Stoletov Alexander

Stoletov Alexander

Alexander Stoletov, Russian physicist, founder of electrical engineering, and professor in Moscow University, was born on10 August 1839.

Contribution to science:

Magnetism (1871–1872)

  • Stoletov was the first to show that with the increase of the magnetic field the magnetic susceptibility of iron grows, but then begins to decrease.
  • Built the curve of the magnetic permeability of ferromagnetics, known as the Stoletov curve.
  • Developed two new methods for measuring magnetic properties of various materials.

Photoelectric effect (1888–1891)

  • Studied the outer photoelectric effect, discovered by Hertz in 1887. Published the results in six works.
  • Developed quantitative methods for the study of the photoelectric effect.
  • Discovered the direct proportionality between the intensity of light and the corresponding photo induced current (Stoletov's law)
  • Discovered the Stoletov constant which defines the ratio between the intensity of the electric current and the gas pressure under the maximum current.
  • Built the first solar cell based on the outer photoelectric effect and estimated the response time of the photoelectric current.
  • Discovered the decrease of the solar cell's sensitivity with time (fatigue of solar cells).


  • Calculated the proportion between electrodynamic and electrostatic units, producing a value very close to the speed of light.


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