Sophia Kovalevskaya (1850-1891)
Mathematician, mechanic, the world’s first female professor of mathematics
Born in the Russian Empire, Sophia could only go to university abroad. At that time, a woman could obtain a passport only with the permission of her father or spouse. Sophia’s father categorically did not approve of her love for science and education, so he refused permission.
Striving to study mathematics at the university, Kovalevskaya organized a fictitious marriage and left for Europe. Sophia studied abroad, wrote several works, received major awards for her research and became a teacher at Stockholm University.
For many women scientists, it was Sophia Kovalevskaya who became a symbol of women’s independence and inspired them to a scientific career.
Catherine Blodgett (1898-1979)
Chemist, creator of the technology for obtaining multilayer films on metals and glasses
American Catherine Blodgett is the inventor of the method of obtaining mono- and polymolecular layers on the surface of glasses and metals. It sounds complicated, but in reality, everything is simple – the method allows making “invisible” glass.
Thanks to Catherine’s invention, optical lenses began to be created that allowed light to pass through with almost no reflection loss. During World War II, Blodgett glasses were widely used in periscopes, rangefinders, and aerial cameras. Later, such lenses became widespread in glasses, telescopes, microscopes, projectors, and photographic lenses.
Catherine received 8 patents, invented a method for cleaning poisonous gases, an anti-icing system for aircraft wings, and contributed to the development of technology for influencing clouds to stimulate precipitation. A very rewarding career!
Zinaida Ermolyeva (1897-1974)
Microbiologist, epidemiologist and creator of antibiotics in the USSR
Everyone knows about Alexander Fleming, who opened the world to the possibilities of penicillin, but almost no one has heard of the Soviet microbiologist Zinaida Ermolyeva, who made the same huge contribution to world medicine.
Together with her colleague Tamara Balezina, Yermolyeva was the first in the USSR to receive an antibiotic called penicillin-crustose VIEW. It is important that the scientist set up its factory production – many people gained access to medicines. During World War II, the drug saved tens of thousands of people from blood poisoning.
Even Zinaida Ermolyeva worked on the study of cholera, conducting experiments on herself. The scientist’s work helped prevent several epidemics of this disease.
Alexander Glagolev-Arkadiev (1884-1945)
Physicist, inventor of the roentgenostereometer and discoverer of short radio waves
The first Russian woman physicist to become world-famous in the scientific community. Graduate of the Physics and Mathematics Faculty of the Moscow Higher Courses for Women.
In 1916, Alexandra invented an x-ray stereometer – a device that measures the depth of bullets and shell fragments from the wounded. Continuing research in this area, Glagoleva-Arkadieva designed an emitter of electromagnetic waves. With its help, the scientist was the first in the world to receive the shortest radio waves with a length equal to the length of heatwaves. This discovery proved the unity of light and electromagnetic waves and became a sensation in world science.
Grace Hopper (1906-1992)
Developed the first compiler for a computer programming language
After joining the US Navy, Hopper began working on the new Mark I computer. Grace soon became head of research related to computer software.
As a result, the woman developed the first compiler for a computer programming language, developed the concept of machine-independent programming languages, and created UNIVAC, a program that NASA used to communicate with astronauts during the Apollo mission.
Grace is also credited with inventing the popular term debugging – eliminating computer failures. Hopper’s work has revolutionized the technology world.
Fatima Butaeva (1907-1992)
Physicist, teacher, developer of the first fluorescent lamps
This scientist was engaged in the study of luminescence and devoted her whole life to this field. The result of her painstaking work was the development and start of production of the first luminescent lamps in the USSR.
In addition, Butaeva, together with her colleagues, invented a new principle of light amplification, which is now used in all lasers. This invention was ahead of its time and only eight years later it was entered in the State Register of Scientific Discoveries of the USSR. This event signifies the official recognition that the work “made fundamental changes in the level of knowledge.”
Hedy Lamarr (1914-2000)
Actress, inventor of the torpedo remote control system
A story worthy of Hollywood is the story of actress Hedy Lamarr. At the age of 19, she was married to the owner of an arms factories, at 23 Hedi fled from her husband to America and became a wildly popular film actress.
Very often Hedi attended her husband’s production meetings, memorized and analyzed everything she heard about the problems of the defense industry and weapons. During the war years, Lamarr decided to apply her knowledge for the benefit of the world.
The actress approached the National Council of Inventors with a project for a system that allows remote control of torpedoes on ships. Only many years later, after the war, the Lamarr project was finalized by scientists and implemented.
Later, Hedy’s invention was declassified by the Pentagon and formed the basis of cellular technologies, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS.
Anna Mezhlumova (1914-2007)
Chemist, inventor of 95 gasoline
This amazing woman is the inventor of the 95th gasoline, which is used by most of the drivers in our country.
Anna graduated from the Grozny Oil Institute and then went to work at the Research Institute of the Oil Industry, where she worked almost all her life – up to 80 years. Having received an order from the top leaders of the state (according to rumors – directly from Stalin), a group of scientists led by Mezhlumova began work on improving the fuel.
Research has resulted in the development of gasoline with the highest octane rating. In addition to this work, Anna Mezhlumova is the author of 19 inventions in the field of oil and synthetic oils.
Olga Ladyzhenskaya (1922-2004)
Mathematician, academician, researcher
Ladyzhenskaya is an outstanding woman mathematician, whose work is known all over the world. During her career, Olga has written over 250 papers, and her research in the field of hydrodynamics is used in many modern developments in shipbuilding, industry, medicine and other fields.
The concepts put forward by Ladyzhenskaya have largely determined the development and current state of mathematical physics. In addition to scientific works, Olga Ladyzhenskaya made a huge contribution to science, having educated many students in her own scientific school.
Rosalind Franklin (1920-1958)
Biophysicist, radiographer, researcher of DNA structure
Rosalind’s contribution to world science has long been ignored by the world community, but now justice has triumphed. The fact is that it was Rosalind Franklin’s work that became fundamental in the study of the structure of DNA.
Three male scientists took advantage of Franklin’s confidential research in their work and through them discovered the structure of the DNA molecule. The scientists were awarded the Nobel Prize for this work, and Rosalind was left with nothing.
According to some reports, Franklin might not even know that scientists made their discoveries based on her data, since everything happened in collusion behind her.