Optics Institute

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Optics Institute


(full name, S. I. Vavilov State Optics Institute), a research institution in which work is conducted in optics and its technical applications. The institute was founded in Leningrad in 1918. Academician D. S. Rozhdestvenskii was its founder and first head and scientific director. From 1932 to 1945, Academician S. I. Vavilov was the scientific director, and from 1945 to 1956, Academician A. N. Terenin. Among the prominent scientists who began their scientific careers and worked at the institute were Academicians I. V. Grebensh-chikov, A. A. Lebedev, V. A. Fok, and I. V. Obreimov. As of 1973, Academician V. P. Linnik and corresponding members P. P. Feofilov and Iu. N. Denisiuk were working there.

The Optics Institute has made a major contribution to the development of Soviet optics. Now-classic work on the spectroscopy of atoms of various elements and fundamental research on the processes of luminescence, photochemistry, and photosynthesis, which has made it possible to obtain a great deal of information on the structure of molecules, as well as work on the spectroscopy of activated crystals, has been carried out at the institute.

The Optics Institute is a research center of the opticomechani-cal industry. The composition and manufacturing technology of optical materials have been developed at the institute, and the problems of mechanical treatment of glass and the shaping of the surfaces of high-precision optical parts have been solved. Important studies have been conducted on optical technology, photometry, and lighting engineering: various interference methods and instruments for precision measurements in astronomy and engineering and noncontact optical instruments for monitoring the shape and geometry of machined surfaces in machine building have been proposed and developed. The meniscus system for catadioptric objectives was invented, and high-luminosity optical light sources were developed.

The nature of the latent photographic image was first explained at the Optics Institute, the electrochemical theory of development was proposed and studied, and methods and instruments for testing the sensitometric properties of materials were devised.

Methods of producing high-quality diffraction gratings were first developed in the USSR at the Optics Institute, and precision machines for producing such gratings were designed and their production was set up. The first Soviet electron microscope and the world’s first geodetic light phototachymeter were constructed there. Methods of recording an image in a three-dimensional medium were first developed in the USSR at the Optics Institute. The Soviet school of computational optics was founded at the institute.


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