Alexander Abian

Alexander (Smbat) Abian (January 1, 1923 – July 24, 1999)[1] was an American mathematician who taught for over 25 years at Iowa State University and became notable for his frequent posts to various Usenet newsgroups, and his advocacy for the destruction of the moon.

Alexander Abian
Alexander (Smbat) Abian

(1923-01-01)January 1, 1923
Tabriz, Iran
DiedJuly 24, 1999(1999-07-24) (aged 76)
Ames, Iowa
Other namesSmbat Abian
OccupationProfessor at Iowa State University


Abian was born in Tabriz, Iran, and was of Armenian ethnicity. After earning an undergraduate degree in Iran, he emigrated to the United States in 1950, where he received a master's degree from the University of Chicago. Abian then obtained a Ph.D. from the University of Cincinnati, where he wrote a dissertation on a topic in invariant theory under the direction of Isaac Barnett.[2] After teaching posts in Tennessee, New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio, he joined the faculty of Iowa State in 1967. He wrote three books and published more than two hundred papers. He retired in 1993.[3]

Moonless Earth theoryEdit

Abian gained a degree of international notoriety for his claim that blowing up the Moon would solve virtually every problem of human existence. He made this claim in 1991 in a campus newspaper,[4] stating that a Moonless Earth wouldn't wobble, eliminating both the seasons and its associated events like heat waves, snowstorms and hurricanes.[5] Abian said that "Those critics who say 'Dismiss Abian's ideas' are very close to those who dismissed Galileo."[6]

The proposed nuclear destruction of the Moon is criticized for 1. a likely failure of deep nuclear explosions to do more than crack the Moon, 2. if successful, heating of Earth's atmosphere by a hail of falling lunar debris, destructive to all life, and 3. an increase, not decrease, in the Earth's wobble without a stabilizing Moon, leading to an Earth axial tilt of 45 degrees and more drastic seasons.[7][8]


  • 1965. The theory of sets and transfinite arithmetic. Philadelphia: W. B. Saunders. LCCN 65023086.
  • 1971. Linear associative algebras. New York: Pergamon. 1971. ISBN 0-08-016564-8. LCCN 74130799.
  • 1976. Boolean Rings. Branden Press. 1976. ISBN 0-8283-1678-3. LCCN 76012065.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Tributes, Inc. Retrieved 18 November 2017. Alexander was born on January 1, 1923 and passed away on Saturday, July 24, 1999. ... The information in this obituary is based on data from the US Government's Social Security Death Index. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ Alexander Abian at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  3. ^ Anderson, Rebecca (July 1999), "ISU professor Abian dies at 76", Mid-Iowa News, Ames Tribune, archived from the original on December 4, 2000.
  4. ^ "YIKES!: GOODNIGHT, MOON Shoot the moon? Hell, says Prof. Alexander Abian, why not just blow it up?;". People. 1991-06-24. Retrieved 2006-10-18.
  5. ^ Valente, Judith. "Hate Winter? Here's A Scientist's Answer: Blow Up the Moon." The Wall Street Journal. April 22, 1991.
  6. ^ Morin, Richard (2006-05-30). "Drunks + Kids = Profits". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2006-10-18.
  7. ^ Myburgh, Tim (2018-03-01). "What would happen if we blew up the Moon?". Very Interesting Magazine (40).
  8. ^ "What would happen if we blew up the Moon?". Skyways Magazine (May, 2018). Johannesburg: Airlink (Pty) Ltd. 2018-05-01.

External linksEdit