Shklovsky Iosif Samuilovich - Soviet astronomer, astrophysicist: biography, scientific activity

Science 2023

Table of contents:

Shklovsky Iosif Samuilovich - Soviet astronomer, astrophysicist: biography, scientific activity
Shklovsky Iosif Samuilovich - Soviet astronomer, astrophysicist: biography, scientific activity

Iosif Samuilovich Shklovsky - an outstanding astrophysicist, corresponding member of the USSR Academy of Sciences, honorary member of foreign academies and organizations. With his views and works, he had a significant impact on the development of world astrophysics in the 20th century. Shklovsky created a new direction - all-wave evolution. Author of a large number of modern theories regarding the star formation of the Universe, as well as works and books on astronomy.

Biography of Shklovsky Joseph Samuilovich

Iosif Samuilovich was born on July 1, 1916, in the family of a poor merchant. Glukhov became his hometown. Then fate brought him to Kazakhstan, where in 1931 he graduated from a seven-year school in the city of Akmolinsk (currently the capital of the Republic of Kazakhstan - the city of Astana). After graduating from school, Joseph participated in the construction of sections of the Baikal-Amur Mainline for three years. He was a foreman at the construction of the railway tracks of the Magnitogorsk - Karaganda - Balkhash route.

Shklovsky Iosif Samuilovich
Shklovsky Iosif Samuilovich

Student years, graduate school

In 1933, Iosif Samuilovich was accepted as a student at Vladivostok University at the Faculty of Physics and Mathematics.

After studying at this educational institution for two years, he is transferred to Moscow, where he continues his studies at the Faculty of Physics of Moscow State University.

After graduating from it in 1938, Iosif Samuilovich was admitted to the graduate school of the State Astronomical Institute. P. Sternberg (GAISh). This structure was part of Moscow State University. At the Department of Astrophysics, a young optical physicist begins his ascent to the heights of stellar science.

Cover of Shklovsky's book "Echelon"
Cover of Shklovsky's book "Echelon"

Dissertation defense

With the beginning of the Great Patriotic War, together with the institutes of Moscow, Joseph was evacuated to Ashgabat. Despite his requests, Shklovsky was not taken to the front due to poor eyesight. He returned to Moscow with the SAI immediately after the war.

Before that, in 1944, in evacuation, he successfully defended his PhD thesis. Her topic was astrophysical electron temperatures.

In 1947, Shklovsky, together with fellow astrophysicists, undertook an expedition to Brazil, where he observed a total solar eclipse and the corona of the Sun. It is worth noting that the expedition had a radio telescope at its disposal, which was a breakthrough for that time.

The results of observations of the luminary and the conducted research formed the basis of the work describing the theory of the emergence of the solar corona. On its basis in 1948 he defended his doctoral dissertation.

Teaching activities

In 1953, Shklovsky was the first in the USSR to start giving lectures on radio astronomy. They were so popular that not only graduate students and students of their native university and other institutes of the capital came to listen to them, but also representatives of science from other Moscow institutions.

Iosif Shklovsky with colleagues
Iosif Shklovsky with colleagues

For students of astrophysicists in the same period, he prepared and read a course of lectures on problems of theoretical physics.

With the beginning of the space age, Shklovsky in the SAI organized and headed a unit that monitored the first artificial satellite of the Earth using tools.

Bold assumptions

At the same time, in 1957, Iosif Samuilovich began to study the problem of the possibility of life in the Universe. This topic captured him during the period of joint work with V. Krasovsky on the study of the causes of the death of dinosaurs on Earth. Researchers associated their disappearance with a burst of powerful short-wave radiation, which was caused by an explosion located relatively close to the Earth's supernova. The results of the joint work were reported at the symposium at the SAI and received wide recognition.

