Biography of Yakov Isidorovich Perelman (1882-1942)

Belarusian scientist born on December 4, 1882 in Bielostock (Grodniy) and died on March 16, 1942 in Leningrad (today Petersburgo).

Raised in a poor family (his father was administrative a textile factory and his mother Professor of primary education), the premature death of his father made her mother out who took him and his brothers education. Perelman began primary studies in 1890, and in 1895 entered the school of trades of the town of Bielostock, only one school in the village. Thanks to your spirit awake and know-how of their teachers, soon became interested in scientific research, which then also translated into an interest in disclosure, since since 1899, it would begin to publish articles in the local newspaper Grodniy provincial news, under the pseudonym formed by their own acronym, "Y. P.".

The first of the articles he/she wrote was "on the occasion of the rain of fire that we expect", referencing the apocalyptic belief that at this time was of that was approaching the end of the world, since supposedly on November 1, 1899, according to the old calendar, a rain of meteorites would disappear any sign of life on Earth, something that Perelman was quick to deny with a simple language close to any reader, ensuring the Starfall's Leonidas, which is an event that occurs with some regularity, may only cause a spectacle of great beauty on Earth and completely harmless.

After finishing his studies, he/she joined the Forest Institute of Petersburgo, where they were imparted not only matters related to forestry, but it also taught mathematics and physics, closest to the young Perelman disciplines.

Financial difficulties forced him to regularly collaborate with the magazine nature and men, a situation that continued until the death of his mother, in May 1903, misfortune, however, gave him access to scholarships that allowed her to pay for studies to conclude them in 1908. His thesis project was on "Wood of Staraya-Rus, their equipment and production factory". Perelman was awarded the title of Forester of first grade diploma of honor. In spite of this, it would never exert their profession. Rather, shortly after completing his studies, he/she devoted himself completely to journalism, and remained on the editorial staff (as the Secretary of the editor) of nature and men until its closure after is outbreak of the October revolution, which led 17 years of intense activity during which they wrote more than 500 articles and notes, not only of astronomy, but mathematics, physics and technique, most of them signed with the pseudonym (up to eleven different); also, thanks to her intercession, were published the works of other relevant authors, such as articles "weightless" and "out of the Earth" of Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, who, thanks to this partnership, would maintain correspondence until her death in 1935. He/She was also responsible for that magazine published a collection of short stories and novels under the name in the world of adventures, published as a free supplement in it they wrote authors of the calibre of Gerbert Wels, Arturo Conan-Doil or Edgar Po.

Despite this feverish activity, it would not be until the publication of the first part of his first book when his science (and especially his rakish informative style) bankrupt the borders of the magazine; Recreational physics came at the hands of the Professor of the University of San Petersburg Opest Danilovichv Xvolson, who not only recognized his work, they encouraged him to continue in this direction, not leave his astonishment when he/she discovered in him an anonymous Forester without just physics studies.

In 1915 he/she married Anna Davidovna Kaminskaya, and between 1916 and 1917 he/she attended the Special Conference of fuel, which presented a theory of setting a time schedule to save energy which was subsequently performed throughout Russia and, later, throughout Europe.

Valetín Petrovich Gluskho described to Perelman as "mathematics singer, singer-songwriter of physics, astronomy and space Herald poet"; its own methodology allowed him to not only give readers the basics of recreational science factors, but also to create a new type of educational, enjoyable and educational materials at the same time, accessible to hundreds of thousands of people.

The closure of the magazine nature and men, following the outbreak of the Soviet Revolution, brought a change of horizons for Perelman, who thereafter would be devoted entirely to the dissemination of science and education. In February 1918 he/she began working as an inspector of the national Commissariat of education of the Soviet Russia. He/She developed new educational materials and programs for courses in physics, mathematics and astronomy, while he/she taught these subjects at different schools.

The idea of founding the first magazine of scientific popularization of the new Soviet Russia soon attracted him, since all publishers had been closed after the revolution. The project was supported by the Government, and in 1919 came to light the magazine in the workshop of nature, which was directed by Perelman until 1929. He/She helped distinguished scientists as the aforementioned Tsiolkovsky, A. E. Fersman, M. Y. Piotrovski and N. A. Rimin.

This editorial work were joined by multiple collaborations with Perelman in other publications, such as the Red newspaper, science and technique thought of pedagogy, time, and many others. Apart from the above mentioned magazine, he/she was editor of recreational arithmetic, Algebra recreation, recreational astronomy and mechanical recreation. He/She was author of more than 40 books of popular science, 18 textbooks and different textbooks. Only your recreational physics in Russian have been published more than 30 editions.

Between 1931 and 1933 he/she participated in the direction of LenGIMR (the research group of the movement radioactive of Leningrad), and was head of the Department of propaganda. He/She was involved in the first Soviet rocket project, as well as others who initiated the Russian space race, in close collaboration with the scientist Sergey Pavlovich Korolev, who is correspondance until 1936.

The project that put more effort and more time dedicated was, however, the House of the recreational science, that during the Decade of the thirties of the twentieth century was visited in mass by the students of all Leningrad; in it, from children to adults could approach advancements of the technique in a simple and pleasant way. The war, however, thwarted the project, and most of the exposed materials swept away.

Perelman, involved actively in the Soviet project, did not hesitate to put their scientific knowledge in the service of the Union of Republics in the difficult years of the German invasion. He/She was reader of soldiers and sailors, developed useful topics for Soviet military operations and continued his work of writer, focused on the needs of their nation. However, the blockade of Leningrad was gradually diluted their activities until, as almost all the survivors, only he/she could worry about their survival, due to starvation and the cold. Malnutrition could first with his wife, in January 1942, and later, on March 16 of that same year.

Despite not having made any relevant scientific discovery, his works have been deserving of more than 300 editions in Russia, with a total of almost 15 million circulation. His books were also translated into several languages, including German, French, Spanish, English, Italian, Czech, Portuguese, Bulgarian and Finnish. Their texts, easy to understand and enjoyable reading, are full of facts and comments to passages of literature, with simple explanations of how arise the phenomena of nature. Their informative work continues today.

Addresses on the Internet

http://www.geocities.com/yakov_perelman ; page dedicated to Yakov Perelman, with some texts translated into the Spanish.