Vladimir Aleksandrovich Mikhelson

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Mikhel’son, Vladimir Aleksandrovich


Born June 18 (30), 1860, in the city of Tul’chin, present-day Vinnitsa Oblast; died Feb. 27, 1927, in Moscow. Soviet physicist and meteorologist.

A student of A. G. Stoletov, Mikhel’son graduated from Moscow University in 1883. In 1887 he was sent abroad to Berlin and Paris, where he attended lectures by H. Von Helmholtz, A. Kundt, and G. Lipmann; he returned home in 1889. In 1894 he became a professor at the Moscow Institute of Agriculture, where he set up a physics laboratory and a meteorological observatory.

Mikhel’son was the first to apply the methods of statistical physics to a determination of the energy distribution function in the blackbody radiation spectrum. He generalized the Doppler effecjt to the case in which light passes through a medium having a variable index of refraction. Mikhel’son established the dependence of the propagation velocity of an ignition front on the composition of the gaseous fuel mixture. He laid the foundation for the theory of explosive combustion and developed the theory for the combustion of a gaseous mixture in a Bunsen burner.

Mikhel’son was one of the founders of Russian actinometry. He invented a number of actinometric instruments, including the ice pyrheliometer and bimetallic actinometer. He also worked on the application of meteorology in agriculture.


Sobr. soch., vol. 1. Moscow, 1930. (Contains a biographical sketch and bibliography of the works of Mikhel’son.)


Kuznetsov, I. V. “Vladimir Aleksandrovich Mikhel’son.” In Liudi russkoi nauki, book 1. Moscow, 1961. Page 223. (Has a bibliography of the works of and references about Mikhel’son.)
Tepliakov, G. M. Vladimir Aleksandrovich Mikhel’son. Moscow, 1971. (Contains references.)
Kangro, H. Vorgeschichte des Planckschen Strahlungsgesetzes. Wiesbaden, 1970.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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