Joseph Shklovsky in his youth
Joseph Shklovsky in his youth

In 1958, Shklovsky Iosif Samuilovich began to seriously study the satellites of Mars. He suggested that they may be of artificial origin. The data available at that time on the "abnormal" deceleration of Phobos led Shklovsky to the conclusion that this celestial body has a low density,suggesting an internal void, possibly artificially created. In order to confirm his conclusions, he even initiated a project, during the implementation of which it was supposed to measure the exact diameter of Phobos. For this, it was planned to use interplanetary stations, which the USSR wanted to send to Mars. However, it was not possible to realize these plans.

Artificial Comet

Shklovsky organized and successfully carried out an experiment in 1959, which he called "Artificial Comet". For its implementation, a sodium cloud was released into outer space by the Soviet satellite. Under the action of sunlight, sodium atoms began to fluoresce resonantly, which was observed and studied from the surface of the Earth.

The results of this experiment became the basis for methods for determining the location of spacecraft. Then they were successfully used to study the upper layers of the Earth's atmosphere and the external environment of the solar system.

For research in the field of the concept of an artificial comet in 1960, Shklovsky Iosif Samuilovich was awarded the Lenin Prize.

Exploring Deep Space

In 1960, Shklovsky, independently of American researchers, proposed to search for artificial signals emanating from the depths of the Universe on a wave of 21 cm., life, mind”, which was released in 1962.

Editions of the book of Joseph Shklovsky
Editions of the book of Joseph Shklovsky

Subsequently, developing my vision onUniverse, Shklovsky came to the conclusion that life on Earth is perhaps a unique phenomenon. He substantiated his conclusion and position by the fact that, despite significant advances in the field of astronomical observations, the Cosmos responds with silence, life in the Universe, if it exists, is incredibly far away.

Continuing his research, Iosif Samuilovich introduced such well-known concepts as "relic radiation", "presumption of naturalness" into world practice.

In the 60s of the last century, he created and headed the department of radio astronomy in the SAI. This structure gained worldwide fame in a few years, becoming the ancestor of a new trend in astronomy and astrophysics.

In 1966, Iosif Shklovsky was elected a corresponding member of the USSR Academy of Sciences. Three years later, he becomes the head of the astrophysics department at the established Space Research Institute. He headed this department until the last days of his life.

Support for dissidents, protection of the rights of people of Jewish nationality

Iosif Samuilovich Shklovsky was also known for supporting dissidents in the USSR. Openly supported Andrei Sakharov. He actively fought against discrimination against people of Jewish nationality, including when entering universities, in the obstacles that arise in front of them in moving up the career ladder. As a result, he was not allowed to travel outside the USSR to various scientific events, where he was constantly invited.

Shklovsky and American correspondent Gri
Shklovsky and American correspondent Gri

On his first trip abroad, in 1979, to a symposium in Montreal, Canada, hereceived an offer to stay abroad forever, to refuse to return to the Soviet Union. Leave for permanent residence in Israel. However, Shklovsky categorically rejected him.

Iosif Samuilovich Shklovsky died in Moscow on March 3, 1985. The cause of death was a stroke.

Shklovsky's legacy

Shklovsky is known to his contemporaries not only as a great astrophysicist, but also as the godfather of many famous scientists. He trained two academicians of the Academy of Sciences, 10 Doctors of Science and about 30 Candidates of Science.

He pioneered the study of the physics of the solar corona. He was the first to study and describe in detail the ionization processes of the Sun and the parameters of its radio emission.

His works are world-famous, in which he proves that the 21 cm long radiation generated by neutral hydrogen atoms in the Galaxy and the Universe is observable.

People who communicated with Iosif Shklovsky spoke of him as a sharp, extraordinary person. He took the environment to heart. I tried to respond to every event. Communication with him required tension, but he always remained very attractive.

On the satellite of Mars - Phobos - a crater is named after him.

Iosif Shklovsky 1983
Iosif Shklovsky 1983

Shklovsky is the author of 300 publications of a scientific nature, as well as nine books on astronomy.

Popular topic