Alexander Stepanovich Popov
|Alexander Stepanovich Popov|
16 March 1859|
Turyinskiye Rudniki settlement of Perm province (currently Krasnoturyinsk of Sverdlovsk Oblast)
|Died||13 January 1906
St. Peterburg, Russian Empire
|Notable awards||Order of St. Anna of 3rd and 2nd grades
Order of Saint Stanislaus (Imperial House of Romanov) of 2nd grade
Silver medal of Alexander III reign honour on the belt of Order of Alexander Nevsky
Prize of Imperial Russian Technical Society
Alexander Stepanovich Popov (Russian: Алекса́ндр Степа́нович Попо́в; March 16 [O.S. March 4] 1859 – January 13 [O.S. December 31, 1905] 1906) was a Russian physicist who was the first person to demonstrate the practical application of electromagnetic radio waves.
Beginning in the early 1890s he continued the experiments of other radio pioneers, such as Heinrich Hertz. In 1894 he built the first radio receiver, a version of the coherer. Further refined as a lightning detector, it was presented to the Russian Physical and Chemical Society on May 7, 1895—the day has been celebrated in the Russian Federation as Radio Day. The paper on his findings was published the same year. On March 24, 1896, he demonstrated transmission of radio waves between different campus buildings in St Petersburg. He demonstrated ship-to-shore communication over a distance of 6 miles in 1898 and 30 miles in 1899.
Born in the town Krasnoturinsk, Sverdlovsk Oblast) in the Urals as the son of a priest, he became interested in natural sciences when he was a child. His father ensured that Alexander received a good education at the seminary at Perm, and later studying physics at the St. Petersburg university. After graduation in 1882 he started to work as a laboratory assistant at the university. However, due to the poor funding of the university he changed to a teaching job at the Russian Navy's Torpedo School in Kronstadt on Kotlin Island.
||This section needs additional citations for verification. (May 2011)|
Beginning in the early 1890s he conducted experiments along the lines of Heinrich Hertz's research. In 1894 he built the first radio receiver, which contained a coherer. Further refined as a lightning detector, it was presented to the Russian Physical and Chemical Society on May 7, 1895—the day has been celebrated in the Russian Federation as "Radio Day". The paper on his findings was published the same year (December 15, 1895). He did not apply for a patent for his invention. In 1896, the article depicting Popov's invention was reprinted in the 'Journal of the Russian Physical and Chemical Society'. In March 1896, he effected transmission of radio waves between different campus buildings in St. Petersburg. In November 1897, the French entrepreneur Eugene Ducretet made a transmitter and receiver based on wireless telegraphy in his own laboratory. According to Ducretet, he built his devices using Popov's lightning detector as a model. By 1898 Ducretet was manufacturing equipment of wireless telegraphy based on Popov's instructions. At the same time Popov effected ship-to-shore communication over a distance of 6 miles in 1898 and 30 miles in 1899.
On December 18, 1897, Popov sent the telegram with the words "Heinrich Hertz".
In 1900 a radio station was established under Popov's instructions on Hogland island (Suursaari) to provide two-way communication by wireless telegraphy between the Russian naval base and the crew of the battleship General-Admiral Apraksin. The battleship ran aground on Hogland island in the Gulf of Finland in November, 1899. The crew of the Apraksin were not in immediate danger, but the water in the Gulf began to freeze. Due to bad weather and bureaucratic red tape, the crew of Apraksin did not arrive until January 1900 to establish a wireless station on Hogland Island. By February 5, however, messages were being received reliably. The wireless messages were relayed to Hogland Island by a station some 25 miles away at Kymi (nowadays Kotka) on the Finnish coast. Kotka was selected as the location for the wireless relay station because it was the point closest to Hogland Island served by telegraph wires connected to Russian naval headquarters.
By the time the Apraksin was freed from the rocks by the icebreaker Yermak at the end of April, 440 official telegraph messages had been handled by the Hogland Island wireless station. Besides the rescue of the Apraksin's crew, more than 50 Finnish fishermen, who were stranded on a piece of drift ice in the Gulf of Finland, were saved by the icebreaker Yermak following distress telegrams sent by wireless telegraphy. In 1900, Popov stated (in front of the Congress of Russian Electrical Engineers),
In 1901 Alexander Popov was appointed as professor at the Electrotechnical Institute, which now bears his name. In 1905 he was elected director of the institute.
Death and legacy
At ITU Telecom World 2011, Mr. Igor Shchyogolev, Minister of Telecom and Mass Communications of the Russian Federation alongside Dr. Hamadoun Touré, Secretary General of the ITU, inaugurated the "Alexander Stepanovich Popov" conference room at ITU's headquarters in Geneva.
Some of his descendents escaped to Manchuria during the Bolshevik Revolution and eventually made their way to the United States. Among others the cousin, Dr. Paul Popov, who became a prominent physician in San Francisco and Paul's son, Egor Popov (1913-2001), who became a UC Berkeley Professor Emeritus of Civil and Environmental Engineering. 
- "Early Radio Transmission Recognized as Milestone". IEEE. Retrieved 16 July 2006.
- "Aleksandr Popov". IEEE Global History Network. IEEE. Retrieved 21 July 2011.
- The Guglielmo Marconi Case; Who is the True Inventor of Radio.
- Dictionary of Minor Planet Names, 2003, vol.1, p.253
-  Engineering Pioneer Egor Popov
-  Connections: The EERI Oral History Series. Egor Popov
- Alexander Popov: Russia's Radio Pioneer by James P. Rybak
- Short biographies of Popov
- (Russian) Lightning detector and radiostations of Popov's design: history of manufacturing
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Alexander Stepanovich Popov|
- Aleksandr Popov, Soviet 1949 biopic watchable and downloadable with Esperanto subtitles
- Grave of A. Popov