Mikhail Lomonosov

Mikhail Lomonosov

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Mikhail Vasilyevich Lomonosov was a Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

n polymath
Polymath
A polymath is a person whose expertise spans a significant number of different subject areas. In less formal terms, a polymath may simply be someone who is very knowledgeable...

, scientist
Scientist
A scientist in a broad sense is one engaging in a systematic activity to acquire knowledge. In a more restricted sense, a scientist is an individual who uses the scientific method. The person may be an expert in one or more areas of science. This article focuses on the more restricted use of the word...

 and writer
Writer
A writer is a person who produces literature, such as novels, short stories, plays, screenplays, poetry, or other literary art. Skilled writers are able to use language to portray ideas and images....

, who made important contributions to literature
Literature
Literature is the art of written works, and is not bound to published sources...

, education
Education
Education in its broadest, general sense is the means through which the aims and habits of a group of people lives on from one generation to the next. Generally, it occurs through any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts...

, and science
Science
Science is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe...

. Among his discoveries was the atmosphere of Venus
Atmosphere of Venus
The atmosphere of Venus is much denser and hotter than that of Earth. The temperature at the surface is 740 K , while the pressure is 93 bar. The Venusian atmosphere supports opaque clouds made of sulfuric acid, making optical Earth-based and orbital observation of the surface impossible...

. His spheres of science were natural science
Natural science
The natural sciences are branches of science that seek to elucidate the rules that govern the natural world by using empirical and scientific methods...

, chemistry
Chemistry
Chemistry is the science of matter, especially its chemical reactions, but also its composition, structure and properties. Chemistry is concerned with atoms and their interactions with other atoms, and particularly with the properties of chemical bonds....

, physics
Physics
Physics is a natural science that involves the study of matter and its motion through spacetime, along with related concepts such as energy and force. More broadly, it is the general analysis of nature, conducted in order to understand how the universe behaves.Physics is one of the oldest academic...

, mineralogy
Mineralogy
Mineralogy is the study of chemistry, crystal structure, and physical properties of minerals. Specific studies within mineralogy include the processes of mineral origin and formation, classification of minerals, their geographical distribution, as well as their utilization.-History:Early writing...

, history
History
History is the discovery, collection, organization, and presentation of information about past events. History can also mean the period of time after writing was invented. Scholars who write about history are called historians...

, art
Art
Art is the product or process of deliberately arranging items in a way that influences and affects one or more of the senses, emotions, and intellect....

, philology
Philology
Philology is the study of language in written historical sources; it is a combination of literary studies, history and linguistics.Classical philology is the philology of Greek and Classical Latin...

, optical devices and others. Lomonosov was also a poet
Poet
A poet is a person who writes poetry. A poet's work can be literal, meaning that his work is derived from a specific event, or metaphorical, meaning that his work can take on many meanings and forms. Poets have existed since antiquity, in nearly all languages, and have produced works that vary...

, who created the basis of the modern Russian literary language
Russian language
Russian is a Slavic language used primarily in Russia, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. It is an unofficial but widely spoken language in Ukraine, Moldova, Latvia, Turkmenistan and Estonia and, to a lesser extent, the other countries that were once constituent republics...

.

Early life and family


Lomonosov was born in the village of Denisovka (later renamed Lomonosovo in his honor) in the Arkhangelsk Governorate
Arkhangelsk
Arkhangelsk , formerly known as Archangel in English, is a city and the administrative center of Arkhangelsk Oblast, Russia. It lies on both banks of the Northern Dvina River near its exit into the White Sea in the north of European Russia. The city spreads for over along the banks of the river...

, on an island not far from Kholmogory
Kholmogory
Kholmogory is a historic village and the administrative center of Kholmogorsky District of Arkhangelsk Oblast, Russia. It lies on the left bank of the Northern Dvina, along the Kholmogory Highway, 75 km southeast of Arkhangelsk and 90 km north of the Antonievo-Siysky Monastery. The name...

