To the History of Modern Optics and the Role of Vavilov State Optical Institute in its Development in Russia. Part II
The structure of the State Optical Institute provided the availability of two departments – scientific and technical. The scientific department consisted of two subdivisions – the subdivision of visible and ultraviolet spectrums and the subdivision of infrared spectrum. D. S. Rozhdestvensky noted : "Close cooperation of technical and pure scientific departments of the institute offers such opportunities, which we as the university workers have not even dreamed about, for the engineering and most abstractive scientific experiment. Institutions of similar type, which establishment process has already started abroad, must result in the unprecedented flourishing of science and engineering".
The traditions of SOI cooperation with the industrial optical enterprises and scientific administration of the industry subject area arose in 1920–1930. In June 1924 in Leningrad the first scientific technical meeting on the matters of optical-mechanical industry was carried out; their disconnectedness was removed and the exchange of work experience was organized. It was the first major meeting in optics after 1763 (the meeting of the Saint Petersburg Academy of Sciences, in which the empress Catherine II took part, was carried out in 1763 and on the basis of the report of count S. Y. Rumovsky the matters of "optics increment" in the country were considered).
At the meeting Dmitry Sergeevich said : "It was easy to establish SOI, it was possible to marshal forces but how to apply those forces? It was easy to say but how to set about the work when this industry does not exist, when it does not express any desire to be developed by the slightest soft smile?" The challenging task in the beginning of the State Optical Institute activities was the organization of the industrial output of the main optical material – optical glass, which they have been trying to solve for about eight years already.
Since the Petrograd Plant of Optical Glass was closed due to the general devastation in 1920, D. S. Rozhdestvensky appealed to the scientific and technical department of the Supreme Council of National Economy and sent the special prepared statement to the Government – well-known "Note on Optical Glass’  with the stern warning of officials of that time about the necessity to restore the production of optical glass: "Not to continue the production of optical glass now is practically crime". Soon the optical industry was one of the first industries which stopped the purchase of optical glass abroad and established its own technologies of batch production of more than 350 varieties of this material.
Within very short time, the joint developments of SOI and plants and the studies which assisted to the plants obtained the systemic character. The optical engineering, on which the activities of the whole institute were concentrated, has become the development center. From this point on, the traditions were unchangeable and only became stronger: every year SOI convened the scientific conferences for the consideration of the reports of optical enterprises on the performed works and approval of the work plans for the next year. Practically every year these meetings (there were different variants) were carried out in SOI right up to early 90s. It was the most important organizational and technical event in the optical industry and simultaneously major technical achievement of SOI: opportunity of quite democratic multi-stage discussion of works (at least, in the civil area) by all interested parties and persons.
In March 1936 during the preparation for the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Soviet Country, the Academy of Sciences of the USSR considered the results of work of two major physical institutes established in 1918: SOI and PTI (Physical-Technical Institute). The session of AS USSR approved the organizational form of SOI as complex multi-purpose institute. In 1936 SOI became the part of All-Soviet Union Association of Optical-Mechanical Industry (ASUAOMI). Dmitry Sergeevich wrote about it [21, 22]: "Undoubtedly, now SOI must be the ideological leader of optical industry with the full responsibility. Managing the SOI ASUAOMI undertakes the obligation to support not only SOI operational part but its inspiring scientific nuclei as well".
The optical science received development in SOI under the leadership of D. S. Rozhdestvensky and S. I. Vavilov (1891–1951), henceforth – E. N. Tsarevsky (1904–1995) and M. M. Miroshnikov and revealed to the world something new – unique optical school SOI. Many scientific and technical areas and branches of the optical school SOI were always in the logical unity; the names of the leaders stood behind every section – V. P. Linnik (1889–1984), D. D. Maksutov (1896–1964), T. P. Kravets (1876–1955), I. V. Grebenshchikov (1887–1953), A. A. Lebedev (1893–1969), P. P. Feofilov, A. N. Terenin, Y. N. Denisyuk, G. T. Petrovsky (1931–2005), A. M. Bonch-Bruevich (1916–2006), A. I. Tudorovsky (1875–1963), Y. B. Aleksandrov (was born in 1936). The increase of scientist personnel, who know "everything about applied optics", to several hundreds and thousands of men with the retention of the highest technical level of fundamental research in the area of theoretical and physical optics gradually becomes the distinctive feature of SOI school from other acknowledged schools in the world.
The main "classes’ of the optical school of the State Optical Institute:
•S. O. Maizel – А. А. Gershun, L. N. Gassovsky, M. M. Gurevich, G. A. Ustyugov – A. I. Lazarev: spectrometry and lighting engineering school; it played outstanding role in the establishment of photometry, ophthalmology and spectroscopy.
