Science: Past and Present
Read the text using the
dictionary if necessary
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGICAL
PROGRESS IN MODERN SOCIETY
science is the main characteristic feature distinguishing the present
civilization from the other civilizations in the past. From its early
beginning in the sixteenth century the developments of science have influenced
the course of western civilization more and more until today it plays a most
dominant role. It is not much of exaggeration to say that we live in a world
that materially and intellectually has been created by science.
point is easy to illustrate on the material level. One merely needs to mention
the telephone, the radio, the television, the automobile, and the airplane, or
any of the countless devices invented by the application of science. There is
hardly an article used in the homes, in the places of work, or in the places
of enjoyment that has not been modified by technology based on science. The
means of communication that bind the continents into a single community depend
on scientific know-how, without modern sanitation it would be impossible to
have large centres of population; without modern industry and agriculture, it
would be impossible to feed, to clothe and to provide the "abundant life" to
this large population.
There is, however, another
part of the story less obvious and less well known, but far more important. It
is a story of expanding intellectual horizons - the impact of science on the
mind of a man. Fundamentally, science is an intellectual enterprise, an
attempt to understand the world in a particular way. All the developments
mentioned are but the results, the outcomes of this intellectual activity.
the past 150 years the range of human knowledge has been doubled every 12 or
15 years. In 1930 man knew 4 times as much as he did in 1900; by 1960 his
knowledge had grown sixteenfold, and by the year 2000 it can be expected to be
a hundred times what it had been a century previously.
The second part of the
twentieth century has brought a number of technical innovations which are
still very young but which are taken so much for granted that it is as if they
have always existed.
In the 50-ies of the running
century hardly anyone would probably have believed that we should be able to
sit at home and watch astronauts walking in space or that people could be kept
alive by the heart of a dead man.
transistor was not invented until 1948. This piece of electronic equipment
found wide use in space technology, computers, transistor radios, medical
instruments, television sets - in fact, wherever precise control and
modulation of electrical signals was required, however, the invention of ICs
(integrated circuits) in 1958 brought in a new era of change in the field so
fundamental, that it already has the characteristics of a second industrial
A mere 12 years separated the
launching of the satellite Sputnik I in 1957 and man's first landing on the
Moon in 1969. The first long-term orbital station Salyut launched in 1971
opened a new era in space research, providing the possibility of conducting
investigations in the field of astrophysics, space technology, medicine,
biology, etc under conditions inconceivable on the earth. Another period of 10
years and in 1981 we could witness the launching of a typically new cosmic
vehicle - the Shuttle.
is not difficult to continue with other examples but the point is clear.
Events such as these are characteristic of the rate of technological
development in the second half of the 20th century. They suggest that the
technological innovations we are to experience during the next 20 years to
come may well surpass our wildest fantasies and today's tomorrow may well
become tomorrow's the day before yesterday. Science occupies a central
position in modern society. It dominates man's whole existence. Research and
innovations in technology should improve society's living and working
conditions and remedy the negative effects of technical and social changes.
Recent developments of nuclear
weapons, satellites, space platforms and intercontinental ballistic missies
have attracted and rightly so, public attention throughout the world. They
make wars of annihilation possible and forcily thrust upon the necessity of
coming to an understanding with the other nations. It is not merely a matter
of peace, but, rather, poses the question of the very survival of the human
I. Read the text and find
English equivalents of the following:
развитие науки; западная цивилизация;
доминирующая роль; преувеличение; создавать; технология, основанная на науке;
средства связи; единая общность; научные «ноу-хау»; интеллектуальная
деятельность; технические инновации; транзистор; электронное оборудование;
изобретение IC (интегральных схем); область; допуск; высадка на Луну.
II. Supply the missing words
combinations choosing among those given below:
The point is easily illustrate…
The means of communications that bind the
countries into a single community depend on scientific know-how, without
It is a story of expanding intellectual
horizons - …
The second part of the 20-th century has
brought a number of …
The transistor was not invented …
A mere 12 years separated the launching of
the satellite Sputnik I in 1957 and…
Another period of 10 years and in 1981 we
could witness the launching of a typically …
new cosmic vehicle – the Shuttle; and man’s first
landing on the Moon in 1969; until 1948; technical innovations; the impact of
science on the mind of a man; modern sanitation it would be impossible to have
large centres of population; on the material level.