, in the Far North of Russia. His father, Vasily Dorofeyevich Lomonosov, was a prosperous peasant fisherman turned ship owner, who amassed a small fortune transporting goods from Arkhangelsk
Arkhangelsk
Arkhangelsk , formerly known as Archangel in English, is a city and the administrative center of Arkhangelsk Oblast, Russia. It lies on both banks of the Northern Dvina River near its exit into the White Sea in the north of European Russia. The city spreads for over along the banks of the river...

 to Pustozyorsk
Pustozyorsk
Pustozyorsk was the administrative center of Yugra and Pechora krais of Muscovy and Imperial Russia. It was situated in what is today Nenets Autonomous Okrug of Arkhangelsk Oblast in Russia....

, Solovki
Solovetsky Islands
The Solovetsky Islands , or Solovki , are an archipelago located in the Onega Bay of the White Sea, Russia. The islands are served by the Solovki Airport. Area: ....

, Kola
Kola (town)
Kola is a town and the administrative center of Kolsky District of Murmansk Oblast, Russia, located at the confluence of the Kola and Tuloma Rivers, south of Murmansk and southwest of Severomorsk. It is the oldest town of the Kola Peninsula. Population: 11,060 ; -History:The district of Kolo...

, and Lapland. Lomonosov’s mother was Vasily’s first wife, a deacon
Deacon
Deacon is a ministry in the Christian Church that is generally associated with service of some kind, but which varies among theological and denominational traditions...

’s daughter, Elena Ivanovna Sivkova.

He remained at Denisovka until he was ten, when his father decided that he was old enough to participate in his business ventures, and Lomonosov began accompanying Vasily on trading missions.

Learning was young Lomonosov's passion, however, not business. The boy's thirst for knowledge was insatiable. Lomonosov had been taught to read as a boy by his neighbor Ivan Shubny, and he spent every spare moment with his books. He continued his studies with the village deacon, S.N. Sabelnikov, but for many years the only books he had access to were religious texts. When he was fourteen, Lomonosov was given copies of Meletius Smotrytsky
Meletius Smotrytsky
Meletius Smotrytsky , né Maksym Herasymovytch was a Ruthenian linguist from Galicia, author and religious activist. Son of the famous Ukrainian religious and political activist Herasym Smotrytsky. He was educated in Ostroh and Vilnius, as well as Leipzig, Wittenberg and Nuremberg...

's Modern Church Slavonic (a grammar book) and Leonty Magnitsky's Arithmetic.

In 1724, his father married for the third and final time. Lomonosov and his stepmother Irina had an acrimonious relationship. Unhappy at home and intent on obtaining a higher education, which Lomonosov could not receive in Denisovka, he was determined to leave the village.

Education in Moscow



In 1730, at nineteen, Lomonosov joined a caravan traveling to Moscow
Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

. Not long after arriving, Lomonosov obtained admission into the Slavic Greek Latin Academy
Slavic Greek Latin Academy
Slavic Greek Latin Academy was the first higher education establishment in Moscow, Russia.-Beginnings:...

 by falsely claiming to be a priest’s son. That initial falsehood would nearly get him expelled from the academy a few years later when discovered.

Lomonosov lived on three kopecks a day, living off only black bread and kvas
Kvås
Kvås is a village and a former municipality in Vest-Agder county in Norway. It is located in the Lyngdalen valley in the northern part of the present-day municipality of Lyngdal. The village of Kvås is located along the river Lygna...

, but he made rapid progress scholastically. After three years in Moscow he was sent to Kiev
Kiev
Kiev or Kyiv is the capital and the largest city of Ukraine, located in the north central part of the country on the Dnieper River. The population as of the 2001 census was 2,611,300. However, higher numbers have been cited in the press....

 to study for one year at the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy. He quickly became dissatisfied with the education he was receiving there, and returned to Moscow several months ahead of schedule, resuming his studies there. He completed a twelve-year study course in only five years, graduating at the top of his class. In 1736, Lomonosov was awarded a scholarship to Saint Petersburg State University
Saint Petersburg State University
Saint Petersburg State University is a Russian federal state-owned higher education institution based in Saint Petersburg and one of the oldest and largest universities in Russia....

. He plunged into his studies and was rewarded with a two-year grant to study abroad at the University of Marburg, in Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

.

