Dmitri Dmitrievich Maksutov

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Dmitri Maksutov as a lieutenant (1916)

Dmitry Dmitrievich Maksutov ( Russian Дмитрий Дмитриевич Максутов , scientific. Transliteration Dmitrij Dmitrievič Maksutov ; born 11 jul. / 23. April  1896 greg. In Odessa ; † 12. August 1964 in Leningrad ) was a Russian optician and inventor of the eponymous Maksutov telescope . From 1930 he organized the Laboratory of Astronomical Optics in the State Optical Institute of the USSR .


Maksutov was born into a sailor family in Odessa. He was interested in astronomy as a child and made a 180 mm telescope when he was 12 . Later he read publications by the well-known Russian optician Alexander Andreevich Chikin, who became his teacher. He constructed a telescope with an aperture of 210 mm and began to use it for serious astronomical observation. At the age of 15 he was accepted as a member of the Russian Astronomical Society . Three years later he graduated from the Military Engineering School in Petersburg. Between 1921 and 1930 he worked at the Physics Institute of the University of Odessa in the field of astronomical optics.

In 1930 he founded the Laboratory for Astronomical Optics in Leningrad in the State Optical Institute of the USSR and headed it until 1952. This institution was one of the leading astronomical research groups in the USSR. Here he published Anaberratic reflective surfaces and systems and their new test methods in 1932 . In this work he analyzed aplanatic two-mirror systems and presented the compensation method that he had proposed as early as 1924. Alongside the shadow method, this method became the most important test method for imaging mirrors .

His most important contribution in the field of optics was the invention of the Maksutov telescope (1942). He placed a meniscus-shaped correction plate in front of the opening of a mirror telescope. With this, he succeeded in correcting the spherical aberration of the spherical main mirror. This method was not only used by his laboratory for many of the most important observatories in the Soviet Union, it was also widely used internationally.

In addition to his astronomical observation equipment, he also manufactured many objectives, lenses, mirrors and prisms for medical instruments and other applications.

In 1944 he became a professor and in 1946 a corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR . From 1952 he worked at the Pulkowo observatory . He died in Leningrad in 1964.

Maksutov crater on the back of the moon was named after him in 1970, and the asteroid (2568) Maksutov has been named after him since 1983 .



  • DD Maksutov: New Catadioptric Meniscus Systems , in Journal of the Optical Society of America , 34 (1944) pp. 270-284.
  • DD Maksutow: Technology of Astronomical Optics . VEB Verlag Technik, Berlin 1954.


  • Rolf Riekher: Telescopes and their masters . 2nd Edition. Verlag Technik GmbH, Berlin 1990 p. 338 ISBN 3-341-00791-1 ; corrected reprint of the 2nd edition. Hans G. Beck (Ed.), Jena 2012, ISBN 978-3-00-038638-1 , pp. 324–333.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Dmitri Maksutov biography. Retrieved April 11, 2018 (Russian).