•D. S. Rozhdestvensky – V. N. Fock – A. N. Terenin – S. E. Frish – Y. F. Gross – V. K. Prokofiev – P. P. Feofilov – B. S. Neporent – Y. B. Aleksandrov – N. G. Vlasov – A. M. Bonch-Bruevich: school of theoretical optics.
•A. I. Tudorovsky – Y. G. Yakhontov – G. G. Slyusarev – D. Y. Galperi – D. S. Volosov – A. P. Grammatin – M. A. Gan: unique school of analytical and computing optics; the reachest 2nd line of this multiserial school – computational departments, calculator laboratories and groups SOI, State Institute of Applied Optics, Leningrad Optical Mechanical Association, Kazan Optical Mechanical Plant, Krasnograd Mechanical Plant, "Arsenal", Novosibirsk Instrument Engineering Plant, Ural Optical Mechanical Plant, Leningrad Institute of Information Technologies, Mechanics and Optics, Moscow Higher Technical School, Rostov Optical Mechanical Plant, Azov Optical Mechanical Plant.
•V. P. Linnik – D. D. Maksutov: school of astronomical and adaptive optics.
•A. A. Lebedev – M. P. Vanyukov – B. A. Yermakov, A. A. Mak – L. D. Khazov – I. M. Belousova, N. N. Rozanov: school of laser physics and laser optics.
•A. A. Gershun – S. Y. Emdin – E. I. Krasovsky – B. V. Kuraev – Y. A. Tsvetkov: school of hydrooptics.
•D. S. Rozhdestvensky – I. V. Grebenshchikov – N. N. Kachalov – I. V. Obreimov – V. V. Vargin – A. I. Stozharov – L. I. Demkina – V. S. Doladugina – K. S. Yevstropiev, K. G. Kumanin – G. T. Petrovsky – K. V. Dukelsky, V. I. Arbuzov, A. A. Zhilin, I. A. Mironov: school of optical material science.
•A. A. Lebedev – V. G. Vafiadi – M. M. Miroshnikov, S. P. Tibilov – E. N. Mineev, R. N. Ivanova, Y. Y. Karizhensky, V. M. Samkov, G. M. Ovcharenko – V. I. Soloviev – V. P. Melnikova, S. N. Kolesov: school of thermal imaging engineering including engineering for medicine.
•S. I. Vavilov – T. P. Kravets – A. N. Terenin – P. P. Feofilov: school of light structure, luminescence, absorption of liquid colors, photochemistry, fluorescence.
During the decades of work in SOI well-known world schools in individual, small-scale problems of optics were established, for example, schools for shadow devices and interferometry (V. P. Linnik – A. N. Sakharievsky, Y. V. Kolomiitsov – A. A. Zabelin – M. A. Ukhanov – I. I. Dukhopel), in electron optics (А. А. Lebedev – V. N. Verntser – B. A. Kiselev – G. A. Bogdanovsky), in metal optics (S. V. Lyubarsky), in IR telescopes (M. M. Miroshnikov – I. K. Kupriyanov, L. A. Mirzoeva, V. F. Zakharenkov), in holography (Y. N. Denisyuk – G. B. Semenov – D. I. Staselko – V. I. Sukhanov – V. G. Sidorovich – R. R. Gerke).
It is important that in many scientific and technical areas of SOI hundreds of qualified specialists provided the scientific and often technical management of tens of the subdivisions of optical industry enterprises – research institutes, central design bureaus and plants implementing the designed innovative technologies.
In many aspects the authority of the State Optical Institute is based on the experience and knowledge of ordinary scientists. Sometimes, D. S. Rozhdestvensky was reproached in "SOIcentrism" . He considered the reproach premature while the optical industry was mainly concentrated in Leningrad, although the concept of "splitting off" was correct by itself. In 1931 he wrote : "Huge size of the institute starts to make difficulties for the management. Therefore, the SOI transformation into the large Optical Complex or Optical Academy is projected; it will consist of the optical institute proper (spectroscopy, photometry and applied physical optics) united by the joint central management with the Optical-Mechanical Institute, which is the industrial institute of ASUAOMI at the same time, and institute of photochemistry and photography and institute of optical glass".
After the Great Patriotic War SOI became the organizer of a number of the new optical centers in the country, it expanded and developed the network of its branches. Thus, in 1954 at the meeting of SOI Academic Council it was decided to appeal to the Ministry of Defense Industry of the USSR about the necessity to establish the branch the State Optical Institute – new optical center in the western part of the country.
SOI played significant role in the establishment of its first branch in Kazan in 1957–1966 and development of the scientific potential of the State Institute of Applied Optics in the following years . SOI scientists considered the established branch as their own brainchild; they brought in the part of themselves, their life experience, established life system, relationship inside the mature and healthy team, well-known Leningrad "charm", remnants of which are still occasionally being transferred to the grandchildren and great grandchildren in Derbyshki residential area in Kazan.
