Astrophysicist Galina Ustyugova: Our efforts turn into iPhones and nanotechnology

What astrophysics is needed for happiness, as Russian science was not killed that took over little green men and why you should not fear of miscegenation and the prevalence of some religions over others – reflects astrophysicist Galina Ustyugova.

Galina Ustyugova

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Galina Ustyugova – candidate of physico-mathematical Sciences, senior researcher of the Institute of applied mathematics. M. V. Keldysh. He develops mathematical models of magnetohydrodynamic flows in astrophysical conditions.

Fortunately, our daughter was eating very poorly

– Galina Valentinovna, tell us how girls become astrophysicists? You in the childhood dreamed to fly in space?

Galia Ustyugova in school

– Like any normal child, in the childhood I dreamed to become a seller of ice cream. To 13 years my whole life was on the street and in the school of music. And in the summer after sixth grade I seemed to have woken up – started to read and learn. Then I wrote a plan for my life until 2000. The crown of this plan was to have a son and do science – mathematics. I really eventually got a daughter, the most beloved, but with the math all worked out.

In high school, I sustained a rather serious conversation with his parents, who believed that I need to be an accountant or a dental technician. Dad said, “I have Not seen any announcements that where-that requires a mathematician.” But I could not be persuaded.

Your husband Sergey Ustyugov was also an astrophysicist. You worked together?

– No, we were not working, I think it would be too. He really taught me a lot, was sent, but I worked with other people. Sergei was a true scholar – self-seeking, he was involved in convection in the Sun, turbulence in stars and supernova explosions.

Unfortunately, his design received recognition after his death. He was a fanatic in science, I wonder whether someone what he was doing, he was only interested in moving forward. For many years, until he began to get recognition and money, I was earning more than him.

– Probably it took courage to be in the 90-ies to stay in science?

– We do find it difficult some time. Fortunately, our daughter was eating very poorly and she had what was given in the garden, and somehow we coped. But quickly, things got better: I was lucky to get in Russian-American project studying the jets.

These are objects in the Universe, they represent two oppositely directed jets of plasma that burst out of the center, for example, galaxies. Imagine our galaxy, it looks like a flat spinning circle with a spiral-like sleeves. It is believed that in the center of the galaxy is a black hole, around which cluster of stars. And across this disc in both directions quite far has a very powerful, very fast, very narrow plasma jet. This mysterious object, many found where, for example, in the field of education of young stars.

When I entered graduate school and started working, there were no programs absitively magnetic electrodynamics. I was given the task: to write a program. I didn’t even realize that no one in the world had ever done before.

And I wrote it, we were among the first, and it was very good for us. It turned out that I was at the peak of development of this region. This successful launch has allowed me to build all further work.

Galina Ustyugova at Cornell University

No pleasure can not compare with this

– What inspires scientists during research? You think about the implications of your work for humanity?

Recently I asked these questions to my friends-scientists. We sat in cafes and talked and came to a common opinion. Understand, none of us are Einstein, but we all do in his place, something important to us. Here I was given the task, I decide, and it does not work. The program is very extensive, and what I do for our world quite unnatural.

The world continuous – continuous air, all that is solid. A computer discrete: we computed physical parameters in each point and on the basis of these calculations needs to obtain a General picture. And it does not work, does not work. And you think-you think up the idea, then will realize it, and suddenly everything falls into place!

You can see the picture, you can see from the equation, as this jet flies or how a star evolyutsioniruet and get such a powerful release of endorphins!

None of the known me pleasures can’t compare. Perhaps the search for this condition and pushes some people to do science.

– Probably, has a value, it is useful if someone your achievement?

– Of course, the individual task – to convey to people what we did. It is also quite a creative event. One of my favorite movies “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead”. There is one line where the hero constantly comes up with something repeats the experiments of Galileo, experiments with the transmission of time – but no one understands, he does not know how to explain that it is not self-indulgence. The task is to convey to the people his idea is also inspiring.

