Bonch-Bruevich, Mikhail Aleksandrovich
Born Feb. 9 (21), 1888, in Orel; died Mar. 7, 1940, in Leningrad. Soviet radio engineer, corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (1931).
Bonch-Bruevich graduated from the School of Engineering in St. Petersburg in 1909 and from the Officers’ Electrical Engineering School in St. Petersburg in 1914. From 1922 he was a professor at the Moscow Higher Technical School and from 1932 was a professor at the Leningrad Institute of Communications Engineering, which now bears his name. From 1916 he was occupied with the development of electronic tubes and was the first to organize their domestic production. In 1918, Bonch-Bruevich became the head of the Nizhny Novgorod Radio Laboratory, where the leading Russian radio specialists of that time were brought together. Through its work in the areas of radio tubes, radio broadcasting, and long-distance communications via shortwave, the Nizhny Novgorod Laboratory played an outstanding role in the development of radio engineering. In a letter to Bonch-Bruevich dated Feb. 5, 1920, V. I. Lenin wrote: “The newspaper without paper and ’free of distance’ that you are creating will be a tremendous affair. I promise to help you as much as possible in every way with this and similar works” (Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 51, p. 130). In accord with V. I. Lenin’s assignment, Bonch-Bruevich had designed and built by 1922 in Moscow the world’s first high-power (12 kilowatts) radio broadcasting station, the Komintern Radio Broadcasting Station. During 1919 to 1925 he created a design for a high-power vacuum tube oscillator with water cooling and developed circuits for radiotelephone stations. Between 1924 and 1930, under his direction studies were carried out on the characteristics of shortwave radio propagation; the world’s first shortwave directional antennas were developed, and shortwave long-distance radio communication links were constructed. Bonch-Bruevich also was concerned with the physical problems of the upper atmospheric layers, investigations of the ionosphere by means of radio echoes, and questions of ultrashort waves together with their practical use, including the field of radar and similar applications. He was the author of a textbook entitled Fundamentals of Radio Engineering (1936).