The visits of the branch by SOI principal scientists and leading scientists had great meaning for the young team. By the examples of specific scientific and technical challenges they taught young, energetic but insufficiently experienced directors of the branch laboratories the art of research planning and organization, art of management of research teams.
SOI directors – leading scientists – opticians D. S. Rozhdestvensky in 1920s and M. M. Miroshnikov in 2000s, who were worried about the insufficient development of the optical industry in the country, bring the matters of policy in relation to the important and prospective but not the largest branch of knowledge and industry, its influence on the construction and progress of the state industry in general to the national level as the crucial matters. Ultimately, the Appeal to the Government in 1920s resulted in the refusal of the country to import optical glass, formation of large-tonnage domestic output of optical materials, complete meeting the needs of the Red Army in the optical devices of all types during the period of the Great Patriotic War.
After several decades, the Honorary Director of SOI M. M. Miroshnikov published the forecasting articles about the fate of optics and SOI in the Russian state from the point of view of the first decade of the 21st century which have already come . The specialists-opticians think that the economical policy – innovations and technical modernization of Russia, which has been declared by the country leadership in 2010, will be determined by the availability of competitive optoelectronic industry and developed optical science in many aspects. It is doubtful whether it will be possible in the foreseeable future without the State Optical Institute.
It is required for the optical engineering and optical electronics to function in the country in the capacity of critical technologies in a number of complex special-purpose programs with actual financing, with determination of specific organizations and scientists who are responsible for the study subject in general and its main sections. Here, optics and opticians have right to expect the practical help from the holding "Shvabe" and State Corporation "Russian Technologies’ (Chemezov, Maksin, Rakovich). In this regard, the suggestions of the managers of "Shvabe" and "Russian Technologies’ arouse obvious interest in connection with the involvement of optical enterprises to the solution of major national projects based on the optical methods of environment study or new areas of optical and optoelectronic instrument engineering (for example, project of the National Heliophysical Complex of the Russian Academy of Sciences with the scope of works of more than 17 billion rubles). Content of such programs must comply with and promote the development of the basic sections of optics and optical engineering , which are offered by the corresponding member of AS USSR M. M. Miroshnikov.
The President of the Russian Society named after D. S. Rozhdestvensky, academician G. T. Petrovsky in his statement to the country opticians noted that the development of optics is the way to the creation of strong state and execution of the important state functions (military, economical, ecological, medical securities and development of information technologies) can be ensured only on the basis of high technical level of optical and optoelectronic instrument engineering. Let us consider only one function – military security. For example, during the years of the Great Patriotic War (1941–1945) the optical-mechanical industry of the country made instruments for 489900 artillery pieces, 136844 airplanes, 100000 tanks and self-propelled artillery weapons, great amount of binoculars and sights for sniper rifles.
According to the opinion of the principal designer of precision weapon, academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences A. G. Shipunov, at the present day only developed optical engineering, scientific management of which was performed by SOI for many years (and the role of SOI never gave rise to doubts), is capable to solve the main task of any armament – target destruction from the first shot at the distances of 10–20 km with the precision of 1 meter in any territory, under adverse weather conditions, during the daytime and nighttime.
Notwithstanding the establishment of tens of new central design bureaus and plants, significant growth of SOI (staff number was about 11500 people) in 1960s – 1980s, in early 1980s the need of all industries of the country national economy in optical-mechanical and optoelectronic devices has sharply grown. Again, the question connected with the necessity of SOI breaking up into smaller units arose. One of the first workers of SOI, Professor M. M. Gurevich, research supervisor of photometric instrument engineering in the USSR said : "Now, when SOI includes a number of schools, when it grew to the present size and when it does not have room for the expansion, the question about the reasonableness of the former integration policy stops being a question… The scope of works in the area of optical engineering continuously grows and there will be enough tasks for several such institutions".
Specifically for this reasons the further development of SOI and number of industry enterprises was planned at the end of 1980s. The large industrial work programs in thermal imaging and night viewing, power and nonlinear optics, cooled optics, optics for combat and military transport aviation, space optics, microelectronics, lens engineering, development of optical medical engineering, photo and cinematograph engineering, civil optical instrument engineering, in design of the new generation of automated optical devices – sensors of all types, in development of scientific and technical basis for optical instrument engineering were prepared in the country with the completion periods in 2000–2010. These programs provided the double increase of production space of the optical industry enterprises and growth of the volumes of output optical products by 3.5 times by 2000. They provided the integration of known and newly formed methods and technical means which gave new qualities to the established complexes: significant increase of life cycle, simultaneous use of several channels, new methods of iconics, synthesis of images, application of innovational lasers and photodetectors, including devices in UV, visible and IR spectrum regions, special lens and number of other innovations.