III. Do you know different
kinds of science? Learn the following.
Pure science - considered only
for its own nature as a skill or exercise of the mind;
Applied sciences - put to a
Practical science - related to
Natural science - related to
Physical science - which
relates to the nature of matter, force, structure;
Social science - relating to
people's lives and natures;
Medical science - relating to
Life sciencies - all the
sciencies which relate to living things;
Biology - scientific study of
Zoology - scientific study of
Botany - scientific study of
Anatomy - scientific study of
nature of living bodies;
Physiology - scientific study
how the bodies of living things work;
Physical sciencies: physics,
mechanics, chemistry, pharmacology, geology, meteorology;
Social sciencies: sociology -
scientific study of societies;
Antropology - scientific study
of nature of man;
Psychology - scientific study
of mind and the way it works;
Psychiatry - the study and
treatment of diseases of mind;
Criminology - scientific study
of crime and criminals;
Penology - the scientific
study of punishment and prison.
IV. Learn the English
FIRST DEGREES ARE ALSO CALLED
Bachelor of Arts (B. A.) - a
first degree in the faculty of Arts.
Bachelor of Science (B. Sc.) -
a first degree in the faculty of science.
HIGHER (FURTHER) ADVANCED
Master's Degree (M. A.; M.
Sc.) - there has been an increasing tendency to make the Master's Degree an
advanced examination degree, awarded after a year's postgraduate study, rather
than a degree by thesis. This degree doesn't correspond to any Russian degree.
Doctorate. This degree is
called in full Doctor of Philosophy, but is usually shortened to Ph. D. The
name is the same for all faculties, and one may have a Ph. D. in English,
Mathematics, or Geography. A Ph. D. is awarded on acceptance of a thesis which
must be an original contribution to knowledge, that is, contain new
information on scientific problems. Research for this degree usually takes
about 3 years.
Senior Doctorate - these
degrees are much higher than the Ph. D. However, they differ from the latter
in that they do not involve (do not require) the writing of a thesis. A person
wishing to apply for such a degree submits his published works to a board, or
committee, who then decide if these works justify (deserve) the award of the
V. Translate the text using
the dictionary if necessary
... Академгородок. За короткий
срок в живописном бору выросли здания современных лабораторий и кварталы
комфортабельных жилых домов. Широк и разнообразен круг проблем,
изучаемых сибирскими учеными; генетика и археология, вечная мерзлота ...
VI. Read the text and find
some more pictures of Academgorodok. Describe the picture.
In a very short time modern
laboratories and attractive housing estates with all modern conveniences had
sprung up in a picturesque birch wood. Siberian scientists are working on a
vast variety of problems from genetics to archaeology, from permafrost to
trapping, from cybernetics to economics. They have many important discoveries
to their credit in nuclear physics, mathematics, mechanics and experimental
VII. What does it mean?
1. Technological progress has
brought great changes in our social and economic organization.
2. Men of intelligence and
good will are deeply concerned about the problem of directing the power of
3. The things that happen in
nature are not accidental things.
4. The curiosity of scientists
is directed to find relationships and connections between all kinds of things
that occur in nature.
5. Science affects many
aspects of our lives.
СИБИРСКОГО ОТДЕЛЕНИИ АКАДЕМИИ НАУК.
THE MEETING OF THE PRESIDIUM
OF SIBERIAN DIVISION OP THE USSR ACADEMY OF SCIENCES.
VIII. Agree or disagree.
1. Science very little affects
2. We can hardly speak of any
achievements in medicine.
3. Science is motivated by
curiosity of a researcher.
4. We know exactly that there
is biological life in our universe besides the earth.
5. The greatest achievements
of medical knowledge and care have improved human happiness.
