Sunyaev in 2010
|Alma mater||Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MS),|
Moscow State University (Ph.D)
|Known for||Cosmic microwave background radiation|
|Awards||King Faisal International Prize for Physics (2009),|
Heineman Prize (2003),
Crafoord Prize (2008),
Kyoto Prize (2011),
Dirac Medal, ICTP (2019)
|Institutions||Russian Academy of Sciences, Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics, Institute for Advanced Study|
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Rashid Alievich Sunyaev (Tatar: Рәшит Гали улы Сөнәев, Russian: Раши́д Али́евич Сюня́ев; born 1 March 1943 in Tashkent, USSR) is a Soviet and Russian astrophysicist of Tatar descent. He was educated at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MS). He became a professor at MIPT in 1974. Sunyaev was the head of the High Energy Astrophysics Department of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and has been chief scientist of the Academy's Space Research Institute since 1992. He has also been a director of the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics in Garching, Germany since 1996, and Maureen and John Hendricks Distinguished Visiting Professor in the School of Natural Sciences at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton since 2010.
Sunyaev and Yakov B. Zel'dovich developed the theory for the evolution of density fluctuations in the early universe. They predicted the pattern of acoustic fluctuations that have been clearly seen by WMAP and other CMB experiments in the microwave sky and in the large-scale distribution of galaxies. Sunyaev and Zel'dovich stated in their 1970 paper, "A detailed investigation of the spectrum of fluctuations may, in principle, lead to an understanding of the nature of initial density perturbations since a distinct periodic dependence of the spectral density of perturbations on wavelength (mass) is peculiar to adiabatic perturbations." CMB experiments have now seen this distinctive scale in temperature and polarization measurements. Large-scale structure observations have seen this scale in galaxy clustering measurements.
With Yakov B. Zel'dovich, at the Moscow Institute of Applied Mathematics, he proposed what is known as the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect, which is due to electrons associated with gas in galaxy clusters scattering the cosmic microwave background radiation.
Sunyaev and Nikolay I. Shakura developed a model of accretion onto black holes, from a disk, and he has proposed a signature for X-radiation from matter spiraling into a black hole. He has collaborated in important studies of the early universe, including the recombination of hydrogen and the formation of the cosmic microwave background radiation. He led the team which operated the X-ray observatory attached to the Kvant-1 module of the Mir space station and also the GRANAT orbiting X-ray observatory. Kvant made the first detection of X-rays from a supernova in 1987. His team is currently preparing the Spectrum-X-Gamma International Astrophysical Project and is working with INTEGRAL spacecraft data. At Garching he is working in the fields of theoretical high energy astrophysics and physical cosmology and participates in the data interpretation of the ESA Planck spacecraft mission.