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Nikolai Yevgrafovich Kochin

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St Petersburg, Russia

31 Dec 1944

Moscow, USSR

Kochin graduated from Petrograd University (St Petersburg changed its name to Petrograd in 1914 and then to Leningrad in 1924) in 1923. He was appointed to Leningrad State University in 1924 and taught mathematics and mechanics there until 1934.

As an undergraduate he had already met Pelageia Polubarinova and the two found that they had much in common, for Kochin's research was on meteorology, gas dynamics and shock waves in compressible fluids. In 1925 Pelageia Polubarinova and Kochin married by simply registering the event. This was all that was necessary in Russia following the revolution.

Kochin moved Moscow University in 1934 and worked there for the rest of his life. In addition he was head of the mechanics section of the Mechanics Institute of the USSR Academy of Sciences from 1939 to 1944.

The German armies reached the outskirts of Moscow in late 1941 and his wife and two daughters were evacuated to Kazan. Kochin, however, remained in Moscow carrying out military research. By 1943 the German army had suffered defeats by Soviet troops and Moscow was safe enough for Kochina to return. This she did, but Kochin became ill and died before the end of the war. At the time of his death he had been in the middle of lecture courses and Kochina took over the courses and completed delivering them.

Kochin's research was on meteorology, gas dynamics and shock waves in compressible fluids. He gave the solution to the problem of small amplitude waves on the surface of an uncompressed liquid in Towards a Theory of Cauchy-Poisson Waves in 1935.

He also worked on the pitch and roll of ships. In aerodynamics he introduced formulae for aerodynamic force and for the distribution of pressure.

He wrote textbooks on hydromechanics and vector analysis.

Source:School of Mathematics and Statistics University of St Andrews, Scotland