In 1971, an American journalist discovered a phenomenon that he called Popov’s effect. Having looked into a dozen of encyclopedias, he found out that each country has its own inventor of radio: Ferdinand Braun in Germany, Edouard Branly in France, Nikola Tesla in Yugoslavia and Alexander Popov in Russia. The Nobel Prize was awarded to Marconi, yet it happened for a valid reason: the prize is awarded to living people alone, and Alexander Popov had died by the time of the ceremony. Due to the decision of Nobel Prize Committee, the whole English-speaking world considers Marconi to be the inventor of radio. However, radio had been demonstrated in Russia a year before the issue of patent in America. On May 7, 1895, professor of physics at the Naval School in Kronstadt Alexander Popov spoke at the meeting of the Russian Society of Physics and Chemistry. He read a lecture titled On Relation of Metal Powders to Electric Oscillations. However, he could have chosen a more laconic and clearer formulation for his report – demonstration of device for receiving electromagnetic waves from the atmosphere. Unlike later fighters for domestic priorities, the officials of Russian Empire did not get excited, so Popov got no assistance on their part. When the inventor asked to allocate 1,000 rubles for building the world’s first radio station, the military minister replied: “Permission not granted.” Due to such champions of Russia’s interests, Popov’s first radiogram with words Heinrich Herz went on air only December 18, 1897. By the way, do you know why Alexander Popov transmitted these very words in his first radiogram? It was because this very German physicist proved by experiments the existence of electromagnetic waves.
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