Education abroad


The University of Marburg was among Europe's most important universities in the mid-18th century due to the presence of the philosopher Christian Wolff
Christian Wolff (philosopher)
Christian Wolff was a German philosopher.He was the most eminent German philosopher between Leibniz and Kant...

, a prominent figure of the German Enlightenment
Age of Enlightenment
The Age of Enlightenment was an elite cultural movement of intellectuals in 18th century Europe that sought to mobilize the power of reason in order to reform society and advance knowledge. It promoted intellectual interchange and opposed intolerance and abuses in church and state...

. Lomonosov became one of Wolff’s personal students while at Marburg. Both philosophically and as a science administrator, this connection would be the most influential of Lomonosov’s life.

Lomonosov quickly mastered the German language, and in addition to philosophy, seriously studied chemistry
Chemistry
Chemistry is the science of matter, especially its chemical reactions, but also its composition, structure and properties. Chemistry is concerned with atoms and their interactions with other atoms, and particularly with the properties of chemical bonds....

, discovered the works of 17th century English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

 theologian and natural philosopher, Robert Boyle
Robert Boyle
Robert Boyle FRS was a 17th century natural philosopher, chemist, physicist, and inventor, also noted for his writings in theology. He has been variously described as English, Irish, or Anglo-Irish, his father having come to Ireland from England during the time of the English plantations of...

, and even began writing poetry
Poetry
Poetry is a form of literary art in which language is used for its aesthetic and evocative qualities in addition to, or in lieu of, its apparent meaning...

. He also developed an interest in German literature. He is said to have especially admired Günther
Johann Christian Günther
Johann Christian Günther was a German poet from Striegau in Lower Silesia. After attending the gymnasium at Schweidnitz, he was sent in 1715 by his father, a country doctor, to study medicine at Wittenberg; but he was idle and dissipated, had no taste for the profession chosen for him, and came to...

. His Ode on the Taking of Khotin from the Turks, composed in 1739, attracted a great deal of attention in Saint Petersburg.

During his residence in Germany, Lomonosov boarded with Catharina Zilch, a brewer’s widow. He fell in love with Catharina’s daughter Elisabeth Christine Zilch. They were married in June 1740. Lomonosov found it extremely difficult to maintain his growing family on the scanty and irregular allowance granted him by the Russian Academy of Science. As his circumstances became desperate, he resolved to return to Saint Petersburg.

Return to Russia


Lomonosov returned to Russia in 1741. A year later he was named adjutant to the Russian Academy of Science in the physics department. In May 1743, Lomonosov was accused, arrested, and held under house arrest for eight months, after he supposedly insulted various people associated with the Academy. He was released and pardoned in January 1744 after apologising to all involved.

Lomonosov was made a full member of the Academy, and named professor of chemistry
Chemistry
Chemistry is the science of matter, especially its chemical reactions, but also its composition, structure and properties. Chemistry is concerned with atoms and their interactions with other atoms, and particularly with the properties of chemical bonds....

, in 1745. He established the Academy's first chemistry laboratory. Eager to improve Russia’s educational system, in 1755, Lomonosov joined his patron Count Ivan Shuvalov
Ivan Shuvalov
Ivan Ivanovich Shuvalov was called the Maecenas of the Russian Enlightenment and the first Russian Minister of Education...

 in founding the Moscow State University
Moscow State University
Lomonosov Moscow State University , previously known as Lomonosov University or MSU , is the largest university in Russia. Founded in 1755, it also claims to be one of the oldest university in Russia and to have the tallest educational building in the world. Its current rector is Viktor Sadovnichiy...

.

Physicist



In 1756, Lomonosov tried to replicate Robert Boyle
Robert Boyle
Robert Boyle FRS was a 17th century natural philosopher, chemist, physicist, and inventor, also noted for his writings in theology. He has been variously described as English, Irish, or Anglo-Irish, his father having come to Ireland from England during the time of the English plantations of...