Reduction of optics role contradicts the prospects of further development of the state. Loss of the strategic preference and achievements in optics will have severe consequences for the country if it (optics) and State Optical Institute, which continues to stay the major scientific center, are not attached the necessary priorities.
However, as for now, it appears that in 2014 as in 1924 (at the first scientific and technical meeting in Leningrad concerning the matters of optical industry) again we ask ourselves the same question: how SOI can work more actively when the industry does not express any desire to be developed "by the slightest soft smile"? This question suggests the answer: it is possible only on the basis of the new development in the area of civil instrument engineering allowing the increase of the labor efficiency in the national industry by the order and in the area of military optics – to ensure the destruction of any technical devices of enemy from the first shot.
Major topical developments of SOI which made SOI famous
Аuthor did not include the developments which are making the gold fund of military optics, first of all, lens engineering for space crafts, laser engineering, heat generators for the detection of missile takeoff, hydrooptics products etc.; they are still beyond competition.
•Iconics. Papers of A. T. Ashcheulov, Y. N. Gorokhovsky, A. V. Luizov, A. Kraskovsky, V. R. Muratov gave interesting and practically important material for the study of the concepts of information capability of optical systems and methods of its improvement. Papers in iconics received significant development more than 40 years ago (M. M. Miroshnikov with his colleague V. F. Nesteruk, later – with the participation of I. A. Malyshev, including the papers in digital image processing).
•Space optics (A. I. Yelkin, I. A. Zabelina).
•Studies of atmospheric-optical phenomena from space (A. I. Lazarev).
•CAD of optical systems (M. A. Gan).
•Fourier spectrometry and radiometry (V. N. Vertsner, B. A. Kiselev).
•Civil instrument engineering (B. V. Gorbunov; S. G. Grenishin – reprographic and duplicating engineering; N. G. Yaroslavsky – spectral devices; Y. V. Kolomiitsov, B. M. Levin – measurement technology).
•Optics of natural environments (A. A. Gershun, S. Y. Emdin, Y. N. Mineev, Y. A. Tsvetkov). Principal novelty, obtained scientific groundwork are several decades ahead of the experience and knowledge of similar specialists in the USA.
•Optical technologies. (A. Y. Kuznetsov, K. G. Kumanin, T. N. Krylova, N. V. Suikovskaya). New challenge – to create the optical media with the negative value of refractive index.
SOI provided the scientific management with the design of hundreds and thousands of specific samples of optical technology in these scientific schools in its pilot-scale productions, central design bureaus and industrial plants (this huge scope of works cannot be even imagined). Amount of the employees in production in the optical industry reached 256.7 thousand people, in industrial optical science – 65 thousand people and all of them were connected with the activities of SOI one way or another. Managers and scientists of the Institute solved great complex of scientific problems in the area of photoelectronics and laser technology jointly with the enterprises and organizations of tens of ministries and agencies of country – Ministry of Electronics Industry, Ministry of Aviation Industry, Ministry of Radio Industry, Ministry of Communication Industry, Ministry of Shipping Industry, Ministry of General Engineering, Ministry of Engineering, Ministry of Agricultural Engineering, Ministry of Defense, Russian Academy of Sciences, industrial academies, major higher educational institutions (in a number of scientific subjects SOI kept the scientific supervision).
The active search of deserved place for SOI in the optical world by the scientists of SOI – participation in the execution of ambitious projects, energy concentration in the prospective areas of practical application of optics (optical material science, optical nanotechnologies, studies of propagation in UV and VUV spectrum regions where the physical properties of photon provide high efficiency of its effect on the substance, mastering of terahertz band, optical informatics, multi-spectral and hyper-spectral devices, light interaction with the substance at the pulse duration 10–15–10–18 s, laser physics, telescope construction on the basis of adaptive optics etc., and SOI develops many of these scientific areas) – will result in the goal achievement.
Having brilliantly developed the new schools of theoretical and applied optics, optical and optoelectronic instrument engineering, optical material science, laser technology, microphotoelectronics, modern optical technologies, the Vavilov State Optical Institute on the edge of two millenniums (1980s – 1990s) has become the major world center of optical science. For 96 years of vigorous activities the long way has been traveled. Great and incomparable labor of living and passed away workers, managers and scientists of SOI made it possible to achieve the enormous results leading to the strengthening of defense capacity and progressive development of Russia.
Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences G. T. Petrovsky in one of his statements said : "The twenty first century will be the century of light – the humanity will execute major part of different functions using the optical frequencies of electromagnetic field".