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Pyotr Leonidovich Kapitsa

( Soviet physicist, Nobel Prize in Physics, 1978)

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Biography Pyotr Leonidovich Kapitsa
July 9, 1894, Mr.. - April 8, 1984
. Soviet physicist Pyotr Kapitsa was born in Kronstadt naval fortress, located on an island in the Gulf of Finland near St. Petersburg, where he served his father, Leonid Petrovich Kapitsa, Lieutenant-General Corps of Engineers
. Mother to. Olga Ieronimovna Kapitsa (Stebnitskiy) was a famous educator and collector of folklore. At the end of high school in Kronstadt K. entered the Faculty of Electrical Engineers of St. Petersburg Polytechnic Institute, graduating in 1918. The next three years he taught at the same institute. Under the leadership п-.пг. Joffe, the first in Russia began studies in the field of atomic physics, to. with his classmate, Nikolai Semenov, developed a method for measuring the magnetic moment of an atom in an inhomogeneous magnetic field, which in 1931. was improved by Otto Stern.
Student years and started teaching to. occurred on the October Revolution and Civil War. It was a time of disasters, famine and epidemics. During one of these epidemics killed a young wife to. - Hope Chernosvitova with which they were married in 1916, and their two small children. Joffe insisted that K. to go abroad, but the revolutionary government did not give this permission, as long as it is not broke, Maxim Gorky, the most influential at that time a Russian writer. In 1921, Mr.. K. allowed to travel to England, where he became a member of Ernest Rutherford, who worked at the Cavendish Laboratory at Cambridge University. K. quickly earned the respect of Rutherford and became his friend.
The first studies to. in Cambridge, focused on the deviation emitted by radioactive nuclei of alpha and beta particles in a magnetic field. The experiments have led him to create powerful electromagnets. Discharging electric battery through a small coil of copper wire (thus there is a short circuit), K. able to obtain the magnetic field in the 6 ... 7 times superior to all previous. The discharge did not lead to overheating or mechanical destruction of the instrument, tk. its duration was only about 0.01 seconds.
. Creating a unique equipment for measuring the temperature effects associated with the influence of strong magnetic fields on the properties of substances, such as a magnetic resistance, led to
. to study the problems of low temperature physics. To achieve such temperatures, it was necessary to have a large number of liquefied gases. By developing a fundamentally new refrigeration plant and to. used all his uncommon talent physicist and engineer. The peak of his creativity in this area was the creation in 1934. unusually productive plants for the liquefaction of helium, which boils (changes from liquid to gas) or liquefies (becomes a gaseous state to liquid) at a temperature of about 4,3 K. Liquefaction of the gas was considered the most difficult. For the first time, liquid helium was obtained in 1908. Dutch physicist Heike Onnes Kammerling. However, setting K. was able to produce 2 liters of liquid helium per hour, whereas the method Kammerling Onnes to receive a small amount of impurities needed a few days. In the plant K. helium undergoes rapid expansion and cooled before the heat of the environment time to warm it, then advanced helium enters the machine for further processing. K. managed to overcome the problem of freezing lubrication of moving parts at low temperatures, using for that purpose himself, liquid helium.
Cambridge scientific authority to. rapidly growing. He successfully moved up the ladder of academic hierarchy. In 1923, Mr.. K. He received his Doctor of Sciences and received the prestigious scholarship of James Clerk Maxwell. In 1924, Mr.. He was appointed deputy director of the Cavendish Laboratory for Magnetic Studies, and in 1925. become a member of Trinity College. In 1928, Mr.. Academy of Sciences awarded to. degree of Doctor of Physical and Mathematical Sciences and in 1929. elected him a corresponding member of. In the next year to. became a research professor at the London Royal Society. At the insistence of the Royal Society Rutherford built specifically for the K. new laboratory. She was named in honor of the Mond Laboratory chemist and industrialist Ludwig Mond Germanic origin, the means of which left a bequest of Royal Society of London, was built. Opening of the laboratory took place in 1934. Its first director was to. But he was destined to work out there is only one year.