's experiment of 1673. He concluded that the commonly accepted phlogiston theory
Phlogiston theory
The phlogiston theory , first stated in 1667 by Johann Joachim Becher, is an obsolete scientific theory that postulated the existence of a fire-like element called "phlogiston", which was contained within combustible bodies and released during combustion...

 was false. Anticipating the discoveries of Antoine Lavoisier
Antoine Lavoisier
Antoine-Laurent de Lavoisier , the "father of modern chemistry", was a French nobleman prominent in the histories of chemistry and biology...

, he wrote in his diary: "Today I made an experiment in hermetic glass vessels in order to determine whether the mass of metals increases from the action of pure heat. The experiments– of which I append the record in 13 pages– demonstrated that the famous Robert Boyle was deluded, for without access of air from outside the mass of the burnt metal remains the same".

He regarded heat
Heat
In physics and thermodynamics, heat is energy transferred from one body, region, or thermodynamic system to another due to thermal contact or thermal radiation when the systems are at different temperatures. It is often described as one of the fundamental processes of energy transfer between...

 as a form of motion, suggested the wave theory of light
Light
Light or visible light is electromagnetic radiation that is visible to the human eye, and is responsible for the sense of sight. Visible light has wavelength in a range from about 380 nanometres to about 740 nm, with a frequency range of about 405 THz to 790 THz...

, contributed to the formulation of the kinetic theory of gases, and stated the idea of conservation of matter
Conservation of mass
The law of conservation of mass, also known as the principle of mass/matter conservation, states that the mass of an isolated system will remain constant over time...

 in the following words: "All changes in nature are such that inasmuch is taken from one object insomuch is added to another. So, if the amount of matter decreases in one place, it increases elsewhere. This universal law of nature embraces laws of motion as well, for an object moving others by its own force in fact imparts to another object the force it loses" (first articulated in a letter to Leonhard Euler
Leonhard Euler
Leonhard Euler was a pioneering Swiss mathematician and physicist. He made important discoveries in fields as diverse as infinitesimal calculus and graph theory. He also introduced much of the modern mathematical terminology and notation, particularly for mathematical analysis, such as the notion...

 dated 5 July 1748, rephrased and published in Lomonosov's dissertation "Reflexion on the solidity and fluidity of bodies", 1760).

Astronomer


In 1762, Lomonosov presented an improved design of a reflecting telescope
Reflecting telescope
A reflecting telescope is an optical telescope which uses a single or combination of curved mirrors that reflect light and form an image. The reflecting telescope was invented in the 17th century as an alternative to the refracting telescope which, at that time, was a design that suffered from...

 to the Russian Academy of Sciences
Russian Academy of Sciences
The Russian Academy of Sciences consists of the national academy of Russia and a network of scientific research institutes from across the Russian Federation as well as auxiliary scientific and social units like libraries, publishers and hospitals....

 forum. His telescope had its primary mirror
Primary mirror
A primary mirror is the principal light-gathering surface of a reflecting telescope.-Description:The primary mirror of a reflecting telescope is a spherical or parabolic shaped disks of polished reflective metal , or in later telescopes, glass or other material coated with a reflective layer...

 adjusted at four degrees to telescope's axis. This made the image focus at the side of the telescope tube. There the observer could view the image with an eyepiece
Eyepiece
An eyepiece, or ocular lens, is a type of lens that is attached to a variety of optical devices such as telescopes and microscopes. It is so named because it is usually the lens that is closest to the eye when someone looks through the device. The objective lens or mirror collects light and brings...

 without blocking the image. However, this invention was not published until 1827, so this type of telescope has become associated with a similar design by William Herschel
William Herschel
Sir Frederick William Herschel, KH, FRS, German: Friedrich Wilhelm Herschel was a German-born British astronomer, technical expert, and composer. Born in Hanover, Wilhelm first followed his father into the Military Band of Hanover, but emigrated to Britain at age 19...

, the Herschelian telescope. Lomonosov was the first person to hypothesize the existence of an atmosphere on Venus
Venus
Venus is the second planet from the Sun, orbiting it every 224.7 Earth days. The planet is named after Venus, the Roman goddess of love and beauty. After the Moon, it is the brightest natural object in the night sky, reaching an apparent magnitude of −4.6, bright enough to cast shadows...

 based on his observation of the transit of Venus
Transit of Venus
A transit of Venus across the Sun takes place when the planet Venus passes directly between the Sun and Earth, becoming visible against the solar disk. During a transit, Venus can be seen from Earth as a small black disk moving across the face of the Sun...

 of 1761 in a small observatory near his house in Petersburg.

