Alexander Stepanovich Popov

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Alexander Stepanovich PopovBy Igor Shmelev Alexander Stepanovich Popov was a Russian physicist who is acclaimed in his homeland and eastern European countries as the inventor of radio. Early lifeBorn in the town Krasnoturinsk, Sverdlovsk Oblast in the Urals as the son of a priest, he became interested in natural sciences when he was a child. His father wanted Alexander to join the priesthood and sent him to the Seminary School at Yekaterinburg. Early lifeThere he developed an interest in science and mathematics and instead of going on to Theology School in 1877 he enrolled at St. Petersburg university where he studied physics. After graduation with honors in 1882 he stayed on as a laboratory assistant at the university. Early lifeHowever the salary at the university was inadequate to support his family, and in 1883 he took a post as teacher and head of laboratory at the Russian Navy's Torpedo School in Kronstadt on Kotlin Island. Popov's radio wave receiverAlong with his teaching duties at the naval school Popov pursued related areas of research. Trying to solve a problem with the failure in the electrical wire insulation on steel ships (which turned out to be a problem with electrical resonance) led him to further explore oscillations of high frequency electrical currents. Popov's radio wave receiverHis interest in this area of study (including the new field of "Hertzian" or radio waves) was intensified by his trip in 1893 to the Chicago World's Columbian Exposition in the United States where he was able to confer with other researchers in the field. DemonstrationsOn 7 May 1895 Popov presented the paper "On the Relation of Metallic Powders to Electric Oscillations", which described his lightning detector, to the Russian Physical and Chemical Society in St. Petersburg. Most Eastern sources regard Popov's lightning detector as the first radio receiver. However, there is no evidence Popov sent any type of message on that occasion. Death and legacyIn 1905 he became seriously ill and died of a brain hemorrhage on January 13, 1906. Death and legacyA minor planet, 3074 Popov, discovered by Soviet astronomer Lyudmila Zhuravlyova in 1979, is named after him. Death and legacyAt ITU Telecom World 2011, Mr. Igor Shchyogolev, Minister of Telecom and Mass Communications of the Russian Federation alongside Dr. Hamadoun Touré, Secretary General of the ITU, inaugurated the "Alexander Stepanovich Popov" conference room at ITU's headquarters in Geneva.

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