Nikolai Pavlovich Petrov

Petrov, Nikolai Pavlovich

 

Born May 13 (25), 1836, in Trubchevsk, Orel Province, now Briansk Oblast; died Jan. 15, 1920, in Tuapse. Russian scientist and engineer specializing in railroad transport. Honorary member of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences (1894). Lieutenant general of the engineers.

After graduating from the St. Petersburg Engineering Academy in 1858, Petrov worked there in the mathematics department, which was headed by M. V. Ostrogradskii. His initial research in mechanics was carried out under the supervision of I. A. Vyshnegradskii. He became a professor at the St. Petersburg Institute of Practical Technology in 1871.

From studies of the friction in railroad car bearings, Petrov developed the fundamentals of the hydrodynamic theory of lubrication and formulated the law for friction with lubrication. These problems were treated in his work Friction in Machines and the Effect of Lubricant on It (1883), which was awarded the Lomonosov Prize of the Academy of Sciences in 1884. In addition, Petrov investigated traction calculation methods for trains, wheel pressure on rails and wheel strength, stresses in wheel pairs, the action of brake systems, and other problems.

From 1888 to 1892, Petrov was chairman of the Administration of Russian State Railroads. In 1892 he became chairman of the engineering council of the Ministry of Railroad Transportation; beginning in 1893, he was deputy minister for several years. He took an active part in the construction of the Trans-Siberian Railroad. His initiative was responsible for the creation of the Moscow Engineering School of the Administration of Railroad Transportation, now the Moscow Institute of Railroad Transport Engineers. Petrov was chairman of the Russian Technical Society from 1896 to 1905.

WORKS

Gidrodinamicheskaia teoriia smazki: Izbrannye raboty. Moscow, 1948. (Contains bibliography.)

REFERENCE

Kostomarov, V. M., and A. G. Burgvits. Osnovopolozhnik teorii gidrodinamicheskogo treniia v mashinakh N. P. Petrov. Moscow, 1952.

F. N. ZAGORSKII

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