Try to find example of how
technological progress has changed our lives.
Today we can name many new
devices which substitute manual methods of writing, calculating, even carpet
beating or washing the linen. The great role is played today by computers. Can
you prove that fact?
Imagine you have received the
task to make an open lecture entitled "Science and Society". What problems can
you discuss in it?
Many people all over the world
are interested in the processes which are taking place in this country and
they are eager to know about the development of Russian science. You are
correspondents of BBC. What questions would you ask Russian scientists?
A great deal impresses the
visitors, but perhaps nothing so much as the magnificent group of scientific
institutes founded by the Siberian Branch of the U.S.S.R. Academy of Sciences
IX. Read the text and put
questions to it.
Akademgorodok — a new town
of science and culture.
A trip by bus from Novosibirsk
to Akademgorodok is indicative of concentration of scientific institutions.
The driver announcing the stops will call out: «Thermophysics», which means
that the bus has arrived at the institute conducting research on heat and mass
transfer and new problems of energetics. The next stop is «Chemistry», that
is, one of the five chemical institutes of the center, then come «The computer
centre», "Nuclear physics", «Hydrodynamics» and "Economics and industrial
organization". One doesn't see much from the window of a bus. That's why we
invite you to have a walk around the township and see for yourself what is
going on in the Town of Science. Akademgorodok has one more specific feature —
it is one of the few towns in the world built right in the middle of the
forest. The closeness of the town to Novosibirsk, a large cultural centre, is
an additional blessing. Actors of the best Siberian theatres often visit the
town and scientists see the plays, operas, ballets and other performances, and
stars on tour also rarely miss the town.
There are cinemas, clubs,
shops and cafes like in every other town. The difference is that you can walk
in age-old forest just a few steps away from your home. Scientific conferences
and symposiums are held in the halls of the Scientists' House, heated debates
often take place in its cosy rooms. Exhibitions of scientific literature,
devices and equipment both Russian and foreign are often organised here. In
the evenings there are soires, shows, films. The house has a collection of
paintings numbering over 3.000 canvases.
Next to the residential
districts is the Golden Sandy Beach of the Ob Sea with yachts ploughing its
waters. The children are playing in creches and kindergartens, are studying at
schools while their parents are working in numerous laboratories, research
institutes, cultural establishments. Akademgorodok's club of young technicians
repeatedly won prizes in Regional and Republican competitions.
Every summer Akademgorodok is
visited by a noisy crowd of schoolchildren — the winners of the All-Siberia
They are welcome guests.
«No scientists without pupils»
— such is the motto the Siberian Branch of Academy of Sciences has adopted.
X. Match the pictures to their
ТРОФИМУК Андрей Алексеевич геолог, академик
МАЛЬЦЕВ Анатолий Иванович математик, академик
БУДКЕР Герш Ицкович физик, академик
Алексеевич математик, академик
XI. Make up a story about one
of these famous Siberian scientists. Speak in what brunches of science they
and Angarsk are brand-new towns. But the older towns, like Novosibirsk,
Krasnoyarsk, Omsk, Irkutsk, Tomsk and Barnaul are now being born anew.
XII. Answer the questions.
1. Should a scientist gather
as much information on his subject as he can before doing his own research?
2. What part of researcher's
investigation requires the most imagination?
3. Many scientists state that
it is important to formulate a possible solution to the problem before
starting experiments. What is your opinion?
4 .Is it possible to teach a
person how to develop hypothesis?
XIII. Comment on the following
1. We shouldn't overreact
until we have enough scientific evidence. There have always been natural
2. Today's problems are a
chance and a challenge for the young generation.
XIV. What inventions,
electronic and other devices would you call the most sophisticated ones that
have been invented lately in the 20th century? Use the following:
radio set, TV set, electronic
computer, robots, space rockets, lasers.
XV. Say what would have
happened if the different inventions and advances of science hadn't been put
into practice. Use the following:
electricity, gas, TV, tape
recorder, electric bulb, radio, electronic computer, telescope.