Once, long ago, I was very impressed when in one research chat wrote: well, it’s already done, there is also an article Ustyugova. You see, if someone uses it, so all was not in vain.

– Your friends-scientists, too “warm” these two factors – the joy of victory over challenge and demand?

– They called the three major driving forces: curiosity, the money and the free mode. We argued about the meaning of what we do, and suddenly we were approached by a man who understood that we are scientists, and quite gracefully, we have outlined your view on the picture of the universe. He has his own way has interpreted our activities. The knowledge he presented is not the product of scientific work, produced with the help of intelligence, and as an inspiration sent from above.

We listened to him and said, “But we atheists, what are we to do?” Our interlocutor is visibly upset, and then thought about it and replied, “In this case, you are left with your conscience, so live with it.”

– Conscience is quoted in the scientific world? For example, Fritz Haber received the Nobel prize for the invention of ammonia synthesis, which is used for production of fertilizers and explosives. On the one hand, he helped to feed mankind, on the other – became the “father” of chemical weapons that were used in the First world war, and later in the gas chambers of Auschwitz. Wife and son Haber committed suicide, unable to bear the yoke of conscience. Gaber and he did not grieve. “In peacetime a scientist belongs to the world, but during war time he belongs to his country” – his words.

– At the same time, Oppenheimer, who invented nuclear weapons, suffered when Japan was bombed, they say, even tried to commit suicide. But that doesn’t mean you can stop science. If people saw something, he would study it, especially if he’s doing it! Progress cannot be stopped.

Even if it is projected that these developments will bring destruction?

Is a matter for politicians, for society, and not to the scientists. Science out-ethical. A kitchen knife can cut bread, and can be killed. You should be able to apply scientific achievements.

Since the Wi-Fi and ending with Teflon pans

– Current developments in astrophysics?

Boom in astrophysics started with the fact that in the late 60s at the University of Cambridge has recorded signals from a pulsar. It was rhythmic and very often a signal that no one could imagine that in the Universe there is an object that is spinning with a frequency of turnover for fifteen seconds. And first of all decided that the way we deal with aliens.

Terribly happy: little green men sending a signal to us, the universe speaks to us. It gave a powerful impetus to the development of astrophysics. It turned out that this pulsar is a very heavy, very small space object that rotates very quickly and has a strong magnetic field. When he turns to us somehow, we perceive a signal with his hand. Open the first pulsar was named LGM-1 “little green man”. Now such objects have already been opened more than a thousand.

If you think about the importance of the application of astrophysics, space industry, military, gives a lot of side discoveries right now using the society. Since the Wi-Fi remote control and ending with tops and Teflon pans. Specifically, I engaged in the programs, which describe not only space, but also a lot of things, such as using a magnetic field to mix the aluminum when cooking.

Now in astrophysics going on a slight decline, but in Russia, perhaps the situation is better than in other countries. In fact we have science is spent a lot of money. The problem was that they were inefficiently distributed. My point of view is unpopular, but I believe that the realignment of our scientific institutions is fully justified. We need to support the young and those who have something.

There are, of course, plenty of areas, such as mathematics, where there can be a lot of obvious results, publications. All science rests on math. In the end, our efforts still turn into iPhones and nanotechnology. You need to maintain a certain base, if we want to remain not only consumers but also producers of iPhones. Anyway, Russia is among the countries that determine the level of civilization. We are not Somalia.

– Still?

– I sometimes talks between the blackest despair and the most joyous optimism. I think that we will never Somalia, barring something absolutely terrible. But 10 years ago, I believed that Russian science has nothing to save. But she was not killed. Thank God, not interrupted the continuity. There are people who can teach and who want to learn. Now everything is moving again, the young people go into science. There are new funds, changed the system of grants, more money and more opportunities.

Galina Ustyugova

– You say that the development of astrophysics will be to slow down, and which areas will grow?

