Leonid Samuilovich Leibenzon

Leibenzon, Leonid Samuilovich


Born June 14 (26), 1879, in Kharkov; died Mar. 15, 1951, in Moscow. Soviet scientist in mechanics and the petroleum industry; academician of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (1943; corresponding member, 1933).

Leibenzon graduated from Moscow University in 1901 and began working in the Kuchino Institute of Aerodynamics under the direction of N. E. Zhukovskii; at the same time, he was studying at the Moscow Higher Technical School (from which he graduated in 1906). In 1906–08 he worked at the Tula Machine Shop. In 1908–11 he was a lecturer at Moscow University; in 1915 he began working at the University of Iur’ev (Dorpat), where he defended his doctoral dissertation in 1917. He was made a professor at the Tbilisi Polytechnic Institute in 1919 and at the Baku Polytechnic Institute in 1921. In 1922 he returned to Moscow University, where he remained until his death. In 1925 he organized the first petroleum field laboratory in the USSR (located in Moscow). From 1934 to 1936 he was director of the Scientific Research Institute of Mechanics at Moscow State University.

One of Leibenzon’s main works, Variation Methods for Solving Problems in Elasticity Theory (1943), was devoted to applied questions in the theories of elasticity and strength. He was the first to evaluate the effect of the earth’s nonuniformity on the value of its total modulus of hardness. He was the founder of subterranean hydraulics, which played a large role in the development of the scientific principles for the exploitation of petroleum deposits. He was the first to develop the dynamic theory of the bottom-hole pump and to solve the problem of moving gas and oil through channels with permeable walls; he also developed the theory of motion of gas in a porous medium.

Leibenzon’s works laid the foundation for the development of the theory of gasified-fluid filtration. He wrote textbooks on theoretical mechanics, the resistance of materials, hydraulics, and oil-field mechanics. He received the State Prize of the USSR in 1943. He was awarded two Orders of Lenin, the Order of the Red Banner of Labor, and medals.


Dvizhenie prirodnykh zhidkostei i gazov v poristoi srede. Moscow-Leningrad, 1947.
Sobranie trudov, vols. 1–4. Moscow, 1951–55.


Iur’ev, B. N. “Leonid Samuilovich Leibenzon.” Izv. AN SSSR: Otdelenie tekhnicheskikh nauk, 1949, no. 8.
Lisichkin, S. M. Vydaiushchiesia deiateli otechestvennoi neftianoi nauki i tekhnikl Moscow, 1967.