In terms of the breadth of the range and the “range” of their scientific and technical ideas, it was similar to its ingenious namesake, born a year earlier, the Serbian Nikola Tesla. And indeed, in life, many compared them (as if making a compliment to the Russian scientist): both devoted themselves to the rest of electromagnetism, electrical engineering and radio physics. Both made many breakthrough discoveries. Both sacrificed their lives for the sake of science and did not create families. Created such that not all contemporaries had the understanding to evaluate their discoveries.
It is interesting, but the accents when comparing these two scientists - Nikola and Nikolay - could turn out to be quite different. The fact is that after doing away with affairs in Paris in 1884, Tesla was going to go to St. Petersburg, seething with energy and ideas. It was in Russia in those years that many important discoveries and inventions were made for the development of electrical engineering. The names of Pavel Nikolaevich Yablochkov, Dmitry Alexandrovich Lachinov, Vladimir Nikolaevich Chikolev were well-known to electricians of all countries, their articles were published in the most common electrical engineering journals of the world and Tesla was also known.
But at the last moment one of the administrators of the Continental (European) company Edison persuaded Nicola instead of Russia to go to the USA. The manager wrote a letter of recommendation to Edison, his friend, and Tesla went to the famous Yankees.
But fate could bring both in Russia! And then we would also see how Tesla could overcome what his colleague Pilchikov overcame: red tape, bribery and the clumsiness of officials, the absence of millionaire sponsors, indifference to the science of ordinary people, the fast oblivion that people of science indulge in Russia ... Admit it: we know only one of the names mentioned just above - Yablochkov?
The secret of success
Yes, and Yablochkov we remember because in the Soviet years, the state actively defended the priorities in the discoveries of domestic scientists. And in those days the anecdote was popular: Americans dug-dug and found a coil of rusty wire, after which they stated that the United States is the birthplace of wire telegraph. Our how many dug - found nothing. But they said that we have the birthplace of wireless telegraph!
What is this desire for the championship? The priority of national science, international respect is understandable. But also in order not to pay royalties to edison and other heirs.
Then the light bulb was persistently called the Russian creation, and its author was the physicist Yablochkov. Although the parallel creator of this light source was known - Thomas Alva Edison, an extremely resourceful American: he had 1.039 patents! Can you imagine the scale of the percentage charges for their use?
Why do we know better than Yankee scientists, although our minds are not worse? I will give one more example, which, if not all, then explains a lot.
Here Edison comes up with a phonograph, whose appearance caused a boom - universal amazement. The demonstration of the first device was immediately carried out in the editorial office of the journal "Scientific American" - the most popular in the States and authoritative, as in its time "Science and Life." The inventor himself suggested phonograph applications for 11 users: recording letters, audio books, learning eloquence, playing music, family notes, recording speeches, advertising and announcements, hours, learning foreign languages, recording lessons, connecting to a phone ...
Edison increased the volume of the phone, for which he was ranked among the co-authors Bella. But already one “hello”, invented by Edison for the beginning of a telephone conversation, makes him the richest person of all times and peoples! But here he made a blunder: he did not patent the discovery.
The bottom line is this: the value of your income from your own mind depends primarily on consumer demand for this product, and historical the memory of the author of the invention is preserved during the consumer interest in his specific discoveries and inventions. And then, 20-30-50 years later (who will be so lucky with the “range” of invention or discovery), questions arise: who is this Edison-Tesla-Pilchikov? ..
Most of our academicians, as a rule, the commercial vein was (and remained) unclaimed, although every talented person is talented in everything - this is an axiom! And this means that our academicians, put them in the market relations, could row millions with shovels. But relations should be honest, without kickbacks and corruption - for Russian scientists this is especially important: they are squeamish ...
Recall, at least, the long-running film “I Am Coming Down in a Thunderstorm”: the main characters are the great celestial physicist Dau, his talented pupil is the honest and simple-headed Krylov, the noble professor Golitsyn with blue blood and hostility to the bustling bourgeois in science ... Ph.D., but the darn socks at work, instead of tinkering with cassette tape recorders, which even Sharp and Panasonic did not know then! All of them are heroes, i.e. role models, typically Russian non-pragmatic scientists! Absolutely disinterested, soaring in the clouds, while more practical (even mediocre) "dig the ground" and extract the "gold" literally from under their feet. But the authors of the film present the position of the unmercenary as the only true one. The hero's choice is ours.
