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 Alexander Chizhevsky

Born:   February 7, 1897
Deceased:   December 20, 1964

an eminent biologist and physicist


Alexander Leonidovich Chizhevsky, a scientist famous for aero-ions propaganda, was born in the Tsekhanovets village of the Grodno region to the family of a military man. Chizhevsky’s mother died of tuberculosis, when the boy was several months old, and Chizhevsky was brought up by his aunt and grandmother. Alexander was a frail boy, and his relatives often took him to long trips abroad – Italy, Southern France, Greece, Egypt. In 1906 his father’s service brought he family to the town of Bela, where Alexander started attending a secondary school. The boy received very good education at home, which covered natural and exact sciences, but most of all future scientist liked humanities, since he had a taste for them. The boy dreamt of becoming a painter or writer, but didn’t forget about science as well. Chizhevsky showed a strong interest in astronomy, which grew after he met Constantine Tsiolkovsky.

After finishing secondary education and according his taste, Alexander Chizhevsky chose two higher educational institutions, which were located in Moscow: Institute of Commerce (perfect for mathematicians) and Institute of Archeology (with a variety of humanitarian sciences). In 1915 Chizhevsky went to Moscow. The same year Chizhevsky made his first scientific report, in which he told the audience about effects of the Sun’s electric perturbations on biological objects. The speech launched a vivid discussion. At the same time, being a student of Moscow Institute of Archeology, Alexander attended literary soirees and met many eminent Russian writers and poets. In June 1916 Chizhevsky joined the army as a volunteer, was wounded and dismissed from the army in December of the same year with a St. George Cross.

Chizhevsky resumed his studies as soon as he returned from the army. The scientist successfully passed all examinations and defended the dissertation on the Russian lyrics of the XVIII century in 1917. Between 1917 and 1923 Chizhevsky read lectures in his home Institute and kept studying: he attended seminars at the faculty of physics and mathematics of Moscow State University. In 1918 Chizhevsky compiled a textbook of the Russian language, since new spelling had been introduced. In 1919 the scientist published his second book of poems. In 1918 Alexander defended doctor thesis, in which he studied periodicity in world historical process. Six years after Alexander Chizhevsky wrote the book “Physical factors of the historical process”, in which briefly explained main statements of his dissertation. That book played a sad role in his further life.

In 1918 Chizhevsky started studying certain elements of possible mechanism for interactions between the Sun and the Earth. Most of his attention Chizhevsky paid from air ionization. The scientist organized a laboratory at home and reported first experimental results by the end of 1919. His report stimulated interest in the scientific community, and Nobel Prize laureate Svante Arrhenius invited Chizhevsky to work in his team. However, the joint work with the genius remained a dream, which upset Chizhevsky very much, since he quitted from all his jobs to go abroad.



Solar activity
Chizhevsky’s scientific interest tended to switch to biology. His several employments between 1922 and 1926 were dealing with medicine and biology. In 1923 Alexander Chizhevsky got a job in the Practical Laboratory of Zoopsychology and took an active part in research. The scientist studied effects of aeroions on animals and human beings. Works of the Russian researcher attracted attention of international academic communities. The first foreign country that published Chizhevsky’s works was France. The paper became the first research on curing effects of aeroions on respiratory tract diseases. In 1929 Alexander Chizhevsky became the member of Toulon Academy of Sciences. The same year the scientist was invited to Columbia University (USA) to read lectures in biological physics. Employment in the Practical Laboratory of Zoopsychology left Chizhevsky enough time for working in other places and on other interesting problems of electrobiology. Between 1924 and 1930 Chizhevsky collected extended statistics on long-term dynamics of various processes, taking place in the biosphere and suggested a concept, linking them with cycles of solar activity. Chizhevsky’s scientific activities found understanding and support of the Soviet government. In 1931 the government established Central scientific laboratory of ionification, headed by Chizhevsky for 11 years. In 1937 Chizhevsky organized two research labs for studying aero- ionification, however, not much is known about that work. Many technical problems found solutions, but the World War II interrupted all studies, which were resumes only in fifties.

Further fate of Alexander Leonidovich Chizhevsky was tragic, like fates of many eminent people of those times. The researcher was arrested in 1942. His “sins” were numerous: he wasn’t proletarian by birth, he wrote the book called “Physical factors of the historical process” and so on and so forth. Alexander Chizhevsky spent eight years in prison camps and only in 1950 was allowed to live peacefully in Karaganda. Chizhevsky lived in that city until 1958, when he was rehabilitated, and worked in Kazakhstan and the Urals. The scientist continued his studies of aero-ionization and introduced the technique to several coalmines of Karaganda region. When Chizhevsky returned to Moscow, he brought the aero-ionic therapy to some of medical institutions of the capital and founded the Scientific Laboratory of Ionization and Air Conditioning. While living in Karaganda, Alexander Leonidovich Chizhevsky performed a series of experiments on hemodynamics and prepared draft papers on aero-ionification and structure of moving blood.

When the researcher returned to Moscow, he took the position of scientific consultant and head of the laboratory “Souyzsantekhnika” until his death. The scientist died on December 20, 1964 and was buried in Moscow at the Pyatnitskoe cemetery.

Source: Biography of A. Chizhevsky

Kizilova Anna

Tags: Alexander Chizhevsky Russian scientists Russian science   

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