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P. Kapita, an outstanding Soviet physicist, was born in
Kronstadt in the family of a general in 1894. He graduated from
the Petrograd Polytechnic Institute in 1919. Kapitsa took a great
interest in physics while still at the institute.
In 1921 Kapitsa was sent to England on Lenin's instructions
to renew scientific contacts. He worked in the famous Cavendish
Laboratory headed by Rutherford. Kapitsa was elected a member of
the Royal Sociaty for his outstanding scientific work in the
production of large magnetic fields.
In the middle of 1930s he organized the Institute of Physical
Problems near Moscow. It was here that Kapitsa concetrated his
attention on the research of superlow temperatures of liquid
helium and superconductivity. He showed that helium conducted heat
so well becouse it flowed with remarkable ease.
After the W.W.II his scientific activity was directed to
space research. In 1950s Kapitsa also turned his attention to ball
lightning - a phenomenon in which plasma exists for a much longer
period than it was supposed.
Kapitsa was awarded a Nobel Prize for his great contribution
to world science in 1978. Today there are few names in the history
of phisics that can be placed next to his.
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