XVI. Speak on the economy and
its aspects in brief and illustrate your reports with pictures and your own
LADABANK - FOR ECONOMIC
SECURITY OF PEOPLE
subsidiary of the trading bank of social promotion "LADABANK" founded in May
1991 is one of the largest bank structures of Russia in our region. Office of
the Head-bank is situated in the city of Tolyatti. Among the constitutors of "LADABANK"
there are more than 30 well-known enterprises and firms: AVTOVAZ plant,
AVTOVAZ maintenance amalgamation, Moscow electrotechnical plant and many
The main concern "LADABANK" is
to protect and to insure economic interests of its customers in the ocean of
money-market. Main founds of its constitutors guarantee reliability and
stability while quick realization of payments, timely supply of cash money,
high professional skills of the staff is a good pledge of efficient usage of
money and success in the business.
Greater part of credit
resources of "LADABANK" is distributed on promotion of social sphere,
production of goods and services for people, development of VAZ-cars
STOCK CORPORATION "RYABINA" is a multi-purpose organization with high
financial, productive and science and technology potential. The corporation
unites over 30 joint stock companies of different trends and is
represented in highly developed economic centres of Russia
and abroad, such as: St.Peterburg, Nizhni Novgorod, Ekaterinburg, Ufa,
Novosibirsk, Novokuznetsk, Tomsk, Angarsk,
Petropavlovsk-Kamchatski, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan,
Chinese People's Republic. The representation of the
famous Chinese company "COFCO" was open by the corporation in Russia. The
CORPORATION "RYABINA" is represented on many Stock
and Mercantile Exchanges of this country. The science and technology centres
of the corporation are working out and put on a mass
production a wide product range which is up to the mark of high technical
quality. The corporation is shaping a sound
investment policy which is carried out through the Investment Fund and
Company. The Investment policy of the corporation is supported by the
Commercial Bank which is part of its structure.
Поздняков Анатолий Дмитриевич
президент корпорации "РЯБИНА"
I. Fill in the Public Opinion
Poll and have group discussion on the topic.
1) Which, if any, of the
things on the list do you think be areas where scientific discoveries could
have very dangerous effects (vd), dangerous effects (d), not dangerous effects
Branch of science/technology
Biotechnology and genetic engineering
National defence and armaments
Agriculture and plant science
Control and reduction of pollution
New forms of energy information
Technology and computers
2) What do you think of
science? Do science and technology do more good than harm, more harm than
good, or about equal.
More good than harm
More harm man good
3) Leaving our military
applications do you think that scientific discoveries can have dangerous
II. Collect ideas to help
people to change their attitude and behaviour. Discuss what you should use for
school work, what you could get for a party/barbecue, how to save energy at
home, how to avoid producing too much rubbish. Some of your ideas can be
crazy. Remember that inventors were often considered to be crazy when they
developed their ideas and explained them to others.
III. Guess the names of
branches of science they created.
P.L. KAPITSA - THE NOBEL PRIZE
THE ROYAL SWEDISH ACADEMY OF
PRESS RELEASE: THE 1978 NOBEL
PRIZE IN PHYSICS
17 October 1978
The Royal Swedish Academy of
Sciences has decided to award the 1978 Nobel Prize for Physics in two equal
to Professor Pyotr Leonidovich Kapitsa, Institute of Physical Problems, USSR
Academy of Sciences, Moscow, for his basic inventions and discoveries in the
area of low-temperature physics;
and the other,
to be shared equally between Dr Arno A. Penzias and Dr Robert W. Wilson, Bell
Telephone Laboratories, Holmdel, New Jersey, USA, for their discovery of
cosmic microwave background radiation.
Pyotr Leonidovich Kapitza
Leonidovich Kapitza was born in Kronstadt, Russia, in 1894. He graduated from
the Polytechnical Institute, Petrograd in 1919, and had taught electrical
engineering at the Physicotechnical Institute in Petrograd for two years when
he was selected to join a scientific commission to the University of
In 1921 Kapitsa was sent to
England on Lenin's instructions to renew scientific contacts. There he worked
in the famous Cavendish Laboratory headed by Rutherford. In 1929 Kapitsa was
elected a member of the Royal Society for his outstanding scientific work in
the production of large magnetic fields.
