Lev Aleksandrovich Chernov

Lev Aleksandrovich Chernov
(1911-1981)

 

Lev Aleksandrovich Chernov was born on May 9, 1911, in Tula to a family of a school teacher.

Since 1928 till 1932, he studied at the Physical department of the Moscow State University where he specialized in the physics of vibrations.

The pedagogical activity of Chernov started at the Yaroslavl Pedagogical Institute. Since 1940, Chernov was a professor at the department of theoretical physics, and, since 1944, he chaired this department. The lectures he gave at the Yaroslavl Pedagogical Institute covered all fields of theoretical physics.

The first research projects carried out by Chernov were concerned with the acoustics of moving media. He formulated important theorems on ray curvature and reciprocity principle and generalized the Kirchhoff's formula and the theorems on energy density and energy flux to the case of the moving media. These studies represented in the form of a candidate dissertation allowed him to receive the degree of candidate of science in 1940.

Subsequent Chernov's studies were concerned with the sound propagation in randomly inhomogeneous media. The results of these studies formed the basis of his doctoral dissertation that was later (in 1958) published in the form of a monograph under the title "Wave Propagation in a Medium with Random Inhomogeneities". The degree of doctor of science was conferred on Chernov in 1955.

The above-mentioned monograph was the world's first book on the theory of wave propagation in randomly inhomogeneous media. It contained the ray and wave theories of scattering at random inhomogeneities, the theory of the correlation of field fluctuations, and the theory describing the operation of focusing systems in inhomogeneous media.

The monograph has received wide recognition. It served and still serves as manual for those who study the theory of wave propagation in randomly inhomogeneous media, specifically, for scientists, engineers, and students specializing in acoustics, radio-wave physics, and optics. The monograph was translated into English and survived two editions in the US.

In the subsequent years, Chernov proposed the "local" method that became the main tool in solving the problems on multiple scattering of waves. This method significantly contributed to the development of the theory of wave propagation in randomly inhomogeneous media.

The results obtained by using this method were described in another monograph published by Chernov in 1975 under the title "Waves in Randomly Inhomogeneous Media". In this book, he presented the theory of strongly fluctuating fields.

The books and papers written by Chernov have become classic, and they are cited in most papers on wave scattering by the authors from all over the world.

In 1958, Chernov moved to the Acoustics Institute (Moscow). Since then, his tutorial activity was connected with the Moscow Physico-Technical Institute. For years, he was chair of department. He developed a unique course on the theory of wave propagation in layered inhomogeneous media.

Chernov gave much attention to educating young scientists: a large number of his former students have become top-level specialists.

Along with the scientific and pedagogical activities, Chernov was involved in administrative activity: since 1950 till 1961, he was deputy director of the Acoustics Institute, and, later, he was head of laboratory; he was a member of the Scientific Council of the institute and chaired its methodical section. Chernov was a member of the editorial board of the "Akusticheskii zhurnal" (Acoustical Physics).