You always have a global dream, at different times, it varies. Since the middle of last century until its end was the age of the cosmos, had a dream about meeting another mind on the capture of other spaces. It is possible to trace the cosmic fantasy, which took the book market. Then, due to the progress in medicine, in biotechnology this dream pushed another eternal dream of immortality. This is an absolute dream, she is much older than the dream of space exploration, it is deeply seated in man. But science always follows the main dream.

I was terribly amused Medvedev, who announced that the world governments should unite because soon will come the digital age and there will be artificial intelligence that enslave us. It’s so naive. The future is now. Here they are – titanium prostheses, intraocular lenses, dental implants.

People have already realized the dream that worn parts of the body were replaced with a new one. But in medicine unique is very quickly becoming widespread. My mom now in Chelyabinsk for the social insurance scheme have changed both the lens and hip. For free! She just knows all of the right, carefully read the information on the Internet, print it, comes to the clinic and asks her to provide. “Everything is written in the policy, you just don’t read,” she says. It’s true.

Medicine is booming, and the physics now, unfortunately, ran into a wall. In the early twentieth century there was a big rise: the development of quantum physics, nuclear energy. But for nearly 50 years, all waiting for the unified field theory, which no one can write.

And maybe it’s not time for another revolution. We naotkryvali a bunch of things that are already used, not knowing their nature.

Even seemingly well-studied gravity, nuclear energy, quantum mechanics we don’t understand. We have yet to comprehend the breakthrough, which happened in the twentieth century.

Now at the peak of cosmology. 20-30 years left to them to see what is on the edge of the Universe. It can also be very important for the understanding of the world.

Do I need the Universe to be learned

– Are you concerned about the order in the world: the environment and regulation of the population?

– Regulation of the number should not cause concern. 20 years ago the increase in population really seemed problematic, because it developed in the mode of “aggravation” and threatened explosion.

But already 10 years statistics says that the rate of growth came on constant. This means that any explosion will be. In this mode, the number is regulated in a natural way, not war. There are so many mechanisms, it is also the work of natural selection.

Humanity always resolves problems that arise before him. The key to the health of the system – its complexity. The more complex a system is, the more stable it is, the more points of support.

– Can you imagine that all this vast and harmonious system neducation and neglected?

– Order built out of chaos and Vice versa. There are simple experiments on turbulence: in a frying pan with a flat bottom, a thin layer of smooth distribute chalk, pour a layer of sunflower oil and evenly heated.

When heated in a pan occurs the structure of regular hexagons, which in the centre rises the oil, and the edges omitted. These structures arise by themselves, without intervention.

– Could it be that everything is predetermined? As a mathematical program, which is the author, but it seems that this slender and harmonious system has been set in advance, and scientists only discovered it and was considered to be its author.

– As my permanent co-author and supervisor: “You make the worlds”. Mathematics is a tool, it’s just letters that describe what we see. In fact, we are so little, know so little, and the world is frighteningly huge, endless, messy, black.

There is a movie in which simulated flying camera out through the Universe. A long flight through the blackness. Then we meet the first star, long fly further, we meet the next star. Flew out of the galaxy, everything went black, but we have to fly through it and suddenly begin to see other galaxies. Rarely, but still if we look back, we see that more and more of them, and galaxies are transformed into stars.

We fly hard and see how the galaxies begin to gather in clusters. And the clusters of galaxies appear as stars. And if this all add up – a person is unavailable, there is now such data – but if we programmed all these coordinates and look at our Universe from the outside, we see a ball, consisting of a hundred. All of these galaxies are collected in some clusters, the single streamlined network.

– What a beauty!

– Of course, it’s better than the endless void. In all this man is an amazing object. Why does he have a mind? Do I need it? Whether the universe is? Does she want her somebody know? This is some strange coincidence or it is the law of development of something? When looking at how a whole lot, how far from each other, of course, raises the question of meaning. But in astrophysics, I know only one answer: just wondering.

Have you noticed that people want to be good?