In 1934 he returned to Moscow
where he organized the Institute for Physical Problems at which he continued
his research on strong magnetic fields, low temperature physics and
During World War II Kapitsa
was engaged in applied research on the production and use of oxygen, and he
found an efficient way to produce large quantities of liquid oxygen that
proved crucial to the wartime soviet steel industry.
Kapitsa's research on
high-power microwave generators in the late 1950s turned his interests to
controlled thermonuclear fusion, about which he published a series of papers
beginning in 1969.
He was one of the founders of
the Moscow Physico-Technical Institute (MFTI), and the editor-in-chief of the
Journal of Experimental and Theoretical Physics.
In the 1960s Kapitsa was one
of the Soviet scientists who campaigned to preserve Lake Baikal from
industrial pollution. He was a member of the Soviet National Committee of the
Pugwash movement of scientists for peace and disarmament.
All objects and matter consist
of small particles - atoms and molecules - that are in constant motion. The
temperature of the matter or body is dependent on the intensity of this
so-called heat movement. When the movement is halted, the temperature of the
body drops to absolute zero.
Absolute zero, the lowest
temperature theoretically possible, is characterized by complete absence of
heat, at approximately -273.16° C, or zero degree on the Kelvin scale (0 K).
At this temperature matter would possess zero entropy and maximum molecular
order, the volume of an ideal gas would vanish, and a thermodynamic heat
engine would operate at 100 percent efficiency. Absolute zero cannot be
reached experimentally, although it can be closely approached. Special
procedures are needed to reach very low, or cryogenic, temperatures.
Low-temperature physics is
called cryogenics. The word is derived from the Greek kryos, meaning
"icy cold." Cryogenics deals with the properties of materials at temperatures
immediately above the absolute zero point. It has been shown that at these
temperatures many kinds of materials acquire radically different properties.
Many metals and alloys, for instance, become what is known as superconductive.
The first Nobel Prize in the
area of low-temperature physics was given in 1913 to Kamerling-Onnes for his
investigations on the properties of matter at low temperatures, which led to
the production of liquid helium. This substance has since become one of the
most useful means for attaining low temperatures.
In 1934, Kapitsa constructed a
new device for producing liquid helium, which cooled the gas by periodic
expansions. For the first time, a machine had been made which could produce
liquid helium in large quantities without previous cooling with liquid
hydrogen. This heralded a new epoch in the field of low-temperature physics.
In the 1920s, it had been
found that when liquid helium was exposed to a temperature of less than 2.3
degrees above absolute zero, it was changed into an unusual form, which was
named He II, or helium two. By 1938, Kapitsa was able to show that He II had
such great internal mobility and negligible or vanishing viscosity, that it
could better be characterized as a superfluid. During the next few years,
Kapitsa's experiments on the properties of He II indicated that it is in a
macroscopic quantum state, and that He II is therefore a quantum fluid with
zero entropy, i.e., that it has a perfect atomic order.
As a result of his remarkable
experimental and technical abilities, Kapitsa has played a leading role in
low-temperature physics for a number of decades. He has also shown an amazing
capacity to organize and to lead work: he established laboratories for the
study of low temperatures in both Cambridge, United Kingdom and Moscow.
Kapitsa's discoveries, ideas and new techniques have been basic to the modern
expansion of the science of low-temperature physics.
Practical applications of
has several practical applications. Among the many important industrial
applications of cryogenics are the large-scale production of oxygen and
nitrogen from air. The oxygen can be used in a variety of ways, for example,
in rocket engines, for cutting and welding torches, for supporting life in
space and deep-sea vehicles, and for blast furnace operation. The nitrogen
goes into the making of ammonia for fertilizers, and it is used to prepare
frozen foods by cooling them rapidly enough to prevent destruction of cell
tissues. It can also serve as a refrigerant for transporting frozen foods.
