Prokhorov, Aleksandr Mikhaylovich

▪ 2003

      Russian physicist (b. July 11, 1916, Atherton, Queensland, Australia—d. Jan. 8, 2002, Moscow, Russia), was corecipient of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1964 with Nikolay G. Basov, his colleague at the P.N. Lebedev Physical Institute in Moscow, and American Charles H. Townes. The award was given for fundamental research in quantum electronics that led to the development of the maser and the laser, which produce parallel monochromatic coherent beams of microwaves and light, respectively. In 1923 Prokhorov's antitsarist family returned from exile in Australia to the Soviet Union, where he studied physics at Leningrad State University (B.S., 1939) and the Lebedev Institute (Ph.D., 1951). He worked closely with Basov from 1950 on the concept for a device that would emit microwave radiation of a single wavelength. By the time they published their findings in 1954, Townes's team at Columbia University, New York City, had independently built such a device, which they called a maser (microwave amplification by stimulated emission of radiation). Prokhorov later proposed the modification of a maser to emit visible-light or infrared wavelengths, an idea that led to the laser (light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation). Prokhorov was head (from 1954) of the Lebedev's Oscillation Laboratory, professor (from 1959) at Moscow State University, and founding director (1983–98) of the Soviet Academy of Science's General Physics Institute. He also was editor in chief (1969–78) of the Great Soviet Encyclopedia. In 1982 Prokhorov joined Basov and 95 other Nobel laureates in calling for an international freeze on nuclear weapons.

* * *

▪ Soviet physicist
born July 11, 1916, Atherton, Queensland, Australia
died January 8, 2002, Moscow, Russia

      Soviet physicist who, with Nikolay G. Basov (Basov, Nikolay Gennadiyevich) and Charles H. Townes (Townes, Charles Hard), won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1964 for fundamental research in quantum electronics that led to the development of the maser and laser.

      Prokhorov's father was involved in revolutionary activities that eventually forced the family to leave Russia. In 1911 they settled in Australia, where Prokhorov was born. Following the overthrow of the tsar (1917), the family returned to Russia in 1923. In 1951 Prokhorov received a doctorate from Leningrad State University and later joined the P.N. Lebedev Physical Institute, Moscow, as a senior associate. In 1952 he and Basov jointly suggested the maser principle of amplifying and emitting parallel electromagnetic waves that are all in phase and all of the same wavelength. By the time they published their suggestion in 1954, Townes had built the first working maser.

      In 1954 Prokhorov became head of the institute's Oscillation Laboratory and later professor at Moscow M.V. Lomonosov State University. He wrote a number of fundamental works on the construction of infrared and visible-light lasers and on nonlinear optics. From 1969 to 1978 he served as editor in chief of the Bolshaya Sovetskaya Entsiklopediya (Great Soviet Encyclopedia). Prokhorov received the Lenin Prize (1959) and two Orders of Lenin as well as various medals.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Prokhorov , Aleksandr Mikhaylovich — (1916–) Russian physicist Prokhorov graduated in 1939 from the faculty of physics of the Leningrad State University, where he later became a doctor of physics, mathematics, and science (1946). During World War II he served in the Russian army.… …   Scientists

  • Prokhorov — Aleksandr Mikhaylovich …   Scientists

  • Aleksandr Mikhailovich Prokhorov — Infobox Scientist imagesize =150px birth date = 11 July 1916 birth place = Atherton, Queensland, Australia death date = 8 January 2002 death place = Moscow, Russia nationality = Russian ethnicity = field = Physics work institutions = alma mater …   Wikipedia

  • Basov, Nikolay Gennadiyevich — ▪ 2002       Soviet physicist (b. Dec. 14, 1922, Usman, near Voronezh, Russia d. July 1, 2001, Moscow, Russia), was corecipient of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1964 with Aleksandr M. Prokhorov, his colleague at the P.N. Lebedev Physical… …   Universalium

  • laser — /lay zeuhr/, n. Physics. a device that produces a nearly parallel, nearly monochromatic, and coherent beam of light by exciting atoms to a higher energy level and causing them to radiate their energy in phase. Also called optical maser. [1955 60; …   Universalium

  • Nobel Prize winners by name — ▪ Table Nobel Prize winners by name A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H   I   J   K   L   M   N   O   P   Q   R   S   T   U   V   W   Y   Z A name year category country* achievement literary area Abrikosov, Alexey A. 2003 physics U.S. discoveries… …   Universalium

  • Nobel Prize winners by year — ▪ Table Nobel Prize winners by year 1901–10 1941–50 1981–90 1911–20 1951–60 1991–2000 1921–30 1961–70 2001–08 1931–40 1971–80 1901–10 year category name country* achievement literary area 1901 chemistry Henricus van t (Hoff, Jacobus Henricus van… …   Universalium

  • Townes, Charles Hard — ▪ American physicist born July 28, 1915, Greenville, S.C., U.S.    American physicist, joint winner with the Soviet physicists Aleksandr M. Prokhorov (Prokhorov, Aleksandr Mikhaylovich) and Nikolay G. Basov (Basov, Nikolay Gennadiyevich) of the… …   Universalium

  • spectroscopy — spectroscopist /spek tros keuh pist/, n. /spek tros keuh pee, spek treuh skoh pee/, n. the science that deals with the use of the spectroscope and with spectrum analysis. [1865 70; SPECTRO + SCOPY] * * * Branch of analysis devoted to identifying… …   Universalium

  • Nobel Prize winners by category (physics) — ▪ Table TR class= oec even > ss= oec even > Nobel Prize winners by category (physics) year name country* achievement 1901 Röntgen, Wilhelm Conrad Germany discovery of X rays 1902 Lorentz, Hendrik Antoon The Netherlands investigation of the… …   Universalium

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.