show about science, you did not choose her main temple - the Academy.

- When I was doing the first steps in the path of the TV presenter, academician Artsimovich foretold: "By this you put an end to an academic career." I have repeatedly hinted: TV popularity causes dissatisfaction, as Academician not supposed to be put out, even if it is engaged in educational activities. And, of course, various hints do what would be necessary to tell in the transmission, - I was not going to compromise. As a result, the Academy did not choose me, but now - for a long time and do not try to run. By the way, the famous Carl Sagan, which is a lot and very successfully engaged in the popularization of science, too, was not elected to the National Academy of Sciences USA.

And by popularity should be treated with humor. I remember one journalist said to her father: "Look, what you famous son". The father replied, "It is I was famous, but he - just know." I can be comforted by the fact that I am a member of the European Academy of Sciences, where only about fifty people chosen from Russia.

Well, as a result of what I have 30 years in the adaptation of the academic handbook, I myself am a member of the Academy of Sciences did not. But I do not regret it. Television - an interesting and important part of my life. However, in science itself, I did think a lot. And 35 years in charge of the Department of Physics of the largest in the country - at the PTI.

- In recent years, you have moved away from physics and plunged into a new area - in demographics. What is the reason such a sharp turn?

- Demographics as a science is suffering due to the lack of scientific apparatus adequate to the complexity of the tasks. Demographers different regional thinking, studying individual countries, forgetting that these processes cover the entire planet. I have tried to bring to the demographics of the methods tested in the study of the physics of gas, plasma, magnetism. Laws demographics similar to the forces of van der Waals forces for non-ideal gases.

- You do not say that you are pushing to pseudoscience?

- First debate and then, even humanists agree. The main conclusion is that we are on the eve of a fundamentally new demographic situation in the world. Overpopulation and the demographic crisis the world will not get any. By 2100, the population will stabilize at the level of 10-12 billion people, a third of the population will be over 65 years, 8% - over 80 years. As a result, radically changed the relationship between generations and value system.

- How exactly?

- This is not my specialty. But, obviously, it will change the structure of employment, reduced aggression. I think it would be impossible for the conflict of the Christian West and the Muslim East. That`s not a religious clash and conflict of nations, which are at different stages of the age scale. After all, "the draft Mohammed" as noted by Max Weber, that Esoteric Christianity for the poor. Because Islam does not allow any begging or usury ...

- Still, the most important thing is unclear. Increase the number in the world has reached an alarming rate - about 85-87 million people each year. Why suddenly stop this growth?

- The man differs from an animal? The number of animal species is inversely proportional to the size of the body. An animal the size of a man would have had the same population as the bears. But a man escaped from this general pattern - it is 100 thousand times bigger. But why all of a sudden, if the trend was just tens of thousands of years, it is broken?

Currently, there is a collision of two independent streams. Life expectancy increases, the training period, which we have already significantly longer than that of any animal species, stretched to 20, even up to 30 years.

- Turgenev Lavretsky at 43 was considered old.

- Now is the age of prosperity. In England, 200 years ago, alcohol was served in pubs to 13 years, and now 18-year-old Bush daughters for a beer judge. Absolutely fundamental thing: the rate of population growth is proportional to the square of the population, and not just a number, like Malthus believed, by analogy with the banking interest.

Second, counter-flow - it is against the background of increasing life expectancy, compression of the life of mankind. If we expand the story to the received segments - Ancient World, the Middle Ages, New History, Contemporary history, that each fit in the amount of 10 billion people. But then it is impossible to compress the time scale. Epoch can not be shorter than one human life. What happens? The living conditions are now radically changed during one life. It scrapped in the world - the collapse of empires, the destruction of family, community foundations ...

Well-known in physics hyperbolic growth. There is a sort of a shock front, like the explosion of the atomic bomb, when the thickness of only 10 microns, that is, running a single molecule. In today`s demographics shock front - this is the life of the individual.

Mankind is experiencing the greatest demographic revolution, not even comparable to the Neolithic revolution, when 10 thousand years ago, a man interrupted the animals and moved from hunting to farming. The current revolution is taking place in a negligibly short period.

- If we use the analogy of the atomic bomb, it begs the question: Are these changes stand our fragile consciousness?

