The Russian scientists behind things you use every day

The Russian scientists behind things you use every day
05 November 2020

You will probably have heard of Dmitriy Mendeleev, the inventor of the periodic table, and Mikhail Lomonosov, who discovered the law of conservation of mass and founded Moscow State Uni. Russian scientists have always been very busy, yet there are many names which are not widely heard of in the West, some of which are responsible for innovations we use every day in the modern world. Here are a select few:

Aleksandr Stoletov

Aleksandr Stoletov is often called the founder of electrical engineering. In 1888, way before electricity was properly understood, he came up with a device which could convert light energy into electrical energy. In other words, he made the world’s first solar cell!

Aleksandr Popov

In 1895, Aleksandr Popov devised the world’s first radio receiver. However, he didn’t publish his work straight away and Italian physicist Guglielmo Marconi came up with a similar device two years later, which has caused confusion over who had the idea first.

Nikolay Zhukovskiy

Nikolay Zhukovskiy is considered one of the founders of modern aerodynamics, having explained the maths behind how objects are able to fly (the theory of lift). He didn’t want to rush into building a plane yet, though, because he wanted to do more research. As a result, the first aeroplane was flown by American engineers Orville and Wilbur Wright in 1903.

Vladimir Zworykin

The work of Vladimir Zworykin was instrumental to the invention of the television. Many prior to him were already interested in realising the concept of television, but it was Zworykin who found the right means. In 1923 he invented the iconoscope, a video camera tube which could transmit TV images rapidly, and a type of device which is still used in modern televisions. 

Svyatoslav Fyodorov

In 1974, Svyatoslav Fyodorov developed a procedure which continues to be used in modern eye surgery: radial keratotomy can correct short-sightedness, long-sightedness and astigmatisms.

Disclaimer: I haven’t included all exceptional Russian scientists I read about because there were simply too many to mention! Do leave a comment below if you feel like I missed out someone I should have featured.

This article was brought to you by Olivia, a current student at Liden & Denz Moscow


Posted by Olivia Wright

Hi, I'm Olivia and I'm currently studying German and Russian at the University of Cambridge in the UK. I was introduced properly to Russia and its culture two years ago, when I started learning Russian from scratch, and am now a big fan!

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