Cryogenics has also made possible the commercial transportation of liquefied
or cryosurgery, is being used in eye surgery, in which a freezing probe
is briefly applied to the outside of the eye to repair a break in the retina.
A similar technique has also been employed to destroy brain tumors and to
arrest cervical cancer.
Without cryogenics, nuclear
research would lack liquid hydrogen and helium for use in particle detectors
and for the powerful electromagnets needed in large particle accelerators.
Such magnets are also being used in nuclear fusion research. Infrared devices,
masers, and lasers can employ cryogenic temperatures as well.
ZH. I. ALFEROV - THE NOBEL
THE ROYAL SWEDISH ACADEMY OF
PRESS RELEASE: THE 2000 NOBEL
PRIZE IN PHYSICS
10 October 2000
The Royal Swedish Academy of
Sciences has decided to award the Nobel Prize in Physics for 2000 to
scientists and inventors whose work has laid the foundation of modern
information technology, IT, particularly through their invention of rapid
transistors, laser diodes, and integrated circuits (chips).
The prize is being awarded
with one half jointly to
Zhores I. Alferov, A. F. Ioffe
Physico-Technical Institute, St. Petersburg, Russia, and
Herbert Kroemer, University of
California at Santa Barbara, California, USA,
"for developing semiconductor
heterostructures used in high-speed- and opto-electronics"
and one half to
Jack S. Kilby, Texas
Instruments, Dallas, Texas, USA
"for his part in the invention
of the integrated circuit"
I. Alferov was born in Vitebsk, Belorussia, USSR, on March 15, 1930. In 1952,
he graduated from the Department of Electronics of V. I. Ulyanov (Lenin)
Electrotechnical Institute in Leningrad. Since 1953 he has been a staff member
of the Physico-Technical Institute where he held consecutively the following
positions: junior researcher (1953-1964), senior researcher (1964-1967), head
of the laboratory (1967-1987), director (1987-present). He earned scientific
degrees: a candidate of sciences in technology in 1961 and a doctor of
sciences in physics and mathematics in 1970, both from the Ioffe Institute.
was elected a corresponding member of the USSR Academy of Sciences in 1972 and
a full member of the Academy in 1979. From 1989 onward, he has been
Vice-President of the USSR (Russian) Academy of Sciences and President of its
St Petersburg Scientific Center. For his research Professor Zh. I. Alferov was
awarded a number of national and international prizes. He is Editor-in-Chief
of a Russian journal, Pis'ma v Zhurnal Tekhnicheskoi Fiziki (English-language
version -Technical Physics Letters) and a member of the Editorial Board of a
Russian journal Nauka i Zhizn' (Science and Life). Zh. I. Alferov is author of
4 books, 400 articles, and 50 inventions on semiconductor technology.
V. GINSBURG - THE NOBEL PRIZE
THE ROYAL SWEDISH ACADEMY OF
PRESS RELEASE: THE 2003 NOBEL
PRIZE IN PHYSICS
7 October 2003
The Royal Swedish Academy of
Sciences has decided to award the Nobel Prize in Physics for 2003 "for
pioneering contributions to the theory of superconductors and superfluids"
Alexei A. Abrikosov, Argonne
National Laboratory, Argonne, Illinois, USA,
Vitaly L. Ginzburg, P.N.
Lebedev Physical Institute, Moscow, Russia,
and Anthony J. Leggett,
University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois, USA
This year's Nobel Prize in
Physics is awarded to three physicists who have made decisive contributions
concerning two phenomena in quantum physics: superconductivity and
superfluidity. Superconducting material is used, for example, in magnetic
resonance imaging for medical examinations and particle accelerators in
physics. Knowledge about superfluid liquids can give us deeper insight into
the ways in which matter behaves in its lowest and most ordered state.
Born 4 October 1916 in Moscow.
