Lachinov, Dmitrii Aleksandrovich
Born May 10 (22), 1842, in the village of Lesnoe Konobeevo, now in Shatsk Raion, Riazan Oblast; died Oct. 15 (28), 1902, in St. Petersburg. Russian scientist in physics and electrical engineering.
In 1859, Lachinov enrolled in the physics and mathematics department of the University of St. Petersburg. Because of student unrest, the university was closed in 1862, and Lachinov went to Heidelberg, where he attended the lectures of H. Helm-holtz, R. von Bunsen, and G. Kirchhoff. He subsequently returned to Russia and graduated from the University of St. Petersburg in 1864. In 1865 he began teaching physics at the St. Petersburg Institute of Farming (from 1877, the Institute of Forestry; now the Leningrad Academy of Forestry Technology). He was a member and organizer of the physics section of the Russian Physicochemical Society and a member of many foreign scientific societies. In 1899 the St. Petersburg Electrical Engineering Institute bestowed on him the title of honorary electrical engineer.
In the article “Electromechanical Work,” published in 1880, Lachinov examined the operation of electrical machines and theoretically proved the possibility of transmitting electrical energy over considerable distances without large power losses (by raising the voltage). He is credited with numerous inventions in various fields of engineering, including a galvanic battery of special design, an instrument for illuminating the cavities in the human body (an arc diaphanoscope), an optical dynamometer, a centrifugal casting method for parabolic reflectors used in projection equipment, the use of sponge lead as a coating for storage battery plates, and an instrument to detect flaws in electrical insulation. He also devised an electrolytic method for the industrial production of hydrogen and oxygen (1888).