Chemist


Lomonosov was the first person to record the freezing
Freezing
Freezing or solidification is a phase change in which a liquid turns into a solid when its temperature is lowered below its freezing point. The reverse process is melting....

 of mercury
Mercury (element)
Mercury is a chemical element with the symbol Hg and atomic number 80. It is also known as quicksilver or hydrargyrum...

. Believing that nature is subject to regular and continuous evolution
Evolution
Evolution is any change across successive generations in the heritable characteristics of biological populations. Evolutionary processes give rise to diversity at every level of biological organisation, including species, individual organisms and molecules such as DNA and proteins.Life on Earth...

, he demonstrated the organic
Life
Life is a characteristic that distinguishes objects that have signaling and self-sustaining processes from those that do not, either because such functions have ceased , or else because they lack such functions and are classified as inanimate...

 origin of soil
Soil
Soil is a natural body consisting of layers of mineral constituents of variable thicknesses, which differ from the parent materials in their morphological, physical, chemical, and mineralogical characteristics...

, peat
Peat
Peat is an accumulation of partially decayed vegetation matter or histosol. Peat forms in wetland bogs, moors, muskegs, pocosins, mires, and peat swamp forests. Peat is harvested as an important source of fuel in certain parts of the world...

, coal
Coal
Coal is a combustible black or brownish-black sedimentary rock usually occurring in rock strata in layers or veins called coal beds or coal seams. The harder forms, such as anthracite coal, can be regarded as metamorphic rock because of later exposure to elevated temperature and pressure...

, petroleum
Petroleum
Petroleum or crude oil is a naturally occurring, flammable liquid consisting of a complex mixture of hydrocarbons of various molecular weights and other liquid organic compounds, that are found in geologic formations beneath the Earth's surface. Petroleum is recovered mostly through oil drilling...

 and amber
Amber
Amber is fossilized tree resin , which has been appreciated for its color and natural beauty since Neolithic times. Amber is used as an ingredient in perfumes, as a healing agent in folk medicine, and as jewelry. There are five classes of amber, defined on the basis of their chemical constituents...

. In 1745, he published a catalogue of over 3,000 mineral
Mineral
A mineral is a naturally occurring solid chemical substance formed through biogeochemical processes, having characteristic chemical composition, highly ordered atomic structure, and specific physical properties. By comparison, a rock is an aggregate of minerals and/or mineraloids and does not...

s, and in 1760, he explained the formation of iceberg
Iceberg
An iceberg is a large piece of ice from freshwater that has broken off from a snow-formed glacier or ice shelf and is floating in open water. It may subsequently become frozen into pack ice...

s.

Geographer


Lomonosov's observation of iceberg formation led into his pioneering work in geography
Geography
Geography is the science that studies the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of Earth. A literal translation would be "to describe or write about the Earth". The first person to use the word "geography" was Eratosthenes...

. Lomonosov got close to the theory of continental drift
Continental drift
Continental drift is the movement of the Earth's continents relative to each other. The hypothesis that continents 'drift' was first put forward by Abraham Ortelius in 1596 and was fully developed by Alfred Wegener in 1912...

, theoretically predicted the existence of Antarctica (he argued that iceberg
Iceberg
An iceberg is a large piece of ice from freshwater that has broken off from a snow-formed glacier or ice shelf and is floating in open water. It may subsequently become frozen into pack ice...

s of the South Ocean could only be formed on a dry land covered with ice), and invented sea tools which made writing and calculating directions and distances easier. In 1764, he organized an expedition (led by Admiral Vasili Chichagov
Vasili Chichagov
Vasili Yakovlevich Chichagov was an admiral in the Russian Navy and an explorer. He was the father of Pavel Chichagov, a Russian admiral during the Napoleonic Wars.-Background:...