Graduated from the Physics
Faculty of Moscow State University in 1938, defended candidate's (Ph.D.)
dissertation in 1940 and doctor's dissertation in 1 942. From 1940 up to the
present time - work in P.N. Lebedev Physical Institute of the Russian Academy
of Sciences (from 1971 to 1988 - Head of I.E. Tamm Theory Department, at the
present time - Adviser of the Russian Academy of Sciences). Since 1945 - part
time - professor of Gor'ky State University and from 1 968 to the present day
- part time - professor of Moscow Institute for Physics and Technology.
Author of several hundred
scientific papers and a dozen of books devoted to physics and astrophysics.
In 1953 - a corresponding
member and in 1966 - academician of the USSR Academy of Sciences. From 1989 to
1991 - people's deputy of the USSR from the USSR Academy of Sciences. Awarded
the Order of Lenin, other Soviet orders and medals, the Order "For Services to
the Motherland" (1996), the State Prize (1953), the Lenin Prize (1966), the
Mandelstam Prize (1 947), the Lomonosov Prize (1962), the Vavilov Gold Medal
(1995), the Lomonosov Big Gold Medal of the Russian Academy of Sciences
(1995), and the Triumph Prize (2002).
Elected a foreign member of
nine Academies of Sciences (or equivalent institutions), including the Royal
Society of London (1987), the American National Academy of Sciences (1981) and
the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1971).
Awarded the Smolukhovsky Medal
of Polish Physical Society (1987), the Gold Medal of the London Royal
Astronomic Society (1991), the Bardeen Prize (1991), the Wolf Prize (1994/95),
UNESCO's Niels Bohr Medal (1998), American Physical Society's 1999 Nicholson
Medal. The 2003 Nobel Prize in Physics Laureate.
is a low-temperature phenomenon in which a material
loses all electrical resistance when it is cooled to a temperature near
absolute zero. This unusual behavior was discovered in 1911 by a Dutch
physicist, Heike Kamerlingh Onnes. In experiments to measure the resistance of
frozen mercury, he discovered that the resistance vanished completely at a
temperature of 4.15 К (-289 degrees C).
Vitaly Ginzburg and Alexei
Abrikosov, have made decisive contributions to our understanding of how
superconductivity and magnetism can coexist. In the 1950s V. Ginzburg together
with Lev Landau formulated a theory that could describe how superconductivity
disappears at certain "critical" values of electrical current and magnetic
fields, in more detail than before. They introduced a measure for the order
among electrons, which they called the superconducting order parameter.
Guided by a deep physical intuition they went on to formulate mathematical
equations whose solution determines the order in a superconductor. They found
a close correspondence with what had been measured for superconductors known
at the time. It is worth pointing out that the reasoning behind this Ginzburg-Landau
theory was of such general validity that it is used today to gain new
knowledge in many of the subfields of physics.
discovery of better superconducting compounds is a significant step toward a
wider spectrum of applications, including faster computers with larger storage
capacities, nuclear fusion reactors in which ionized gas is confined by
magnetic fields, magnetic suspension of high-speed ("Maglev") trains, and
perhaps most important of all, more efficient generation and transmission of
electric power over long distances.
is a state of matter characterized by the complete absence
of viscosity, or resistance to flow. The term superfluidity is applied
primarily to phenomena observed in liquid helium at very low temperatures, but
the term is also sometimes used to refer to the frictionless flow of electrons
in certain metals and alloys at very low temperatures.
The phenomenon of
superfluidity was discovered in 1937 by the Russian physicist Peter Kapitza.
He observed that liquid helium, when cooled below 2.17 К
(-270.98° С), could flow with no difficulty through
extremely small holes, which liquid helium above that temperature cannot do.
He also noticed that on the walls of its container superfluid helium formed a
thin film (approximately 100 atoms thick) that flowed against gravity up and
over the rim of the container.
Superfluidity can be explained
using the theory of quantum mechanics. It occurs when large numbers of atoms
or molecules are cooled, in a process known as "condensation", so that they
occupy the same quantum energy state. The condensed atoms will therefore
interact with each other and their surroundings according to exactly the same
physical laws, and, when distributed evenly throughout the normal liquid
atoms, create unusual properties such as superfluidity.