14 Facts About Andrey Kapitsa


Andrey Petrovich Kapitsa was a Soviet and Russian geographer and Antarctic explorer, discoverer of Lake Vostok, the largest subglacial lake in Antarctica.


Andrey Kapitsa was a member of the Kapitsa family, a scientific dynasty in Russia.


Andrey Kapitsa's father was Nobel Prize-winning physicist Pyotr Kapitsa, and his maternal grandfather was mathematician and naval engineer Aleksey Krylov.


Pyotr Kapitsa's sons Sergey and Andrey were born in Cambridge, United Kingdom, where their father was conducting research.


Andrey Kapitsa graduated from Moscow State University, Faculty of Geography, in 1953.


Andrey Kapitsa worked in the Laboratory of Experimental Geomorphology at the faculty since.


In 1958 Andrey Kapitsa defended his Candidate of Sciences thesis "Morphology of East Antarctic Ice Sheet", and in 1968 he defended his Doctor of Science thesis "Subglacial relief of Antarctica".


Andrey Kapitsa was a participant in four Soviet Antarctic Expeditions between 1955 and 1964.


Andrey Kapitsa theorized that the tremendous pressure exerted by the cumulative mass of thousands of vertical meters of ice could increase the temperature at the lowest portions of the ice sheet to the point where the ice would melt.


Andrey Kapitsa used seismic soundings in the region of Vostok Station made during the Soviet Antarctic Expeditions in 1959 and 1964 to measure the thickness of the ice sheet, discovering two spikes of reflection.


Andrey Kapitsa was the first to suggest the existence of a subglacial lake in this region, which came to be known as Lake Vostok.


Andrey Kapitsa was elected into the ranks of the Academy in 1970 and was honored with a 1971 USSR State Prize and 1972 MSU's Dmitry Anuchin Prize for the creation of the Atlas of Antarctica.


Andrey Kapitsa supported the theory of natural causes behind the Antarctic ozone hole as well as the theory of natural reasons behind global warming.


Andrey Kapitsa died in Moscow on 2 August 2011 at the age of 80.