Relationship between K. and the Soviet government has always been rather mysterious and incomprehensible. During his thirteen-year stay in England to. returned several times to the Soviet Union, together with his second wife, nee Anna Krylova Alekseyevna to read lectures, to visit his mother and spend the holidays in some Russian resort. Soviet officials have repeatedly appealed to him to stay permanently in the USSR. K. treated with an interest in such proposals, but exhibited certain conditions, in particular freedom of travel to the West, because of what the question was postponed. In late summer 1934. K. with his wife again went to the Soviet Union, but when the couple were preparing to return to England, they found that their exit visas revoked. After a fierce but futile confrontations with officials in Moscow to. was forced to stay at home, and his wife were allowed to return to England for children. Somewhat later, Anna A. joined her husband in Moscow, and behind her came and the children. Rutherford and other friends to. turned to the Soviet government to allow him to leave for the continuation of work in England, but in vain.
In 1935. K. asked to become director of the newly established Institute for Physical Problems, Academy of Sciences of the USSR, but before giving consent to. nearly a year refused the proposed post. Rutherford, resigned to the loss of his outstanding staff, allowed the Soviet authorities to buy laboratory equipment Monda and send it by sea in the USSR. Negotiations, transport equipment and its installation at the Institute for Physical Problems, took a few years.
To. resumed his research on low temperature physics, including the properties of liquid helium. He designed the installation for the liquefaction of other gases. In 1938. K. He was able to find an unusual decrease in the viscosity of liquid helium for cooling to temperatures below 2.17 K, at which he turns into a form called a helium-2. Loss of viscosity allows it to flow freely through the tiniest openings and even climb the walls of the container, as it were, 'not feeling' the effect of gravity. Lack of viscosity is also accompanied by an increase in heat. K. called the discovery of the new phenomenon of superfluidity.
Two of his former colleagues to. at the Cavendish Laboratory, Dzh.F. Allen aq. Mizener, similar studies. All three have published papers outlining the results obtained in the same issue of the British magazine 'Neicho'. Articles. 1938. Two other works published in 1942, are among his most important works on low-temperature physics. K., who had an unusually high authority, boldly defended his views even during the purges carried out by Stalin in the late 30-ies. When in 1938. on charges of spying for Nazi Germany, was arrested at the Institute for Physical Problems, Lev Landau, K. secured his release. For this he had to go to the Kremlin and threatening in case of refusal to resign from his post as director of the institute.
In their reports, the government authorized to. openly criticized those decisions, which are considered incorrect. On the activity of K. during the Second World War in the West, little is known. In October 1941. He drew the attention of the public, warned of the possibility of creating an atomic bomb. Perhaps it was the first of the physicists who have made such a statement. Subsequently. denied involvement in the works to build a nuclear and hydrogen bombs. There are quite convincing data to support his statements. It is unclear, however, was whether his refusal is dictated by moral considerations or divergence of opinion as to what extent an implicit part of the project is consistent with the traditions and possibilities of the Institute of Physical Problems.
. It is known that in 1945, when the Americans dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, and the Soviet Union with even greater energy turned work on developing nuclear weapons, to
. was removed from his post as director of the Institute and for eight years under house arrest. He was unable to communicate with their colleagues from other research institutes. At his dacha, he equipped a small laboratory and continued to engage in research. Two years after Stalin's death in 1955, he was reinstated as director of the Institute for Physical Problems, and remained in that position until the end of life.
