Nikolay Basov

Nikolay Basov

Ask a question about 'Nikolay Basov'
Start a new discussion about 'Nikolay Basov'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
Nikolay Gennadiyevich Basov was a Soviet physicist
A physicist is a scientist who studies or practices physics. Physicists study a wide range of physical phenomena in many branches of physics spanning all length scales: from sub-atomic particles of which all ordinary matter is made to the behavior of the material Universe as a whole...

 and educator. For his fundamental work in the field of quantum electronics that led to the development of laser
A laser is a device that emits light through a process of optical amplification based on the stimulated emission of photons. The term "laser" originated as an acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation...

 and maser
A maser is a device that produces coherent electromagnetic waves through amplification by stimulated emission. Historically, “maser” derives from the original, upper-case acronym MASER, which stands for "Microwave Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation"...

, Basov shared the 1964 Nobel Prize in Physics
Nobel Prize in Physics
The Nobel Prize in Physics is awarded once a year by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. It is one of the five Nobel Prizes established by the will of Alfred Nobel in 1895 and awarded since 1901; the others are the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Nobel Prize in Literature, Nobel Peace Prize, and...

 with Alexander Prokhorov and Charles Hard Townes
Charles Hard Townes
Charles Hard Townes is an American Nobel Prize-winning physicist and educator. Townes is known for his work on the theory and application of the maser, on which he got the fundamental patent, and other work in quantum electronics connected with both maser and laser devices. He shared the Nobel...


Early life

Basov was born in the town Usman
Usman (town)
Usman is a town and the administrative center of Usmansky District of Lipetsk Oblast, Russia, located on the Usman River, south of Lipetsk. Population:...

, now in Lipetsk Oblast
Lipetsk Oblast
Lipetsk Oblast is a federal subject of Russia which was formed on January 6, 1954. Its administrative center is the city of Lipetsk...

 in 1922. He finished school in 1941 in Voronezh
Voronezh is a city in southwestern Russia, the administrative center of Voronezh Oblast. It is located on both sides of the Voronezh River, away from where it flows into the Don. It is an operating center of the Southeastern Railway , as well as the center of the Don Highway...

, and was later called for the military service at Kuibyshev Military Medical Academy. In 1943 he left academy and served in the Soviet Army
Soviet Army
The Soviet Army is the name given to the main part of the Armed Forces of the Soviet Union between 1946 and 1992. Previously, it had been known as the Red Army. Informally, Армия referred to all the MOD armed forces, except, in some cases, the Soviet Navy.This article covers the Soviet Ground...

 participating in the Second World War with the 1st Ukrainian Front
1st Ukrainian Front
The 1st Ukrainian Front was a front—a force the size of a Western Army group—of the Soviet Union's Red Army during the Second World War.-Wartime:...


Professional career

Basov graduated from Moscow Engineering Physics Institute
Moscow Engineering Physics Institute
National Research Nuclear University MEPhI / NRNU MEPhI, NIYaU MEPhI or MEPhI) is one of the most recognized technical universities in Russia. MEPhI was founded in 1942 as the Moscow Mechanical Institute of Munitions , but it was soon renamed the Moscow Mechanical Institute. Its original mission...

 (MEPI) in 1950. He then held a professorship at MEPI and also worked in the Lebedev Physical Institute
Lebedev Physical Institute
The Lebedev Physics Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences , situated in Moscow, is one of the leading Russian research institutes specializing in physics. It is also one of the oldest research institutions in Russia: its history dates back to a collection of physics equipment established by...

 (LPI), where defended a dissertation for the Candidate of Sciences degree (equivalent to PhD
PHD may refer to:*Ph.D., a doctorate of philosophy*Ph.D. , a 1980s British group*PHD finger, a protein sequence*PHD Mountain Software, an outdoor clothing and equipment company*PhD Docbook renderer, an XML renderer...

) in 1953 and a dissertation for the Doctor of Sciences degree in 1956. Basov was the Director of the LPI in 1973-1988. He was elected as a corresponding member of the USSR Academy of Sciences (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....

 since 1991) in 1962 and an Full Member
The title Academician denotes a Full Member of an art, literary, or scientific academy.In many countries, it is an honorary title. There also exists a lower-rank title, variously translated Corresponding Member or Associate Member, .-Eastern Europe and China:"Academician" may also be a functional...

 of the Academy in 1966. In 1967 he was elected a Member of the Presidium of the Academy (1967—1990), and since 1990 he was the councillor of the Presidium of the USSR Academy of Sciences. He was an honorary member of the International Academy of Science. He was the head of the laboratory of quantum radiophysics at the LPI until his death in 2001.

