March 24 in Russian history

Two outstanding Russian physicists, whose inventions changed world history, are the heroes of tonight’s Historama.

­Russian physicist sends first radiogram

Aleksandr Popov made the world’s first radio-transmission on this day in 1896, when he succeeded in communicating from one university campus building to another.

Unfortunately, he forgot to patent his invention, so it was Italian physicist Guillermo Marconi who got to stamp his name on the radio.

Academics still debate who really invented the radio.

­Love of physics leads to escape

Another Russian physicist, Sergey Vavilov, was born today in 1891.

He loved physics from an early age – and physics was to reward his love by saving his life.

Vavilov fought in World War I and was captured. He was interrogated by a German officer who happened to be a physicistand they spent the night discussing physics. By morning, the officer had helped the prisoner escape.

In the 1920s, Vavilov pioneered work that led to new cheap light sources, namely luminescent lamps.

In 1958, seven years after Vavilov’s death, his co-workers Cherenkov, Frank and Tamm were awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics for their research into radiation.

Read more on this day in Russian history

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