SPUTNIK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SPUTNIK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Peter Kapitza, the Russian physicist, born Kronshtadt on July 8 1894. Kapitza graduated from the Petrograd Polytechnic Institute in 1919 & in 1921 went to work under Lord Rutherford at the Cavendish laboratory in Cambridge, researching into the magnetic properties of metals. In 1934, he returned to Russia, where he did his most renowned research into the behaviour of helium at extremely low temperatures. Kapitza's refusal to work on nuclear weapons resulted in his virtual house arrest during World War II. In the post-war years he became active in space research and the phenomenon of ball lightning.
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