Russia is the ball. As of this month, the country will host another edition of the World Cup and knowing some details of the local culture never hurts. Always associated with an enormous cultural wealth, we cannot forget Russian technologies as well.
Did you know that there are many inventions that were born in what is territorially the largest country in the world? The list is immense, but below we have chosen five of the main technologies whose DNA has a Russian mind behind its development.
1. Electric train
The invention of electric trains was a determining factor for the transport world in the late 19th century. The history of the creation of the electric train does not have a precise start date, but it is estimated that everything occurred between 1874 and 1876.
It was at this time that the Russian inventor Fyodor Pirotsky conducted a series of experiments in which one rail served as a direct conductor while the other functioned as a reverse conductor. The first experiments were conducted a few years later on a trail near the city of Sestrorestk – and they worked.
The first electric train line was built in 1881, in Berlin, Germany, based on the project created by Pirotsky.
2. Video recorder
It is also Russia’s first equipment in the world capable of recording TV videos. The idea came from the mind of Alexander Poniatoff, who started a factory in the United States called Ampex in the 1950s. It was from this company that the first videotape recorder came out.
Its product has remained at the forefront of the international market for almost fifty years and only declined with the end of the VHS era. Even today, large home video companies use Poniatoff patents to produce their equipment.
Anyone who sees helicopters moving very easily in large cities does not imagine that this invention came from the hands of a Russian.
It was Igor Sikorsky who, in 1910, created a prototype of a device with an oriented rotor that managed to get off the ground.
However, he used this technique to create, in 1912, the first hydroplane in the world.
With the Russian Revolution in 1917, Sikorsky moved to the United States and created his own company there: Sikorsky Aero Engineering Company. After many years of research, he managed to create an experimental helicopter that took off in 1939.
The curious thing is that the design developed by him remains in use in more than 95% of the helicopter models manufactured today.
Still in 1942 he was to create the first helicopter for two passengers, in a test that his mind remained inventive for many years.
4. Solar batteries
Do you know those devices that use sunlight to obtain energy? If you have any of these in your home, thank Russian physicist Alexander Stoltov. It was he who, in the late 1880s, developed the theory of the photoelectric effect after a series of experiments.
This principle is still the basis for the production of solar cells today. It was Stoletov who created the first solar cell based on the external photoelectric effect and discovered the proportionality between the light intensity and the induced current.
In addition, his name is associated with many other contributions to science in the field of ferromagnetism.
5. Synthetic rubber
This is one of those inventions that you may never have stopped to think about, but you wouldn’t be able to imagine the modern world without synthetic rubber.
It is used for the manufacture of tires, of any means of transport, in addition to seals, insulation and medical devices, to name just a few areas.
The first commercially viable artificial rubber was polybutadiene resin, synthesized by the method developed by Russian chemist Sergei Lebedev.
He obtained the first specimens of synthetic rubber in 1910. His book “Research on polymerization of ethylene hydrocarbons”, published in 1913, provided the basis for the commercial synthesis of artificial rubber.