Anatoly Vlasov

Brady Bell

Birth and Death info

Born: August 20, 1908, Balashov, Russia

Dead: December 22, 1975, Moscow, Russia


Anatoly Vlasov entered Moscow State University in 1927 and graduated in 1931 from MSU. He earned a degree in theoretical physics. He also taught various physics classes at Moscow State University after graduating.
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Major Contributions to Physics

In optics, Vlasov analyzed spectral line broadening in gases at large densities. Vlasov also helped lay the foundation for plasma physics. His equation, the Vlasov equation, is fundamental to plasma 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.