Pilchikov Nikolay Dmitriyevich


Pilchikov Nikolay Dmitriyevich

The beginnings of Kharkov school of physics (which was growing in KSU and KTI - at present KPI), take root in incredibly productive activities of Nikolay Dmitriyevich Pilchikov, who worked with both the representatives of the brilliant French school of physics - P.Kuri, G.Lippman, A.Mascard, A.Cornuet, - and the great minds of national science - D. I. Mendeleyev, A. G. Stoletov, P. N. Lebedev, A. S. Popov, and others. The indication of the recognition of his merits internationally was his admission as a member of the council of the French Physical Society and an honorable member of the International Electric Society. Pilchikov is the founder of the Earth magnetic field anomaly theory - made a detailed research of the Kursk magnetic anomaly and scientifically confirmed the argument of the reach deposits of iron ore in that area, and was consequently awarded the Big Silver Medal of the Russian Geographical Society in 1884. He discovered the phenomenon of electronic photography and determined it's principles, conducted fundamental research of atmospheric ionisation and light polarisation, designed many amazing ingenious devices and appliances, many of which carry his name, including the prototype of the modern protective suit for astronautes.


For the first time in the world's history N. D. Pilchikov set up extensive experiments on distant radio control. In 1943 his ideas were taken as the basis for the brilliant operation of Soviet intelligence - remotely controlled explosion in the general von Braun's headquarters situated in the occupied Kharkov operated from Voronezh. This was related in popular scientific film "The story of one idea".


N. D. organised magnetic meteorological department in Kharkov University, several meteorological service posts in Kharkov and Kursk regions, funded the building of the radio station in KTI (the first in Ukraine), and made the physical laboratory of the Institute to be the most equipped technically among Russian higher institution physical laboratories. N. D. was a person of progressive views who dedicated his life not only to science, but was also engaged in the activities aimed to improve the welfare of his home community: he provided assistance in publishing Ukrainian literature and the propagation of Ukrainian language that was prohibited up to 1905. Heenthusiastically supported D. I. Mendeleyev in organising the T. G. Shevchenko Russian Scientific Society. He was a good violinist, took interest in painting, wrote poetry. The scientist's life tragically ended in the prime of his talent. The phenomenon of Pilchikov's life is the subject matter of V. N. Petrov's book "The Crystal Globe". The atmosphere of scientific search, freedom and fantasy which Pilchikov diligently supported and guarded was the magnet that attracted the talented students and oriented the activities of teachers.

Rambler's Top100
Home Welcome to Kharkov | City Government | Strolling through Kharkov | What, When, Where
General Information | Kharkov Region | Strolling through site | Internet
META - Ukrainian search engine TopList Rambler's Top100

All texts and images are permitted to use with the site reference only