Igor Gamow

Igor Gamow

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Encyclopedia
Rustem Igor Gamow (born 1935), son of physicist George Gamow
George Gamow
George Gamow , born Georgiy Antonovich Gamov , was a Russian-born theoretical physicist and cosmologist. He discovered alpha decay via quantum tunneling and worked on radioactive decay of the atomic nucleus, star formation, stellar nucleosynthesis, Big Bang nucleosynthesis, cosmic microwave...

, is a microbiology
Microbiology
Microbiology is the study of microorganisms, which are defined as any microscopic organism that comprises either a single cell , cell clusters or no cell at all . This includes eukaryotes, such as fungi and protists, and prokaryotes...

 professor and inventor. His best known inventions include the Gamow bag and the Shallow Underwater Breathing Apparatus.

Youth


Rustem Igor Gamow was born to George Gamow
George Gamow
George Gamow , born Georgiy Antonovich Gamov , was a Russian-born theoretical physicist and cosmologist. He discovered alpha decay via quantum tunneling and worked on radioactive decay of the atomic nucleus, star formation, stellar nucleosynthesis, Big Bang nucleosynthesis, cosmic microwave...

, the celebrated cosmologist and physicist
Physicist
A physicist is a scientist who studies or practices physics. Physicists study a wide range of physical phenomena in many branches of physics spanning all length scales: from sub-atomic particles of which all ordinary matter is made to the behavior of the material Universe as a whole...

, and ballet dancer Rho Gamow. Finishing high school at age 17, he joined the National Ballet Company. He held such jobs as breaking horses, delivering packages by motorcycle, and teaching karate before enrolling in the University of Colorado
University of Colorado at Boulder
The University of Colorado Boulder is a public research university located in Boulder, Colorado...

 ("CU") in 1958, where his father taught Physics
Physics
Physics is a natural science that involves the study of matter and its motion through spacetime, along with related concepts such as energy and force. More broadly, it is the general analysis of nature, conducted in order to understand how the universe behaves.Physics is one of the oldest academic...

, Microbiology
Microbiology
Microbiology is the study of microorganisms, which are defined as any microscopic organism that comprises either a single cell , cell clusters or no cell at all . This includes eukaryotes, such as fungi and protists, and prokaryotes...

 and Microphysics
Microphysics
The term microphysics refers to areas of physics that study phenomena that take place on the microscopic scale , such as:* Quantum mechanics* Molecular physics* Atomic physics* Nuclear physics* Particle physics...

.

Research


Gamow worked on Phycomyces blakesleeanus
Phycomyces blakesleeanus
Phycomyces blakesleeanus is a filamentous fungus in the Order Mucorales of the phylum Zygomycota or subphylum Mucormycotina. The spore-bearing sporangiophores of Phycomyces are very sensitive to different environmental signals including light, gravity, wind, chemicals and adjacent objects...

 during a postdoc under Max Delbruck
Max Delbrück
Max Ludwig Henning Delbrück was a German-American biophysicist and Nobel laureate.-Biography:Delbrück was born in Berlin, German Empire...

 at Caltech. At CU-Boulder, he continued Phycomyces
Phycomyces
Phycomyces is a genus of fungus in the Zygomycota phylum. They are known for their strong phototropism response and helical growth of the sporangium. The best studied species is Phycomyces blakesleeanus.-External links:*....

 research for over twenty years, mainly on the avoidance and anemotropic responses, helical growth, and cell-wall mechanical properties. He also studied the infrared-detectors of the Boa constrictor
Boa constrictor
The Boa constrictor is a large, heavy-bodied species of snake. It is a member of the family Boidae found in North, Central, and South America, as well as some islands in the Caribbean. A staple of private collections and public displays, its color pattern is highly variable yet distinctive...

.

Inventions


An avid outdoorsman, Gamow developed many inventions for safety in outdoor activities. His first important one, patented in 1990, was the Gamow bag
Gamow bag
A Gamow bag is an inflatable pressure bag large enough to accommodate a person inside. By inflating the bag with a foot pump, the effective altitude can be decreased by 1000 to as much as 3000 meters . It is primarily used for treating severe cases of altitude sickness.The gamow bag was named after...

 enabling mountain climbers to avoid altitude sickness
Altitude sickness
Altitude sickness—also known as acute mountain sickness , altitude illness, hypobaropathy, or soroche—is a pathological effect of high altitude on humans, caused by acute exposure to low partial pressure of oxygen at high altitude...

 by raising the surrounding pressure. Sir Edmund Hillary, the first expedition leader to summit Mount Everest
Mount Everest
Mount Everest is the world's highest mountain, with a peak at above sea level. It is located in the Mahalangur section of the Himalayas. The international boundary runs across the precise summit point...

, wrote him in congratulation. Another was the Shallow Underwater Breathing Apparatus ("SUBA"), a pressurized snorkel
Snorkeling
Snorkeling is the practice of swimming on or through a body of water while equipped with a diving mask, a shaped tube called a snorkel, and usually swimfins. In cooler waters, a wetsuit may also be worn...

 system permitting swimmers to breathe easily as deep as ten feet under water.

Patents

-- Hyperbaric chamber -- Hyperbaric chamber -- Underwater breathing apparatus -- Hyperbaric chamber closure means -- Shoe and foot prosthesis with a coupled spring system -- Hyperbaric chamber and exercise environment -- Hypobaric sleeping chamber -- In-line skate walking guard -- Shoe and foot prosthesis with bending beam spring structures -- Underwater breathing apparatus with pressurized snorkel -- Shoe and foot prosthesis with bending beam spring structures

Current events


Igor Gamow conducts research in bionics
Bionics
Bionics is the application of biological methods and systems found in nature to the study and design of engineering systems and modern technology.The word bionic was coined by Jack E...

, on an orthopedic knee brace that stores energy within a spring from the hamstring
Hamstring
In human anatomy, the hamstring refers to any one of the three posterior thigh muscles, or to the tendons that make up the borders of the space behind the knee. In modern anatomical contexts, however, they usually refer to the posterior thigh muscles, or the tendons of the semitendinosus, the...

 and redirects it to the quadriceps.

In 2002, a former assistant of Gamow’s filed a lawsuit against the University alleging sexual harassment and sexual assault from seven women. After the lawsuit was filed, CU began to take steps to fire the professor. In 2004 the CU Board of Regents unanimously upheld the recommendation to fire Gamow for "moral turpitude." Professor Gamow also filed a lawsuit against CU in an attempt to be reinstated.

In May 2006, CU lost the lawsuit that had been filed by Gamow's former assistant and was ordered to pay her $285,000 plus attorney's fees.

In September 2011, Igor Gamow releases an open letter addressing some misconceptions about events leading to his termination from the University of Colorado.

External links