Boris Galerkin

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Galerkin, Boris Grigor’evich


Born Feb. 20 (Mar. 4), 1871, in Polotsk; died July 12, 1945, in Leningrad. Soviet engineer and scientist in the field of elasticity theory; became an academician of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR in 1935 (corresponding member in 1928). Lieutenant general of the engineers. Graduated from the St. Petersburg Technological Institute in 1899. In 1906 he was sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment for participation in the revolutionary movement. He began to teach in 1909.

Galerkin’s works on problems of structural mechanics and elasticity theory facilitated the introduction of modern methods of mathematical analysis into research on the operation of structures and machines. He developed efficient methods of accurate and approximate integration of equations in elasticity theory. Galerkin was one of the creators of the theory of flexure of plates. He investigated the effect of the shape of a plate on the distribution of stresses in it, the effect of distribution of local pressure, and the effect of elasticity of an index contour. The form of the solution of equations of elastic equilibrium proposed by Galerkin in 1930, which consists of three biharmonic functions, made possible the effective resolution of many important spatial problems of elasticity theory. In his works on shell theory, Galerkin shunned conventional hypotheses concerning the character of changes in displacements in thickness and introduced other assumptions that provided greater accuracy and possibilities to extend this theory to shells of medium thickness.

Galerkin was a consultant during the planning and construction of the large Volkhovges, Dneproges, and Dzorages hydroelectric power plants and the Krasnyi Oktiabr’ and Dubrovskaia steam power plants. He was awarded the State Prize of the USSR (1942) and two Orders of Lenin.



Krylov, A. N. [et al.]. “Akademik B. G. Galerkin (K 70-letiiu so dnia rozhdeniia).” Vestnik AN SSSR, 1941, no. 4.
Sokolovskii, V. V. “O zhizni i nauchnoi deiatel’nosti akademika B. G. Galerkina.” Izvestiia AN SSSR: Otdelenie tekhnicheskikh nauk, 1951, no. 8.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.