Alexander Viktorovich Gurevich

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Alexander Wiktorowitsch Gurewitsch ( Russian Александр Викторович Гуревич , English transcription Aleksandr Viktorovich Gurevich; born September 19, 1930 in Moscow ) is a Russian plasma physicist.

Gurevich studied physics from 1947 at the Lomonosov University in Moscow , graduating in 1953. There he was first a student of Dmitri Ivanovich Blochinzew and dealt with quantum field theory, then a student of Vitali Lasarewitsch Ginsburg , where he dealt with superconductivity, and finally he was from 1954 at IZMIRAN in Troizk (Moscow) with Jakow Lwowitsch Alpert (1911-2010), under whom he began to deal with nonlinear phenomena in the ionosphere. From 1957 he was at the Lebedev Institute . In 1957 he received his doctorate and in 1964 his habilitation (Russian doctorate), after which he was group leader at the Lebedev Institute. From 1994 he headed the theory department of the Lebedev Institute named after Igor Tamm. From 2010 he headed the Physics and Astrophysics Department at the Moscow Institute of Physical Technology.

Gurewitsch was visiting scholar at Stockholm University, the University of Maryland, the University of Leicester and Dartmouth College.

He dealt with plasma kinetics (including plasma flow around a satellite), physics of the ionosphere and artificial ionized layers in the atmosphere (including effects on radio waves), nonlinear dynamics of collision-free plasmas and plasma waves, problems with thermonuclear fusion, magnetosphere of neutron stars ( pulsars ) and (non-linear) dynamics of dark matter and large-scale structure of the universe. In 1992 he also developed a theory of the formation of lightning ( runaway breakdown ), more precisely a Relativistic Runaway Electron Avalanche (RREA), which improved his older theory from 1961 and predicted the generation of gamma rays in lightning. In 1994 the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory found gamma ray flashes associated with flashes in the higher atmosphere.

He became a corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences in 1984, a full member in 2003 and the Landau Prize in 1980 . In 1993 he received the Mandelstam Prize, the Appleton Prize in 1990 and the Friedman Prize in 2005.

He is not to be confused with the physicist Alexander Vladimirovich Gurevich, who deals with superconductors.

Fonts (selection)

  • The theory of cross-modulation of radiowaves, NASA 1965
  • with Ya. L. Alpert, LP Pitaevskii: Space physics with artificial satellites, Consultants Bureau 1965
  • with AB Shvartsburg: Nonlinear Theory of Radio Wave Propagation in the Ionosphere, Moscow: Nauka 1973
  • with Elena Yevgenyevna Tsedilina: Long distance propagation of HF radio waves, Springer 1985
  • Non-linear dynamics and acceleration of ions when a plasma expands into a plasma, Soviet Scientific Reviews, Volume 13, Part 2, Harwell 1989
  • Nonlinear phenomena in the ionosphere, Springer 1978
  • with VS Beskin, Ya. N. Istomin: Physics of the Pulsar Magnetosphere, Cambridge UP 1993
  • with ND Borisov, GM Milikh: Physics of microwave discharges: artificially ionized regions in the atmosphere, Gordon and Breach 1997


  • On the theory of runaway electrons, Sov. Phys. JETP, Vol. 12, No. 5, 1961, pp. 904-912
  • with VL Ginzburg: Nonlinear phenomena in a plasma located in an alternating electromagnetic field, Physics Uspekhi, Volume 3, 1960, pp. 115-146
  • with LV Pariiskaya, LP Pitaevskii: Self-similar motion of rarefied plasma, Sov. Phys. JETP, Vol. 22, 1966, pp. 599-454
  • with L. Pitaevskii: Nonstationary structure of a collisionless shock wave, JETP, Volume 65, 1973, pp. 590-604
  • with GM Milikh, R. Roussel-Dupre: Runaway electron mechanism of air breakdown and preconditioning during a thunderstorm, Physics Letters A, Volume 165, 1992, pp. 463-468
  • with GM Milikh, R. Roussel-Dupre, T. Tunnell: Kinetic theory of runaway air breakdown, Phys. Rev. E, Volume 49, 1994, p. 2257
  • with Kyrill Zybin: Runaway breakdown and electric discharges in thunderstorms, Physics Uspekhi, Volume 44, 2001, pp. 1119-1140
  • with V. Berezinskii, K. Zybin: Distribution of dark matter in the galaxy and the lower limits for the masses of supersymmetric particles, Phys. Letters B, Vol. 294, 1992, pp. 221-228
  • with K. Zybin: Large-scale structure of the Universe. Analytic theory, Physics Uspekhi, Volume 165, 1995, pp. 723-758
  • Nonlinear effects in the ionosphere, Physics Uspekhi, Volume 177, 2007, pp. 1145-1177
  • Nonlinear phenomena in ionospheric plasma. Effect of cosmic rays and runaway electron breakdown on thunderstorm discharges, Physics Uspekhi (UFN), Volume 179, 2009, pp. 779-790

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Institute for Terrestrial Magnetism, Ionosphere and Radio Wave Propagation of the Soviet Academy of Sciences, named after Nikolai Pushkov
  2. Joseph Dwyer: A bolt out of the blue. Scientific American, May 2005, p. 68.