Major Contributions to Physics
Research that was important to Science
Vlasov was awarded the Lenin prize in 1970 for his work on plasma theory. This work included the formulation of a fundamental equation in statistical mechanics, now called the Vlasov equation. He also worked on optics and gravitation. Vlasov helped advance plasma physics by disproving the Boltzmann theory, because the Boltzmann equation had holes to a certain situation. Vlasov's adjustment fixed all holes in the theory, making a big jump for plasma physics. The Vlasov equation is a microscopic equation of motion for the distribution functions of electrons and ions, which takes the place of the Boltzmann equation in the gas kinetics because it is not applicable because of the long-range Coulomb forces.