Orest Khvolson

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Khvol’son, Orest Danilovich


Born Nov. 22 (Dec. 4), 1852, in St. Petersburg; died May 11, 1934, in Leningrad. Soviet physicist. Honorary member of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (1920; corresponding member, 1895).

Khvol’son graduated from St. Petersburg University in 1873. From 1876 he taught at the university, where he became a professor in 1891, and at other higher educational institutions in St. Petersburg. His chief works dealt with electricity, magnetism, photometry, and actinometry. Khvol’son proposed designs for an actinometer and a pyrheliometer that were long used at Russian meteorological stations. Beginning in 1896, he was primarily involved in the compilation of the five-volume Physics Course, which helped raise considerably the level of physics instruction and was for a long time the chief textbook in higher educational institutions. This work was translated into German, French, and Spanish.

Khvol’son received the Order of the Red Banner of Labor.


Kurs fiziki, vols. 1–5. Berlin, 1923 (vols. 1–3, 5th ed.; vol. 4, 3rd ed.). Supplementary volume, parts 1–2: Moscow-Leningrad, 1926.
Fizika nashikh dnei, 4th ed. Leningrad-Moscow, 1932.


Dobiash, A. A. “Orest Danilovich Khvol’son.” Zhurnal Russkogo fiziko-khimicheskogo obshchestva: Chast’ fizicheskaia, 1926, vol. 58, issue 2.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.