) to find the Northeast Passage
Northern Sea Route
The Northern Sea Route is a shipping lane officially defined by Russian legislation from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean specifically running along the Russian Arctic coast from Murmansk on the Barents Sea, along Siberia, to the Bering Strait and Far East. The entire route lies in Arctic...

 between the Atlantic
Atlantic Ocean
The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's oceanic divisions. With a total area of about , it covers approximately 20% of the Earth's surface and about 26% of its water surface area...

 and Pacific oceans by sailing along the northern coast of Siberia
Siberia
Siberia is an extensive region constituting almost all of Northern Asia. Comprising the central and eastern portion of the Russian Federation, it was part of the Soviet Union from its beginning, as its predecessor states, the Tsardom of Russia and the Russian Empire, conquered it during the 16th...

.

Mosaicist


Lomonosov was proud to restore the ancient art of mosaics. In 1754, in his letter to Leonard Euler, he wrote that his three years of experiments on the effects of chemistry of minerals on their colour led to him became very involved into the mosaics art. In 1763, he set up a glass
Glass
Glass is an amorphous solid material. Glasses are typically brittle and optically transparent.The most familiar type of glass, used for centuries in windows and drinking vessels, is soda-lime glass, composed of about 75% silica plus Na2O, CaO, and several minor additives...

 factory that produced the first stained glass mosaics outside of Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

. There were forty mosaics attributed to Lomonosov, with only twenty-four surviving to the present day. Among the best is the portrait of Peter the Great
Peter I of Russia
Peter the Great, Peter I or Pyotr Alexeyevich Romanov Dates indicated by the letters "O.S." are Old Style. All other dates in this article are New Style. ruled the Tsardom of Russia and later the Russian Empire from until his death, jointly ruling before 1696 with his half-brother, Ivan V...

 and the Battle of Poltava, measuring 4.8 × 6.4 meters.

Poet


In 1755, he wrote a grammar
Grammar
In linguistics, grammar is the set of structural rules that govern the composition of clauses, phrases, and words in any given natural language. The term refers also to the study of such rules, and this field includes morphology, syntax, and phonology, often complemented by phonetics, semantics,...

 that reformed the Russian literary language
Russian language
Russian is a Slavic language used primarily in Russia, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. It is an unofficial but widely spoken language in Ukraine, Moldova, Latvia, Turkmenistan and Estonia and, to a lesser extent, the other countries that were once constituent republics...

 by combining Old Church Slavonic
Old Church Slavonic
Old Church Slavonic or Old Church Slavic was the first literary Slavic language, first developed by the 9th century Byzantine Greek missionaries Saints Cyril and Methodius who were credited with standardizing the language and using it for translating the Bible and other Ancient Greek...

 with the vernacular tongue. To further his literary theories, he wrote more than 20 solemn ceremonial ode
Ode
Ode is a type of lyrical verse. A classic ode is structured in three major parts: the strophe, the antistrophe, and the epode. Different forms such as the homostrophic ode and the irregular ode also exist...

s, notably the Evening Meditation on the God's Grandeur. He applied an idiosyncratic theory to his later poems– tender subjects needed words containing the front vowel sounds E, I, YU, whereas things that may cause fear (like "anger", "envy", "pain" and "sorrow") needed words with back vowel sounds O, U, Y. That was a version of what is now called sound symbolism
Sound symbolism
Sound symbolism or phonosemantics is a branch of linguistics and refers to the idea that vocal sounds have meaning. In particular, sound symbolism is the idea that phonemes carry meaning in and of themselves.-Origin:...

. Lomonosov published a history of Russia in 1760. In addition, he unsuccessfully attempted to write an epic about Peter the Great, to be based on the Aeneid
Aeneid
The Aeneid is a Latin epic poem, written by Virgil between 29 and 19 BC, that tells the legendary story of Aeneas, a Trojan who travelled to Italy, where he became the ancestor of the Romans. It is composed of roughly 10,000 lines in dactylic hexameter...

by Vergil. In 1761, he was elected a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences or Kungliga Vetenskapsakademien is one of the Royal Academies of Sweden. The Academy is an independent, non-governmental scientific organization which acts to promote the sciences, primarily the natural sciences and mathematics.The Academy was founded on 2...

