Taught physics and mathematics at technical institutes in Baku and Leningrad. Founded in Leningrad the Institute of Nuclear Energy, 1943. 1943. From 1943 till his death, directed nuclear research for peaceful and defence purposes — first cyclotron, 1944, first atomic reactor, 1946, first Soviet atomic bomb, 1949, first thermo-nuclear bomb, 1953.
The 104th element of the periodical table is called ‘kurchatovium’ after him.