Lomonosov Mikhail Vasilyevich


(08(19).11.1711 - 04(15).04.1765)


The great Russian scientist, the first Russian scientist of world significance. 
Born in the village of Denisovka (formerly Mishaninskaya, now the village of Lomonosovo) near Kholmogor of the Arkhangelsk province.

Biographies of Lomonosov, his scientific work is devoted to a huge amount of research and publications, with which anyone can get acquainted.

His circle of interests was extremely wide and it was difficult to find a sphere of scientific activity that Lomonosov would not have paid attention to.

A brief and at the same time comprehensive assessment of Lomonosov’s activities was given by A.S. Pushkin:

“Lomonosov embraced all branches of education. Thirst for science was the strongest passion of this soul, full of passions. A historian, orator, mechanic, chemist, mineralogist, painter and poet, he experienced everything and penetrated: the first goes deeper into the history of the fatherland, approves the rules of its public language, gives laws and examples of classical eloquence, with the unfortunate Richman predicts the discovery of Franklin, establishes the factory itself constructs cars, gives artistic mosaics, and finally reveals to us the true sources of our poetic language”.  And: “Lomonosov was a great man. Between Peter I and Catherine II, he alone is the original companion to education. He created the first university. It would be better to say that he himself was our first university”.


Memorial plaque. Petersburg,

Malaya Morskaya, 61


The works of Lomonosov covered issues relating to almost all modern branches of natural science, mining, metallurgy, history, poetry, linguistics, but taking into account the geological and arctic specificity of this work, we note only his merits in these areas, especially since he himself He considered mining and geology as his main specialty.

Lomonosov for the first time applied the method of actualism in geology - the study of processes and phenomena of the past through modern ones. Studying the geological history of the Earth, he first emphasized the role of endogenous and exogenous factors in its development and gave their characteristics. He suggested a consistent change in the coastline as a result of alternating transgression and regression of seas in past geological eras, explained the mechanism of sedimentary rock formation by sedimentation in marine basins in the geological past, indicated the connection of volcanic activity with mountain-building processes, laid the foundations of the theory of rock metamorphism . Lomonosov paid much attention to the search and development of minerals. He compiled a catalog of mineralogical collections of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences. Most fully his views in the field of geology and mining, he outlined in the writings of "The word about the birth of metals from the earth tremors" and "On the layers of the earth".

Great achievements of Lomonosov in the development of geographical sciences. He attached great importance to the study of Siberia, showed deep interest in the development of the Northern Sea Route and the Arctic as a whole. In 1755 he wrote "A Letter on the Northern Turn to the East India by the Siberian Ocean", and in 1762 saw the light of a remarkable work "A brief description of various journeys through the northern seas and an indication of a possible passage of the Siberian Ocean to East India". In this work, Lomonosov summarized the experience of the coast-dwellers, who had long been fishing in the Arctic seas, and the works of the participants of the Great Northern Expedition, gave the first classification of sea ice, introduced the concept of fossil ice, suggested the existence of great ice drift from east to west in the Arctic basin, which is brilliant confirmed by the expedition of F. Nansen on the "Fram" in 1893-1896. “The Northern Ocean”, wrote Lomonosov, “is a vast field, where ... Russian glory can be aggravated, combined with unprecedented use”. In this work, Lomonosov appears as the largest polar scientist. He concludes that it is not “cold”, but the ice is an obstacle to the establishment of the Northern Passage into the Pacific Ocean.



Monument to Lomonosov. Petersburg, Mendeleev line


Contrary to the then prevailing opinion, on his map, Lomonosov located a vast ocean near the pole. Based on the generalization of the voyages and winterings of Russian coast-dwellers and the analysis of ice movement in the Novaya Zemlya area, he foresaw the existence of land northeast of Novaya Zemlya, which was confirmed in the early twentieth century by the discovery of Severnaya Zemlya and extensive shallow water with the Ushakov Islands and Visa.

On the initiative and with the active participation of Lomonosov  the expedition of V.Ya. Chichagov was organized and brilliantly equipped, who planned to go through the Arctic Ocean to the Aleutian Islands between Greenland and Spitsbergen. Under the command of Chichagov were three ships, named after the names of their commanders: "Chichagov", "Panov" and "Babayev". The vessels had double outer skin, were equipped with the latest navigation equipment of that time, designed by Lomonosov and made in the Petersburg Academy of Sciences workshop.

According to the instructions drawn up by Lomonosov, the second expedition of Chichagov was conducted, and later the expedition of Krenitsyn-Levashov to study the Aleutian Islands.

Scientific studies of the Arctic and the Far East, conducted under the scientific guidance and protection of Lomonosov by the forces of the Russian Navy's sailors, have written a bright page in the history of the development of the Arctic, Siberia and the Far East.

Lomonosov died of pneumonia at the zenith of glory, with his family in his own house on the river Moika. He was buried at the Lazarevsky cemetery of the Alexander Nevsky Monastery with a large gathering of people. Friends and admirers of Lomonosov ordered in Italy a monument of Carrara marble, which was installed on the grave of the great scientist.

Mountains in the north of the island of Edge of Svalbard archipelago. Named by the German geographer A. Petermann.

Mountains in the north-west of the northern island of New Earth. Named in April 1913  by G.Ya. Sedov.

Plain and mountainous area on the island of Western Spitsbergen. Named in 1899–1901 by expedition members on the "degree measurement".

Underwater ridge in the Arctic Ocean. Opened and named by Soviet polar explorers in 1948.


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