The darling of fate
Many people know about Tesla. For example, he invented an arc lamp for street lighting, made the first samples of electromechanical high-frequency (HF) generators (including inductor type) and the HF transformer, named after him, took up issues of wireless communication and invented a mast antenna.
His fame increased dramatically and became All-American as a result of a long noisy quarrel, which was started by General Electric, which defends the interests of Edison, a DC supporter. They were opposed by Westinghouse Electric, which created products based on Tesla's patents in the field of alternating current. And in the center of newspaper hype was Tesla himself. And it brought him dividends.
So, Westinghouse himself bought Tesla patents for 1 million dollars (today it is 250 million dollars). And then millionaire John Pierpont Morgan invested in Tesla’s development. With this money, a signal transmission laboratory in Europe was built on Long Island in New York, and a tower with a height of 57 meters was erected next to it - with a steel shaft on the 36 meters underground. The tower was crowned with a metal dome with a diameter of 20 meters and a weight of 55 tons. Tesla dreamed (in addition to transmitting radio signals) to transmit over distances and energy. But the Marconi radio communication system turned out to be cheaper, and the great project of Nicholas had to be curtailed.
But they suspect that the Tungussky meteorite that exploded in the 17 sky on June 1908 of the year over the Yenisei is his handiwork: they say it was Tesla who packed electricity into a fireball and from his tower started us in the taiga! No wonder he bought the maps of Siberia: there are no electrical circuits and formulas!
Having understood the mores of the Americans, the Serbian genius gave them reasons for scandalous (and cash) shows. So, at the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago, the astonished public watched the experimenter pass a voltage of 2.000.000 volts through himself! Edison, who was wildly jealous of the success of his recent assistant, repeated at all angles that high voltage alternating current would kill anyone who touches the wires! And Tesla, with a smile, was holding ... burning Edison bulbs!
With such tricks his Russian namesake did not sin. But almost in parallel, they were engaged in very many areas in electromagnetism, for example, in radio control - telemechanics. And the technologies of the Russian were exclusive, own. And the Russian physicist professor was no less prolific in scientific inventions ... In general, we will tell you about N. D. Pilchikove.
His scientific career was like a “candle” soar. In the 1881 year, after graduating from Kharkov University, 24-year-old Nikolai Dmitrievich was left an assistant at the Department of Physics. A year later, he examined the Kursk Magnetic Anomaly, which had not yet been investigated. He was one of the first to suggest that the cause of the anomaly was iron ore deposits. For this work, the Russian Technical Partnership awarded the scientist a silver medal - in 24 of the year!
Ideas from a young scientist literally gushing. Over the years, 10 has published more than 50's most serious work in various fields of science and technology - on optics, geography, meteorology, electrical engineering, radioactivity, radiology ... Even today, a whole team of scientists in such a short time could hardly make such a number of discoveries. Or here: in 1890, Pilchikov proposed to protect the aeronaut from low pressure in a small spacesuit, which consisted of two hermetically connected parts with small viewing windows. That is, in the 19th century, a technically sound idea of a high-rise spacesuit was proposed - 70 years earlier than its practical implementation!
In 1885, Nikolai Dmitrievich was appointed as a privat-docent at the same Kharkov University. In 1886, at St. Petersburg University, he defended his thesis and received the title of Master of Physics and Physical Geography.
Before leaving for an internship in Paris (in 1888 year), Nikolay Pilchikov had 18 scientific papers, invented 9 physical and physical-chemical devices. And these are not just certain “devices” - under the invention, we emphasize, it is customary to understand a man-made means (method) for controlling the forces of nature, with the help of which any problem in areas of human activity is solved in a new and nontrivial way!
That is, Pilchikov himself grasped some secrets of controlling the forces of nature, and equipped other scientists with the means and methods for the same.
In 1888, Pilchikov trained at the Paris Magnetic Observatory. To the surprise of the Parisian physicist masters, the young scientist found and corrected errors in the design of the seismograph. This case made the physics Pilchikova extremely popular in the community of colleagues.
After returning from Paris, Pilchikov received the title of professor and was actively involved in the pedagogical process. But this did not prevent him to engage in scientific activities. He is elected a member of the Council of the French Physical Society, the Toulouse Academy of Sciences, the Russian Physico-Chemical Society and other scientific organizations in Russia, France, Germany, Austria. And again, in former times, membership and mantles were not scattered, valued, they accepted the most deserving scientists into their communities - so that the names of the academies should be elevated to the fame and authority of the academies!
