The past, the present and the future of Russian science are brought before you. Here you will find its most principle milestones and accomplishments that were made during the last two centuries. We have chosen the most amazing ideas that influenced the development of world science, the most significant discoveries and the most important inventions made by Russian scientists.
Among the most outstanding features of Russian science there are such traits as focus on the future, idealism, existence of high goals, self-denial for the sake of creativity and development, failure of all the needs of the individual in the name of public interest, neglect of form and striving to go beyond the limits.
The exhibition space of the Museum is divided into eight sections displaying the subjects of major importance for the contemporary science. Each section unfolds around the key historical exhibit of the Polytechnic Museum’s collection, telling the story of the object and its creators, the inventions’ impact on the development of the civilization, as well as the current state of each scientific field displayed.
Guided tours in English are available on request.
To book a tour, please contact: +7 495 730-54-38 (ext. 1446) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The electromagnetic waves have been employed in great lot of activities. Radio locators watch aircraft in the night sky and ships in the storming ocean. The electromagnetic waves are applied in the medical diagnostics and treatment, radio telescopes let us investigate the depths of the Universe…
The Plasma Energy block is devoted to the fourth state of matter—the plasma. It can be observed in natural environment rather frequently. That is the Sun, the fire, and, for one more example, the lightning. The lightning has been a subject of studies for the very long period of 250 years. Mikhail Lomonosov and his colleague Georg Richmann endeavoured to understand the nature of the lightning. And that was indeed some risky affair.
Of course, the scientists finally grasped the nature of the lightning and even learned the ways of making it. That’s how the electric arc, a very handy tool, was invented. It helps to melt and weld metals, the arc lamps emit bright light. Russian scientists and engineers contributed a great lot to that matter.
The most notable piece in that part of the exhibition looks something like a funny submarine from a cartoon. In fact, it is a model of the first Soviet atomic bomb RDS-1, created in 1949. The atomic bomb is a dreadful weapon, but at the same time it is the result of one of the major scientific breakthroughs of the history of humanity.
The inventions of the scientists involved in the atomic project made a huge impact on all the aspects of human life. Even the purely peaceful technology of nuclear power generation developed from the experiments on atomic bomb creation. The exhibition displays the model of the world’s first nuclear power plant built in 1954. The Nuclear Energy section is dedicated to discovery and application of nuclear energy.
The Illusions hall demonstrates the world of lasers and holography. The technology is over 150 years old: in the middle of the 19th century the stereoscopes — the optical devices which displayed three-dimensional images — became one of the favorite public attractions in England and France, and then in Russia, too.
But is it possible to see a 3D image with the naked eye — without stereoscopes and special glasses? That’s how the idea of the holography, the special method of record and display of three-dimensional images, was born. The first hologram was obtained in 1947 by Denes Gabor; in 1954, Yuri Denisyuk suggested a fundamentally new scheme of record and display of 3D holograms. Since the laser invention, the technology has been on the upswing. A part of the first holographic cinema in the world is shown at the exhibition. It was produced in Moscow in 1970s and requires no glasses to watch it!
Analogs of Natural Phenomena
Our comprehension of the ways that nature operates embodied in certain devices, sometimes surprising ones. For instance, in various calculators: slide rules, rolling arithmometers and such things. You can see all these things at our exhibition. These relatively simple devices grew more complex as time went by. We still draw ideas from nature to solve our human issues. But is it possible to build an artificial intelligence? an artificial life? an artificial human?
In the Analogs of Natural Phenomena division you will find the examples of self-organization and modeling, as well as some models of an artificial life and intelligence.
Is it possible to extend the human life, and keep it joyful and active? Can we recover the body functions that were lost due to age or as a result of injuries? It can be said that mechanical prosthetic limbs are now associated with the traditional technology. Transplant surgeons successfully graft other people’s or animals’ organs to their patients. But can we "grow" an organ—artificial yet alive, and make it almost native? That has been accomplished just recently. The achievements of the regenerative medicine, that can grow urinary bladders, tracheas, vessels, cartilages and skin from the patient’s own stem cells, are displayed at the exhibition.
Soon we will be able not only to restore lost functions of human body, but also to broaden them. That is a long-standing dream of science fiction authors, expressed repeatedly in movies—the human-machine hybrid, cyborg, cybernetic organism! Lots of incredible facts about biotechnology and cybernetics can be found in the New Anthropogenesis part of the exhibition.
Beyond the Earth
Russian and Soviet scientists and inventors played a great part in the space exploration. The first satellite, the first man in space, the first spacewalk, the first orbital space station — all these are Russian achievements. Soviet spacecraft headed for Moon, Venus and Mars…
The early era of space exploration was designated with severe competition, so called space race. And now scientists and engineers from different countries work together on large-scale international projects, which we could not dream of before.
The final section of the exhibition displays the main fantasies and dreams of scientists about long distance flights and terraforming of yet lifeless planets.