Schmidt, Otto Yul’evich
BornMogilev, Belarus, 18/30 September 1891
DiedMoscow, Russia, 7 September 1956
Otto Schmidt was a prominent Soviet researcher of the Arctic, a geophysicist, and an authority on cosmogony. He put forward the very challenging Schmidt theory of the origin of the solar system, in accordance with which the planets were formed from loose “meteoritic” (solid) material that had been gravitationally captured by the Sun as it passed through an interstellar gas and dust cloud.
Of German and Latvian descent, Schmidt graduated with a gold medal from a high school in Kyiv (Kiev; 1909). In 1909–1913, he continued with his education at Kyiv University as a mathematician. Being a Bolshevik activist, after the October Revolution of 1917, he was a board member of several People’s Commissariats (ministries). Schmidt was a vocal proponent of developing the higher education system, publishing, and science in Soviet Russia. In this time he became one of the founders and Editor-in-Chief of the Great Soviet...
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