Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Unit 10 Blog Post Chris H

Life Changing Inventions Made in Russia
  1. The Helicopter: Igor Sikorsky, in 1910 created the prototype of a rotor-driven device, which successfully got off the ground. In 1912, he created the first hydroplane in the world and then the first multiple-engine aircraft. After the 1917 Revolution in Russia, he had to emigrate to the US, where he established his own company, Sikorsky Aero Engineering Company, using a contribution from remarkable Russian composer Sergei Rachmaninoff. Sikorsky’s first experimental helicopter designed in the United States got off the ground in September 1939. The design of that machine, which has been considered a classic helicopter design for more than fifty years now, has been used for almost 95% helicopters built around the world. In 1942, Sikorsky created a two-seater helicopter. 
  2. Radio: Alexander Popov, a professor of physics, announced the invention of a system for wireless communications at a lecture at St Petersburg University in April 1885 and displayed the world’s first radio set. He was unable to publish his work though because he worked for a military institution. Italian Guglielmo Marconi conducted similar experiments at about the same time – his article was published in 1897. Unlike Popov’s, Marconi’s invention was commercialized fast, so they still argue in the West over who invented radio first.
  3. Video Tape Recorder: Alexander Poniatoff (Poniatov), a student of the founding father of Russian aviation Nikolay Zhukovsky, started the Ampex company in the United States and worked there in the 1950s. The company succeeded in producing the first quality video signal recorder. Ampex kept its lead in the market for professional magnetic recording of video for half a century and global electronics giants had to use Poniatoff’s patents to produce home video equipment.
  4. Solar Cells: It is owing to discoveries by Russian physicist Alexander Stoletov that we enjoy television today. In the late 1880s, he produced a theoretical justification of photoelectric effect through a series of experiments. Photoelectric effect formed the basis for the production of solar cells, which are broadly used in practice now. Stoletov created the first solar cell based upon outer photoelectric effect and discovered the proportionality between the intensity of light and photo induced current.
  5. Synthetic Rubber: The first commercially viable artificial rubber was polybutadiene resin, synthesized by the method developed by Russian chemist Sergei Lebedev. He obtained the first specimens of synthetic rubber in 1910. His book “Research in polymerization of by-ethylene hydrocarbons”, printed in 1913, provided the foundations for commercial artificial rubber synthesis.

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