- Who knows, but I talked about some of the signs of degradation. The man - animal information. Consciousness, the ability to process information - the main attribute of man by analogy with the computer. And the computer "iron" far cheaper software. No one in your question is not answered. As it is written in the English encyclopedia, consciousness - the most obvious and least understood feature of the human mind.

- Well, the demographic crisis will pass us by. And the energy? Oil and gas are running out, the atom is dangerous ...

- At the beginning of the twentieth century in large cities the major problem was seen cleaning the manure of the mountains - there was no alternative to animal transport. It is convinced that science will offer new sources of energy, and the industry will create engines on the principles that are already well understood. I do not think that the level of energy consumption for the entire planet will reach today`s per capita energy consumption in California - will offer energy-saving technologies.

- What does the future of Russia? All the futuristic projections are based on the dominant development of science. And here she is poor, genius serving the West, the world`s top in the fog ...

- The scientist should not think about a piece of bread, otherwise it loses its inner emancipation, freedom and can not do. Three years ago, at a meeting of the Council of Ministers I said Kasyanov about the inadmissibility of such an attitude to science. Many have said, but the power is not scratched. I am afraid that Russia, as a hero at the crossroads, is the so-called bifurcation point when deciding its future and turning back is not, an error will be unrecoverable. At the risk of falling behind for good, not only from the world of science, risking not be able to understand what is happening in it. Russia may fall out of the world of knowledge, with their hands to drop yourself in outsiders. Lenin sent out of the country a hundred philosophers, but we behave even a hundred times worse. Now some scientists are ready to serve the country, and this country does not accept. It is necessary to think again.

- Creative, as they say, the ideas you are having?

- At a turning point in Russian history in the country often had elite schools. We have long been critical stage - as in education, nothing happened. Recent experience - Physical-Technical Institute, now he is in a very difficult position. 20 years ago I offered to teach at MIPT economy. Lack of competent management hurts the science. In one of my notes is a list of departments in order of priority. The inverted pyramid of Physical-Technical Institute in accordance with modern requirements: management economics, applied mathematics, biology, physics. I think the idea is to interest young Russian capital. I have had conversations with the oligarchs seem to listen with interest. In this university, you can if you put good salaries, return young professors from abroad. Many of our scientists dream of returning home, and their knowledge of the world of science would really help the cause. The costs for the Russian capital would be negligible, and the benefits for Russia is incredible. It is impossible because all the riches in the villas and restaurants to spend.


- How many people prefer to treatment of your titles?

- Professor.

- Favorite game?

- Tennis. Especially memorable games with film director Nikita Mikhalkov and Andron Konchalovsky.

- Favourite drink?

- Brandy, red wine, tea. In the words of my grandfather, academician Krylov, drink everything except the kerosene and the water, in the absence of choice of prefer kerosene.

- Favorite food?

- Even I do not know ... The one that is smaller.

- Traits that value the most?

- Kindness.

- What`s dislike in others?

- Anger, dishonesty.

- You prefer to argue with any opponent?

- With honest.

- The favorite music?

- Classical.

- What kind of book I enjoy re-reading?

- The most good book is the one I read today. Even better - the one that will read tomorrow.

- What would have preferred to read on a desert island?

- As one friend of mine, a tattoo on his chest sailor.

- My favorite newspaper?

- Honestly, "Izvestia". I read all my life and am not going to change.

- Often go to the store?

- Never. I earn my money, and my wife spend them wisely.

- Is your greatest achievement?

- Marriage to Tanya. We have been married in `54.


Born February 14, 1928 in Cambridge (England), where then the famous Rutherford`s laboratory worked his father Pyotr Kapitsa, the future Nobel Prize winner. Since 1935 he has been living in the USSR. He graduated from the Moscow Aviation Institute. He worked at the Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute, the Institute of Geophysics and to this day - in the Institute of Physical Problems, Russian Academy of Sciences. 35 years in charge of the country`s largest department of physics at the Moscow Physical-Technical Institute. Member of the European Academy of Sciences, Vice-President of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences.

Since 1973 leads to the TV show "The Obvious - unbelievable." Laureate of the State Prize of the USSR, the UNESCO Prize for the Popularization of Science and the Russian Academy of Sciences for the Popularization of Science Award (1996, 1000 rubles).

Brother Andrew - geographer, Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Professor of Moscow State University. Son Fedor - philologist, works at the Institute of World Literature, Maria`s daughter - a psychologist, working at MSU, daughter Barbara - doctor working at the Higher School of Economics.