Yakov Borisovich Zeldovich (1914 – 1987), also known as YaB, was one of the creators of the atomic bomb (August 29, 1949) and the hydrogen bomb (1953) in the USSR.
He was born into a Belarusian Jewish family in his grandfather's house in Minsk.
Zeldovich proposed a model (the Zeldovich-Neumann-Döring model) for the propagation of a plane detonation wave in a gas: the shock wave front adiabatically compresses the gas to a temperature at which chemical combustion reactions begin, which in turn support the steady propagation of the shock wave.
In 1939, Ya. B. Zel'dovich and Yu. B. Khariton were the first to calculate the kinetics of a fission chain reaction in an aqueous solution of uranium.
Zel'dovich and Salpeter in 1964 were the first (independently of each other) to propose (now widely accepted) that quasars are powered by accretion disks around massive black holes.