Novikov, Petr Sergeevich

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Novikov, Petr Sergeevich


Born Aug. 15 (28), 1901, in Moscow. Soviet mathematician. Academician of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (1960; corresponding member, 1953).

Novikov graduated from Moscow University in 1925. From 1929 to 1934 he was a staff member at the Moscow Institute of Chemical Engineering. He joined the V. A. Steklov Institute of Mathematics of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR in 1934 and in 1957 became head of the institute’s department of mathematical logic.

Novikov’s main works deal with set theory, mathematical logic, the theory of algorithms, and group theory. He devised a powerful method called the index comparison principle for investigating problems of descriptive set theory. He proved that in the second class of projective sets there hold laws of separability inverse to those in the first projective class. He also developed a method, based on the concept of regular formula, of proving the consistency of formal systems. Novikov demonstrated the unsolvability of the problems of identity, conjugacy, and isomorphism in group theory. With his student S. I. Adian, he obtained a solution of Burnside’s problem of periodic groups.

Founder of the school of mathematical logic in the USSR, Novikov received the Lenin Prize in 1957 and has been awarded two Orders of Lenin, the Order of the Red Banner of Labor, and various medals.


“Ob algoritmicheskoi nerazreshimosti problemy tozhdestva slov v teorii grupp.” Tr. Matematicheskogo in-ta AN SSSR, vol. 44. Moscow, 1955. Elementy matematicheskoi logiki. Moscow, 1959.


“Petr Sergeevich Novikov.” Uspekhi matematicheskikh nauk, 1971, vol. 26, issue 5.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.