. In 1764, Lomonosov was appointed to the position of secretary of state. He died one year later in Saint Petersburg. Most of his accomplishments were unknown outside Russia until long after his death.

Legacy



His granddaughter Sophia Konstantinova (1769–1844) married Russian military hero and statesman General Nikolay Raevsky
Nikolay Raevsky
Nikolay Nikolayevich Raevsky was a Russian general and statesman who achieved fame for his feats of arms during the Napoleonic wars. His family left a lasting legacy in Russian society and culture.-Early life:Nikolay Raevsky was born in Saint Petersburg...

. His great-granddaughter was Princess Maria (Raevskaya) Volkonskaya
Decembrist revolt
The Decembrist revolt or the Decembrist uprising took place in Imperial Russia on 14 December , 1825. Russian army officers led about 3,000 soldiers in a protest against Nicholas I's assumption of the throne after his elder brother Constantine removed himself from the line of succession...

, the wife of the Decembrist Prince Sergei Volkonsky.

A lunar crater
Lomonosov (lunar crater)
Lomonosov is a lunar crater that is located just behind the western limb of the Moon. It is almost attached to the east-northeastern outer rim of the larger crater Joliot, and overlies the southern rim of Maxwell...

 bears his name, as does a crater on Mars
Lomonosov (Martian crater)
Lomonosov is a medium crater on Mars, with a diameter close to 150 km. It is located in the Martian northern plains north of the planet's equator. Since it is large and found close to the boundary between the Mare Acidalium quadrangle and the Mare Boreum quadrangle, it is found on both maps...

. In 1948, the underwater Lomonosov Ridge
Lomonosov Ridge
The Lomonosov Ridge is an unusual underwater ridge of continental crust in the Arctic Ocean. It spans 1800 km from the New Siberian Islands, as it is part of Eurasia, over the central part of the ocean to Ellesmere Island of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. The width of the Lomonosov Ridge varies...

 in the Arctic Ocean
Arctic Ocean
The Arctic Ocean, located in the Northern Hemisphere and mostly in the Arctic north polar region, is the smallest and shallowest of the world's five major oceanic divisions...

 was named in his honor. Moscow State University
Moscow State University
Lomonosov Moscow State University , previously known as Lomonosov University or MSU , is the largest university in Russia. Founded in 1755, it also claims to be one of the oldest university in Russia and to have the tallest educational building in the world. Its current rector is Viktor Sadovnichiy...

 was renamed ‘’M. V. Lomonosov Moscow State University’’ in his honor in 1940.

The Lomonosov Gold Medal
Lomonosov Gold Medal
The Lomonosov Gold Medal, named after Russian scientist and polymath Mikhail Lomonosov, is awarded each year since 1959 for outstanding achievements in the natural sciences and the humanities by the USSR Academy of Sciences and later the Russian Academy of Sciences . Two medals are awarded...

 was established in 1959 and is awarded annually by the Russian Academy of Sciences to a Russian and a foreign scientists.

See also


  • Moscow State University
    Moscow State University
    Lomonosov Moscow State University , previously known as Lomonosov University or MSU , is the largest university in Russia. Founded in 1755, it also claims to be one of the oldest university in Russia and to have the tallest educational building in the world. Its current rector is Viktor Sadovnichiy...

  • Lomonosov, Russia
    Lomonosov, Russia
    Lomonosov is a municipal town in Petrodvortsovy District of the federal city of St. Petersburg, Russia, situated on the southern coast of the Gulf of Finland, west of St. Petersburg proper. Population:...

  • Lomonosov Porcelain Factory
  • Ivan Kulibin
    Ivan Kulibin
    Ivan Petrovich Kulibin was a Russian mechanic and inventor. He was born in Nizhny Novgorod in the family of a trader. From childhood, Kulibin displayed an interest in constructing mechanical tools. Soon, clock mechanisms became a special interest of his...


Further reading

  • Peter Hoffmann: Michail Vasil'evič Lomonosov (1711 - 1765). Ein Enzyklopädist im Zeitalter der Aufklärung. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 2011. ISBN 978-3-631-61797-7

External links