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Nikolai Kibalchich - Science for Terrorism
April 10, 2008 22:26


Nikolai Kibalchich

Kibalchich Nikolai Ivanovich is a famous Russian inventor and father of first Russian jet engine and flying vehicle and a revolutionary. Nikolai Kibalchich was born in October 1853 in the town of Korop, which belonged to Chernigov region. His father was a priest, and when Nikolai entered a gymnasium in 1864, he insisted that his son should have moved to religious school. Young Nikolai obeyed his father and later he was admitted to the seminary, but left it and returned to secondary school 1869, finishing it with silver medal several years after.

Even a boy, Nikolai Kibalchich showed his gift – his outstanding abilities to math and languages didn’t remain unnoticed. His other gift (or curse) was his rebellious nature – at 16 Nikolai alienated his father and took part in collecting a secret library of forbidden books. In 1871 Nikolai Kibalchich started training in St. Petersburg institute of railway engineers, since he thought that railways were essential for such a large country as Russia.

In 1873 Nikolai lost interest in railway transport and entered the Academy of Medicine and Surgery, which at that time was the centre of student movement in St. Petersburg, and the same year joined populists (narodniks). In October 1875 Nikolai Kibalchich got caged for storing illegal books and was released only on 1878 with no right to finish his education (“black-listed”).

In 1878 Kibalchich went underground and joined terrorist group “Freedom or death”, which later became “the People’s Will” (Narodnaya Volya) organization. There the scientist headed the group, responsible for explosives – nitroglycerin and dynamite. During 1879 his group produced several tens of kilograms of dynamite, paying no attention to the risk of explosion. At the same time Nikolai Kibalchich studied properties of gunpowder and its possible applications for flying machines.

 

 

Memorial house of Nikolai Kibalchich
Kibalchich led an active political life – he headed secret press and wrote articles, signing them with fictitious names. Kibalchich considered terror to be the best means for defending ideas and threw his talent to evil – he invented fuses and nitroglycerine “blasting gelatin”, delivered explosives to Odessa for destroying Tsar’s train and calculated consequences of explosions. He trained terrorists to use his own invention – a bomb, which later killed the tsar Alexander II. After several days after the tsar’s assassination Kibalchich was arrested and put to prison.

While in prison Nikolai Kibalchich continued scientific research, working on a project of jet engine. He wrote a remarkable paper, where describes a means of propelling a platform by igniting gunpowder cartridges in a rocket chamber. Changing the direction of the rocket’s axis, he realized, would alter the vehicle’s flight path.

However, Russian minister of the interior refused to consider his scientific calculations and notes, though he suggested jailing him for life. No one listened to him – Nikolai Kibalchich and several companions were hanged for killing the tsar on April 3, 1881.

Scientific ideas of Nikolai Kibalchich were ahead of time and encouraged Constantine Tsiolkovsky for his enormous work.

Sources:
    Krugosvet.ru
    David Darling.info

Kizilova Anna


Tags: Russian scientists Russian science Nikolai Kibalchich   

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