In the year 1896, having learned about the opening of X-rays by X-ray, Pilchikov became interested in this phenomenon and soon invented a lamp of his own design. It was called the “Pilchikov Focus Tube”. With its help, he investigated the X-rays and revealed a number of unknown laws.
In the same year, Pilchikov on the basis of optical-electroplating electrolysis opened the possibility to obtain an image of objects by increasing the relief on metal plates. This phenomenon is a scientist called photogalvanography, or electrophotography.
Chairs of all universities in which Pilchikov worked, thanks to his efforts, are equipped with the most modern physical instruments and equipment. Thanks to the enthusiasm of Professor Pilchikov, the scientific journal “News of the Kharkov Technological Institute” began to be published, and for five years he personally edited the publication.
Feel the difference? Tesla - all for himself, Pilchik - for all.
Hard to be a patriot
But 42, a summer professor at Kharkov University, N. D. Pilchikov wants to do even more for the Fatherland and writes to the military minister of Tsar Nicholas II, General A.N. Kuropatkina: “The work I have undertaken on the issue of wireless electric power transmission has led me to results that I do not consider myself entitled to exploit abroad without first submitting it to your Excellency ...” Patriot was, however, our professor.
The letter of the professor is kept in the Russian State Military Historical Archive and is dated December 12 1898. From the text it is important to note that Pilchikov did not follow A. Popov, Marconi and Tesla, he had his own way.
He thoroughly explained the essence of his technology to the Tsarist Excellency: “... I preferred to develop the Lodge method (1893), which utilized Hertz's electric waves (1888) and their effect on the conductivity of metal powders, discovered by Branly (1890) ... At that time As Marconi and Popov sought to achieve the greatest possible distance to which they could transmit signals, I developed the question of how wireless electric power transmission ... to isolate from perturbations caused by the action of electric waves, constantly coming down ... "
Here, while you have not lost the thread together with the Minister-General, I will tell you: “to protect oneself from perturbations” - means “to protect the receiver from the interference of the ether”. Today it is part of the electronic warfare - EW. And then there are so many ideas born - a real Klondike!
As you may remember, the principle of radio control is simple: the electromagnetic waves emitted by the transmitter create an electric current in the receiver antenna, weak - but enough to close the contacts, including powerful executive motors. But with such a scheme, any radio waves, interference, which arise, say, during lightning discharges or when other electrical equipment is operating, can cause the system to operate independently of the waves of the operator. And the professor found a solution to the problem:
“After quite lengthy theoretical and experimental research, I settled on the idea that a device that perceives the action of electric waves must necessarily be equipped with a special protective projectile — a protector, which, filtering the electric waves reaching it, would give access to the current mechanism only to those waves that are sent by us ... "
Here, besides many others, the idea of the code “I am my own!”
So it turns out that Pilchikov is one of the first to set and formulate tasks, one of which, to put it in modern language, can be called an attempt to provide devices with selectivity (that is, the ability to tune to a specific wave) and protection from atmospheric and other interference. And he managed to solve this difficult task - Pilchikov designed, manufactured and tested several protectors of various designs.
Pilchikov's protector is still a very simple radio lock. And interference can accidentally “unlock” it. And the appearance of "master keys" scanners with radiation of radio waves in a wide range would have nullified its protective properties.
But the idea itself is “not hacked”! The discovery of the Russian scientist continues to find new applications. In the second half of the last century, Americans used filtering and decoding devices to protect the Nike anti-aircraft missile guidance equipment from the centuries. Such filters pass only certain commands given by guidance stations. Interference is delayed and filtered out - and this is all on the principle of a radio lock protector.
25 March 1898, to the delight of Odessa citizens, the professor demonstrated and explained how with the help of electronic waves going through the walls of the hall he could light the lights of a lighthouse, trigger a cannon shot, blow up a mine away from the public and the lecturer (sinking a small yacht) and - through the wall! - to activate the railway semaphore! Professor described all this in a letter to the Minister of War ...
The first is ours!
Pilchikov wrote that his method of “wireless electric power transmission will make it possible to blow up laid mines at a considerable distance without having any message with cable or wire to create mine-boats that, without a single person, the teams will overtake the enemy ships and sink them, build radio-controlled destroyers capable of moving ahead of the attackers and destroying the fortifications. ”
Similar studies — regardless of the Russian professor — were done in the USA by Nikola Tesla. 1 July 1898, a Serbian genius, filed an application for a patent in which he described the radio control system of the ship. Pilchikov, who conducted his experiments six months earlier, did not know this and did not patent his development, hoping to put them in the service of the Russian military department. If the war minister would know General Kuropatkin, how things would turn out! ..
