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Ivan Osipovich Yarkovsky

Born: 24-May-1844
Birthplace: Osveya, Belarus
Died: 22-Jan-1902
Location of death: Heidelberg, Germany
Cause of death: Cancer - unspecified
Remains: Buried, Heidelberg, Germany

Gender: Male
Religion: Roman Catholic
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Physicist, Engineer

Nationality: Poland
Executive summary: Yarkovsky effect

Ivan Osipovich Yarkovsky was a Polish civil and mechanical engineer who spent most of his career in Russia, working for the Alexandrovsk Railway Company, but he is best known for his work as an amateur physicist. In 1888 he described a faint but important theoretical thermal effect on planets, comets, and other objects orbiting the Sun, in a paper that was widely ignored and generally forgotten. Now called the Yarkovsky effect, this phenomenon was described again almost fifty years after Yarkovsky's death by astronomer Ernst J. Ípik, who had read Yarkovsky's paper as a young man. A century after Yarkovsky's work, subsequent research has shown that the Yarkovsky effect contributes to the rotation rates of asteroids and helps to disperse asteroid groups. Yarkovsky also conducted research into heavier-than-air flight, designed (but never built) a ship propelled by sea-wave energy, and wrote a book propagating his "kinetic theory of universal gravitation."

Father: Osip Janovic (physician, d. 1847)
Wife: Elena Sendrikovskaya Alexandrova
Son: Vitold (aviator)

    University: BS, Technological Institute, St. Petersburg, Russia (1870)
    University: MS, Technological Institute, St. Petersburg, Russia (1872)

    Moltsov Locomotive Engine Co. (1896-1901)
    Nevsky Shipbuilding Company (1894-96)
    Alexandrovsk Railway Company (1873-94)
    Russian Technological Society President (1889)
    Polish Ancestry
    Lithuanian Ancestry

Author of books:
Kinetic Theory of Universal Gravitation (1888)

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