Lomonosov made many discoveries in various fields: he is regarded as the first to discover the law of mass conservation (1760) and to establish mechanistic caloric theory and the chemistry of minerals and glass. Lomonosov is the founder of Russia’s first classical university – Moscow State University (1755).
Nikolay Lobachevsky was the founder of hyperbolic geometry (1829) which was later recognized as a valid alternative to Euclidean geometry and also his fundamental study on Dirichlet integrals known as Lobachevsky integral formula. William Kingdon Clifford called Lobachevsky the “Copernicus of Geometry” due to the revolutionary character of his work.
Dmitri Mendeleev was a Russian chemist and inventor. He formulated the Periodic Law, created his own version of the periodic table of elements, and used it to correct the properties of some already discovered elements and also to predict the properties of eight elements yet to be discovered.
Igor Kurchatov was a Soviet nuclear physicist who is widely known as the director of the Soviet atomic bomb project. From 1940 onward, Kurchatov worked on and contributed to the advancement of the nuclear weapons program, and later advocated for the peaceful development of nuclear technology.
Andrei Sakharov was a Russian nuclear physicist, dissident and activist for disarmament, peace and human rights. He became renowned for Soviet development of thermonuclear weapons. Sakharov later became an advocate of civil liberties and civil reforms in the Soviet Union, for which he faced state persecution; these efforts earned him the Nobel Peace Prize in 1975. The Sakharov Prize, which is awarded annually by the European Parliament for people and organizations dedicated to human rights and freedoms, is named in his honor.
Sofia Kovalevskaya was a Russian mathematician who made noteworthy contributions to analysis, partial differential equations and mechanics. She was a pioneer for women in mathematics around the world – the first woman to obtain a doctorate (in the modern sense) in mathematics, the first woman appointed to a full professorship in Northern Europe and one of the first women to work for a scientific journal as an editor. According to historian of science Ann Hibner Koblitz, Kovalevskaia was “the greatest known woman scientist before the twentieth century”.
Ivan Pavlov was a Russian physiologist known primarily for his work in classical conditioning. Pavlov won the Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine in 1904, becoming the first Russian Nobel laureate. A survey in the Review of General Psychology (2002) ranked Pavlov as the 24th most cited psychologist of the 20th century. Pavlov’s principles of classical conditioning have been found to operate across a variety of behavior therapies and in experimental and clinical settings, such as educational classrooms and even reducing phobias with systematic desensitization.
Konstantin Tsiolkovsky was a Russian and Soviet rocket scientist and pioneer of the astronautic theory. Along with the French Robert Esnault-Pelterie, the German-Romanian Hermann Oberth and the American Robert H. Goddard, he is considered to be one of the founding fathers of modern rocketry and astronautics. His works later inspired leading Soviet rocket engineers such as Sergei Korolev and Valentin Glushko and contributed to the success of the Soviet space program.