At the recent exhibition “Innovation Day of the Ministry of Defense of Russia”, many of today's mini-robots were presented, which are controlled by the same radio signals, as Professor Pilchikov and Nikola Tesla did in 1898. And the whole world continues to construct hi-tec “toys” more and more - such is the relevance and perspective of the developments of the Russian physicist who worked in the XIX century.
... Only four months later the “answer” of the Main Engineering Directorate followed: Pilchikov's “head clerks” again demanded an explanation! And again, for the third time, he had to explain what the essence of his sentence was.
At the beginning of 1902, Pilchikov, who was then in St. Petersburg at the XI Congress of Russian Naturalists, was invited to the Marine Technical Committee, where he spoke in detail about his protector. Soon, Vice-Admiral P.P. Tyrtov agreed to half the expenses, seeing in this venture not only a way to amuse the emperor from the shore with a boat without crew.
But then the Minister of War suddenly refused to participate in the experiments, finding them unpromising. General Kuropatkin (by the way, an intelligent military minister was, did a lot of good things for 6 for the army in this post, only technical innovations did not catch up) did not take into account Pilchikov’s support by experts of the Main Engineering Department: “... In Italy, in 1897, the maritime and military departments provided Marconi with enormous material resources. The British Post Office commissioned experiments on the Prisys wireless telegraph. In the United States, experiments in the maritime ministry are conducted under the leadership of Tesla and have in mind the same solution to the problem of wireless control from the coast of the destroyer. To the Berlin scientist Slaby, the German emperor provided not only troops and floating equipment of the Potsdam garrison, but also aeronautical parks ... All these foreign experiments meant wireless wiring at a distance, and only one Tesla worked on a wireless steering wheel ... Professor Pilchik wondered by a much wider program ... The solid position occupied by Mr. Pilchikov among Russian scientists makes one expect such practical results from his works that it is difficult to overestimate their importance ” .
In the meantime, Pilchikov’s memorandum at the Maritime Ministry was carefully studied by a special commission, which included the creator of the “ground meter” radio A.S. Popov. It was he who wrote in his review: "The issue of protecting radio lines from interference with the device made by the professor deserves attention."
After such a conclusion, the naval minister decided: “Allocate 5 rubles to Professor Pilchikov for the construction of 2 stations, the development of devices and the necessary trips. And also 18 batteries of a sample of a mine officer class, ... to allocate for 1 month at the end of 1902 one of the ships of the Black Sea fleet and appoint one of the naval officers to help. "
The case has finally moved from a dead end. The scientist was provided with a small vessel “Dniester”, on which radio receiving equipment was installed. The experiment took place in Sevastopol in August 1903 of the year (if the previous “anniversary” dates are not enough, let this be the reason!) Radio signals were sent from the Chersonese lighthouse and received on the Dniester at sea. At the same time it was possible to at least three times increase the transmission distance.
“The experiments have been of great benefit,” said a report in the Maritime Technical Committee. But the outbreak of the Russian-Japanese war interrupted testing. Nevertheless, Nikolai Dmitrievich did not interrupt his studies. For these purposes, he equipped a radio station with a huge antenna at that time in 25 meters at the Kharkov Institute of Technology.
Death of a genius
And so, clearly building distant plans, the scientist took and ... shot himself on the eve of his 51 anniversary. Before that, the professor came to the nervous clinic and asked to be hospitalized. He was accepted, placed in a single room on the second floor. At night, he closed the door from the inside. As if he sought refuge, he was afraid of someone, but also wanted to be under constant supervision. And in the morning at 7 a shot was sounded in his ward ...
If not himself, then someone who was well-trained agents could have shot him so neatly and without a trace. Maybe this was done by cold-blooded samurai, for whom the Russian-Japanese war is not over yet? Well, it is completely incomprehensible who it could be! Because the dead man, with a mortal wound in the heart, was lying on the bed, his arms folded, and the pistol was neatly lying on the table next to a glass of tea. He killed himself, and then put the gun, went to the bed, lay down, folded his arms.
Although, say medical experts, it happened this: one is actually a dead suicide as if on autopilot after stopping the heart another 15 minutes did some planned actions! ..
In general, the police officials who carried out the inspection thought and thought and decided: let there be suicide! So far they have not figured out how an outstanding professor-physicist passed away.
