Scientific and inventive work of A.L. Chizhevsky

The contribution of A.L. Chizhevsky to science is significant. He laid the foundation for several fundamental research areas.

Space ecology. A.L. Chizhevsky’s concept of the environment includes not only habitability conditions of biological systems and humans purely attributable to earth, but also the extra-terrestrial space.

Chizhevsky was the first to establish the relationship between the dynamics of natural processes in the biosphere and dynamic influence of space factors, primarily solar activity. Thereby he formed the basis for a new discipline – heliobiology (study of the sun’s effect on biology).

In 1920s, in Kaluga, following K.E. Tsiolkovsky’s advice, A.L. Chizhevsky experimentally explores the influence of “Hess rays”, i.e. ionising, penetrating radiation of extra-terrestrial origin (cosmic particles flux) on living objects. Thus was effectuated the first experiment in space biology and this was the first brick laid in the foundation of extensive research, which later became known as outer space epidemiology and space microbiology.

Discovery of the influence of atmospheric ions on the human body. A.L. Chizhevsky in 1919-1922 was the first among the world’s scientists who carried out experimental studies on the effect of only negative or only positive ions on animals and found that negatively charged air ions have beneficial effect on a living organism, while positively charged ions have the opposite effect. To create air ions he developed and implemented a special device – electroeffluvial (air ionising) chandelier, which is now called “Chizhevsky chandelier”. This chandelier creates biologically active air oxygen and cleans the air of dust and microorganisms.

The idea of premises’ aero-ionification (cleaning the air with the use of negatively charged ions) is currently becoming more and more popular. Deterioration of the environmental situation stimulates the development of air conditioning, purification and ionisation systems, both in our country and abroad.

The electro-aerosol therapy method was an incidental invention of the scientist during his study of the effect of ions.

The invention of a new method of electrical painting by electrostatic spraying of paints and painting products in a constant electric field of high potential gradient.

The invention of chemical reactions electric stimulation method. Along with the electrical painting method this invention marked the emergence of electronic technology in manufacturing.

Overall, this work resulted in the author’s concept of aero-ionification of national economy, which gained worldwide recognition. In our days method of electrostatic painting is widely applied in the industry all over the world.

The invention of anti-icer for aircraft. In October 1937 A.L. Chizhevsky filed an authorship claim for the electrostatic high-voltage anti-icer for aircraft (EVAS). Eventually, the idea of electrostatic high-voltage anti-icer for aircraft transformed into the creation of electro-expulsive de-icing system used on aircrafts of different classes.

Discovery of electrohemodynamics. Chizhevsky studied blood in motion and found some electrical properties of erythrocyte sedimentation reaction. For the first time in the history of medicine, owing to his research, the blood appeared as an integrated dynamic system. Chizhevsky’s works on electrohemodynamics opened up new opportunities for more accurate diagnoses for many diseases and for discovery of new therapeutic methods.

As a result of these experiments, the scientist came to the conclusion that it is unwise to transfuse or inject blood, which shows isotopic reaction under the influence of electricity. While examining a donor it is not enough to establish an appropriate blood group, rhesus factor, etc., to assume that such blood is suitable for another person’s body. This discovery has fundamental importance for understanding of physiology of blood and early diagnosis of various pathological phenomena. Its importance in the history of haematology is considered equivalent to the discovery of blood circulation.

The introduction to the clinical practice and development of the new method, which allowed discovering dynamic structure of blood moving through vessels, provides us with timely opportunity to intervene and raise the fallen charge of electricity, i.e. it enabled prevention of disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) for healthy people and animals using air ionisation.

However, not all the ideas of A.L. Chizhevsky were equally lucky: some of them are being actively developed (solar biology, air ionisation, electrostatic painting), others are being developed slowly (electrohemotology), although this work is of great practical importance for diagnosis of many diseases. But there are also ideas which haven’t found any followers today, such as aeroionification (air ionising) mask, the method of intensification of chemical reactions, the method of differential and early diagnosis of cancer, the electrostatic method for production of concrete of maximum strength and density.