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About Staff Member
The idea of the museum establishing occurred to a remarkable scientist, corresponding member of the USSR Academy of Sciences, S.A.Altshuler in the 1970s. But every task needs a certain executor, who would live for this work. Such a person is Igor I. Silkin, an electrician of fur-producing factory, whose vocation is to collect old and ancient scientific equipment and books on history of science and engineering. The meeting of Semyon Aleksandrovich and Igor Ivanovich turned out to be a corner-stone for future museum establishment.
For a few years I.I.Silkin has been looking enthusiastically not only for Ye.K.Zavoisky's equipment, but also for everything that is connected with the period from 1920 to 1960. One could meet him in second-hand bookshops, at the bookseller's, in archives of Kazan and Moscow, at Physics Departments of all universities and institutes of Kazan City, in Moscow museums and institutions, and in other places, which are not very popular among connoisseurs of rarities.
One should mention the following episode, which is extremely significant. Igor Ivanovich read in Zavoisky's diaries, that the latter made experiments in meridian circle of the Engelgardt Astronomical Observatory. The next day Silkin left for the Observatory to the suburb of Kazan and to astonishment of everybody (almost after 50 years!) found a brass box, darkened from time, in a neglected room. Actually it was a home-made microwave oscillator, which Ye.K.Zavoisky used in his experiments, practicing a method of grid current.
I.I.Silkin wrote a number of essays and the monograph "Yevgeny Konstantinovich Zavoisky", which was published by the 200th anniversary of Kazan University. It represents chronologically-ordered archive documents and materials of the Kazan period of scientific work and teaching of one of the outstanding physicists of our country, academician, and the author of several great inventions. A book, describing the Moscow period of Zavoisky's life, is being prepared for the press.
We should also express our gratitude to I.I.Silkin's wife and assistant Nazhiya G. Usmanova, who gives moral and quite important financial support to her husband in his work. Their son Oleg takes active part in repairs and restoration of old devices and apparatus designed by Ye.K.Zavoisky, implementing Igor Ivanovich's ideas.
Now all of us have an opportunity to see the equipment used by Ye.K.Zavoisky and learn a lot about the life of the remarkable person.
Project carried out by
N.L.Zinkina, I.I.Silkin, N.Z.Shamsutdinova