Postwar scientific work to. cover a wide range of physics, including hydrodynamics of thin liquid layers and the nature of ball lightning, but his main interests focus on microwave generators and studying various properties of the plasma. Under the plasma is commonly understood gases heated to such high temperatures that the atoms lose their electrons and become charged ions. In contrast to the neutral atoms and molecules of conventional gas ions are large electrical power generated by other ions, as well as electric and magnetic fields generated by any external source. That is why plasma is sometimes considered a special form of matter. Plasma is used in thermonuclear reactors operating at very high temperatures. In 50-ies. Working on the creation of a microwave generator, K. found that microwaves of high intensity rise in helium clearly observed luminous discharge. By measuring the temperature in the center of a helium discharge, he found that at a distance of a few millimeters from the border of the discharge temperature varies by about 2 000 000K. This discovery formed the basis of thermonuclear reactor project with a continuous heating of the plasma. It is possible that such a reactor would be easier and cheaper than a thermonuclear reactor with a pulsed heating regime used in other experiments in thermonuclear fusion.
In addition to achievements in experimental physics, to. distinguished himself as a brilliant administrator and educator. Under his leadership, the Institute for Physical Problems, became one of the most productive and prestigious institutes of the Academy of Sciences, attracted many leading physicists of the country. K. participated in setting up a research center near Novosibirsk - Akademgorodok, and higher educational establishments of a new type - the Moscow Physical-Technical Institute. Constructed By. installation for the liquefaction of gases are widely used in industry. The use of oxygen extracted from liquid air, for oxygen of the blast produced a true revolution in the Soviet steel industry.
. In his advanced years, K., who has never been a member of the Communist Party, using his full authority, criticized the current trend in the Soviet Union to make judgments on scientific matters, based on unscientific grounds
. He opposed the construction of pulp and paper mill, which threatened to contaminate their wastewater Lake Baikal; condemned taken by the CPSU in the mid 60-ies. attempt to rehabilitate Stalin, and together with Andrei Sakharov and other intellectuals signed a letter protesting against the forced detention in psychiatric hospital biologist Zhores Medvedev. K. was a member of the Soviet Committee of the Pugwash movement for peace and disarmament. He has also made several suggestions on how to overcome the alienation between the Soviet and American science.
In 1965, the first time after more than thirty-year hiatus, K. received permission to leave the Soviet Union in Denmark for the International Gold Medal at the Niels Bohr, which is awarded by the Danish Society of Civil Engineers, electricians and mechanics. There he visited scientific laboratories and delivered a lecture on high energy physics. In 1966, Mr.. K. again visited England, in their old labs, shared memories of Rutherford's speech, which addressed the Royal Society of London. In 1969. K. with his wife first visited the United States.
To. was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1978. 'for fundamental inventions and discoveries in the field of low temperature physics'. His award he shared with Arno A. Penzias and Robert in. Wilson. Introducing the winners, Lameck HultцLn from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said: 'By. before us as one of the greatest experimenters of our time, undisputed pioneer, leader and master in his field '.
In 1927, Mr.. During his stay in England to. married a second time. His wife was Anna A. Krylova, daughter of the famous shipbuilding, mechanical engineering and mathematics Alexei Nikolaevich Krylov, who on behalf of the Government was sent to England to oversee the building of ships commissioned by Soviet Russia. In the couple's two sons were born Kapitsa. Both of them subsequently became scientists. In his youth, AK, located in Cambridge, drove a motorcycle, smoking a pipe and wore tweed. His English habit he retained for life. In Moscow, near the Institute for Physical Problems, for it was built cottage in the English style. Clothing and tobacco, he ordered from England. In his spare time to. loved to play chess and to repair antique clocks. He died April 8, 1984
To. won many awards and honors both at home and around the world. He was an honorary doctor of eleven universities on four continents, . was a member of many scientific societies, . Academy of the United States of America, . The Soviet Union and most European countries, . was the winner of numerous awards and prizes for his scientific and political activities, . including seven Orders of Lenin,

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Pyotr Leonidovich Kapitsa, photo, biography
Pyotr Leonidovich Kapitsa, photo, biography Pyotr Leonidovich Kapitsa  Soviet physicist, Nobel Prize in Physics, 1978, photo, biography
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