– I once asked a respected mathematician, how many scientists believe in God. He said that it is impossible to compare scientists of the former Soviet space and abroad. We have faith was forcibly burnt, and the rest of the world is looking for meaning in their existence and often finds it in God.

Among mathematicians indeed few of the faithful, although they are, even in our Institute. I personally do not believe that the world is spiritualized. Do not believe in the plan, does not believe in purpose of existence. Science is not against religion, unless you count some of the odious Richard Dawkins. Confrontation is not because these areas do not overlap. Science looks for the laws of existence, but not engaged in it. The question of God outside of science, because it can be neither proved nor disproved. One can only believe or not believe. No data on the existence of God, as soon as they appear, it will be possible to speak from a scientific point of view.

Not all possible to explain and comprehend, you said yourself.

– They say that the God of the gaps – that intangible, belong to God. But, for example, epilepsy was considered a sacred disease. And then it was described, classified and lost this aura. As with other yet unknown things. This does not mean that we will never know their nature.

– What, in your opinion, prospects of development of mankind?

– Have you noticed that people want to be good? Even those who are doing poorly, looking for that point of view, which justify them, finds them good. People talking about himself: “I’m the villain” – very little. This shift of mentality.

A normal person wants to be good and look good to be approved. This is the base on which to build society.

The system tends to equilibrium. No need to be afraid of mixing races, or the predominance of some other religion that is alien to us. Even if aggressive Islam will win in the world, in this state, he can’t stay long. Humanity these cycles have already passed, how many civilizations were absorbed by others. Still the development is inevitable. This is an unpopular view, but I believe that no nationality is better than the others. Even if Europe dies, well – there is nothing eternal. I hope it will not be destroyed by war, most likely it will absorb.

There are forecasts that in the world sooner or later there will be one mixed race, and these new people will strive to become a better and more humane.

– Galina Valentinovna, what feelings unbeliever is accompanied by thoughts of death?

My husband died suddenly, burned from cancer in two weeks. When he died, I was in America, did not have time to return to Moscow. And one night I heard him calling me. In General, my life was full of mystical moments, and if I had the opportunity of faith, I would have believed. But I am not able to believe in the supernatural.

I remember very well that when he heard Seryozha’s voice, I got out of bed in dumb reverie, and suddenly plunged into his condition. I joined him. It was really awful, such a terrible abyss. And I forbade myself it. I allowed myself to think and talk about Sergei only two years after his death.

On Mars we should send seniors

– Why humanity wants to meet aliens? And how do you imagine them?

– NASA is looking for earth-like planets, they found quite a lot. These searches have two purposes: to find a similar life, maybe not intelligent but at least some, and secondly, the likely expansion of humanity. If we consider earth-like planets, it is likely that life there will be the same protein, as on Earth, built on the same principles and it is possible that will have the same form as us.

It will be a creature with eyes, grasping limbs, with the limbs for movement. But not the fact that life can emerge only on planets like the earth. If the conditions are different, then the population will be different. Whatever this is a question for science fiction.

– You need to be happy?

To my daughter and her family all was well – that is the condition. The rest of me should be enough. The sun is shining, is happiness. I am very grateful. And what I am grateful to the reader and the audience! For example, I think it’s great grafomanskie poems. They show that the person wants to think about good things, about high. The weather is beautiful, nothing hurts – isn’t it a reason to be happy? I am essentially a tramp, like a long drive by car to spend the night in hotels. I would live on the road, if it were possible.

Galina Ustyugova with her granddaughter varey

So you would like to fly in space?

Oh, I would fly. When the program was launched missions to Mars, I really this idea caught fire. It is strange that they recruit young people. It is necessary to collect, of course, pensioners. We need to send, because, first, it is not a pity, and secondly, we’re all done.

I have all the work done. When his granddaughter turned two, I realized that the children become independent, able to live without me. And I can fly to Mars.

– Ready for adventure?

– I’m not looking for adventure, I’m ready to work – work on Mars full.

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