Missile defense

Basov's contributions to the development of the laser and maser, which won him the Nobel Prize
Nobel Prize
The Nobel Prizes are annual international awards bestowed by Scandinavian committees in recognition of cultural and scientific advances. The will of the Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, established the prizes in 1895...

 in 1964, led to new missile defense initiatives seeking to employ them.


He entered politics in 1951 and a member of parliament of the Supreme Soviet in 1974. Following U.S. President Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States , the 33rd Governor of California and, prior to that, a radio, film and television actor....

's speech on SDI in 1983, Basov signed a letter along with other Soviet scientists condemning the initiative, which was published in the New York Times. In 1985 he declared the Soviet Union was capable of matching SDI proposals made by the U.S.


  • N. G. Basov, K. A. Brueckner (Editor-in-Chief), S. W. Haan, C. Yamanaka. Inertial Confinement Fusion, 1992, Research Trends in Physics Series published by the American Institute of Physics Press (presently Springer, New York). ISBN 0-88318-925-9.
  • V. Stefan and N. G. Basov (Editors). Semiconductor Science and Technology, Volume 1. Semiconductor
    A semiconductor is a material with electrical conductivity due to electron flow intermediate in magnitude between that of a conductor and an insulator. This means a conductivity roughly in the range of 103 to 10−8 siemens per centimeter...

     Lasers. (Stefan University Press Series on Frontiers in Science and Technology) (Paperback), 1999. ISBN 1-889545-11-2.
  • V. Stefan and N. G. Basov (Editors). Semiconductor Science and Technology, Volume 2: Quantum Dots and Quantum Wells. (Stefan University Press Series on Frontiers in Science and Technology) (Paperback), 1999. ISBN 1-889545-12-0.

Awards and honours

  • Lenin Prize
    Lenin Prize
    The Lenin Prize was one of the most prestigious awards of the USSR, presented to individuals for accomplishments relating to science, literature, arts, architecture, and technology. It was created on June 23, 1925 and was awarded until 1934. During the period from 1935 to 1956, the Lenin Prize was...

  • Nobel Prize in Physics
    Nobel Prize in Physics
    The Nobel Prize in Physics is awarded once a year by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. It is one of the five Nobel Prizes established by the will of Alfred Nobel in 1895 and awarded since 1901; the others are the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Nobel Prize in Literature, Nobel Peace Prize, and...

     (1964, with the pioneering work done in the field of quantum electronics)
  • Hero of Socialist Labour — twice (1969, 1982)
  • Gold Medal of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences
    Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences
    The Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences was established in 1953 to be the scientific center for Czechoslovakia. It was succeeded by the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic in 1992.-History:...

  • A. Volta Gold Medal (1977)
  • Kalinga Prize
    Kalinga Prize
    The Kalinga Prize for the Popularization of Science is an award given by UNESCO for exceptional skill in presenting scientific ideas to lay people...

  • USSR State Prize
    USSR State Prize
    The USSR State Prize was the Soviet Union's state honour. It was established on September 9, 1966. After the breakup of the Soviet Union, the prize was followed up by the State Prize of the Russian Federation....

  • Lomonosov Grand Gold Medal, 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...

  • Order of Lenin
    Order of Lenin
    The Order of Lenin , named after the leader of the Russian October Revolution, was the highest decoration bestowed by the Soviet Union...

     - five times
  • Order of Merit for the Fatherland
    Order of Merit for the Fatherland
    The Order of Merit for the Fatherland was instituted on 2 March 1994 by Presidential Decree. The statutes describe it as a decoration for merit, not an order of knights....

    , 2nd class
  • Order of the Patriotic War
    Order of the Patriotic War
    The Order of the Patriotic War is a Soviet military decoration that was awarded to all soldiers in the Soviet armed forces, security troops, and to partisans for heroic deeds during the German-Soviet War, known by the former-Soviet Union as the Great Patriotic War.- History :The Order was...

    , 2nd class

External links