Pyotr Kapitsa

P. Kapitsa, an outstanding Soviet physicist, was born in Kronstadt in the family of a general in 1894. He graduated from the Petrograd Polytechnic Institute in 1919. Kapitsa took a great interest in physics while still at the institute.

In 1921 Kapitsa was sent to England on Lenin’s instructions to renew scientific contacts. He worked in the famous Cavendish Laboratory headed by Rutherford. Kapitsa was elected a member of the Royal Sociaty for his outstanding scientific work in the production of large magnetic fields.

In the middle of 1930s he organized the Institute of Physical Problems near Moscow. It was here that Kapitsa concetrated his attention on the research of superlow temperatures of liquid helium and superconductivity. He showed that helium conducted heat so well becouse it flowed with remarkable ease.

After the WW2 his scientific activity was directed to space research. In 1950s Kapitsa also turned his attention to ball lightning – a phenomenon in which plasma exists for a much longer period than it was supposed.

Kapitsa was awarded a Nobel Prize for his great contribution to world science in 1978. Today there are few names in the history of phisics that can be placed next to his.

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