But Tesla died only in the 87 year of life from ischemia: the “electromotor” heart was worn out. Before the patient died, Tesla was visited by the wife of US President Eleanor Roosevelt and his nephew, the Yugoslav ambassador to the United States. Congratulated on New, 1943 year. Marshal Broz Tito in his homeland in honor of Nikola Tesla called the 1 th Guards Division of the People’s Liberation Army. With this honor in such and such years, you can die in peace ...
But when you think about a Russian creator of a radio-controlled bomb, you just can’t imagine him with a gun at his temple or at his heart. What for?! Pilchikov Paul Kharkov knew and was proud of him! So in the newspapers they wrote about him: “Our professor”!
By the way: what happened to his suitcase with papers? After all, the professor came to the hospital of Dr. Platonov with a suitcase. But when the police inspected the body there was no suitcase! And no papers with drawings and diagrams were found in the professor’s house either! But, as already mentioned, he lived alone, there was no one to manage in his absence! Such a strange death, a strange disappearance ...
Or did they happen because of the papers? This mystery has remained undisclosed.
Monument not made by hands
It is good that with the death of the professor the use of his scientific ideas was not interrupted.
In 1925, in St. Petersburg, they were creatively embodied by engineer V. Bekauri, head of the Osttekhbyuro, together with V. Mitkevich, professor of the Leningrad Polytechnic Institute. They called their radio-fuze device "Bemi": it seems that by their names, and if they call for modesty, it is a "wireless mine."
When testing 5 mines laid in a remote corner of the Leningrad rowing port, there also buried a receiver in the ground to undermine them. In the Baltic Sea, in 25 km from this place, the minesweeper Mikula emerged. His radio station at a certain time, established by the commission, began to send conditional signals. The chairman of the Revolutionary Military Council of the USSR and the people's commissar for military and maritime affairs, M. Frunze, himself called the time and sequence of the explosion of land mines. They all exploded in the sequence that the Commissar indicated. This method of the Commissar Frunze seemed promising, and it was adopted by the Red Army. What Professor Pilchikov was seeking from Minister of War Nicholas II came true.
The charges, undermined by radio signals at a distance, our troops used at the beginning of World War II. October 22 1941 of the year under the rubble of a building on Engels Street in Odessa found their death near 200 Wehrmacht senior officers who gathered for an important meeting. Under Moscow in November 1941, during the movement of German troops on the bridge over the Istra River, two charges of 600 kg each exploded. The bridge took off into the air, and at the most crucial moment of the offensive operation the communication between the parts of the fascists was broken. Radio firing exploded in the area of Tuapse, near Rzhev, near Rostov and Stalingrad, at the Kursk Bulge.
The Germans and thoughts did not admit that many of these mines do not have clockwork mechanisms and that they are controlled by radio! The Germans themselves, even capturing the radiofuse of 1942 in the fall of the year and taking it to Germany, could not organize their production! But the Master of Physics Pilchikov radio equipment to detonate the charges of dynamite half a century before it was literally on his knees! And so, it came in handy ...
On the night of November 14, 1943 from Voronezh, a radio signal passed over the air through 350 km, and the head of the Kharkov garrison, the commander of the 68 Infantry Division, Lieutenant General Georg von Braun, Nazi missile genius cousin Werner von Braun, took off, well, not space, but “to the sky” - from his residence in a mansion on Mironositskaya Street (Dzerzhinsky), 17 ...
Do not even think about regretting this German general - the executioner Proskurov and Vinnitsa! Having entered the city, he first of all ordered to hang on the balconies of 116 houses the first Kharkiv citizens who came to hand! 169, 188, and 196 of the 68 Division, General Georg von Braun, actually turned into punitive regiments of his 6 Division. In Field Marshal von Reichenau's XNUMX Army, only the commanders of the SS Viking and Leibstandart Adolf Hitler divisions outnumbered the brutality of the infantry general von Braun.
Know and be proud
The devices and inventions of Professor Pilchikov are used today in radio engineering everywhere, as radio engineers say. But the scope of his discoveries is much wider. And also Nikolai Dmitrievich played the violin perfectly, was fond of painting, wrote poetry, translated several poems of various authors into the Ukrainian language!
Because of all this, and not at all because of the similarity of our surnames, I told you about an outstanding person - Nikolai Dmitrievich Pilchikove - one of 100 the greatest scientists of Russia. Equal to Dmitry Mendeleev, Alexander Popov, Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, Sergey Vavilov, Vladimir Vernadsky, Sergey Korolev, Igor Kurchatov, Lev Landau, Yuli Khariton, Andrey Sakharov ...
These names should know every normal citizen of Russia. Know - and be proud. Even when you yourself become equal to them.