Boris V. Somov

Russian Federation



Professor Boris Vsevolodovich Somov (born 7 January 1945), an outstanding Russian scientist, a recognized expert in the physics of solar and cosmic plasmas, suddenly passed away on 2 December 2022 in Moscow.

Boris Somov graduated from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology and then worked at the Theoretical department of the Lebedev Physical Institute under the supervision of Sergei Ivanovich Syrovatskii, who predetermined his scientific passion—the physics of solar flares and the theory of magnetic reconnection. As part of a team of the Physical Institute, Boris Somov was awarded the State Prize of the USSR for the series of studies entitled “Current-sheet dynamics and solar activity” published in 1966–1980. In the early 1990s, he moved to the Lomonosov Moscow State University, where he headed the Solar-Physics Department of the Shternberg Astronomical institute. In parallel with his research activities, Boris Somov constantly gave much attention to teaching. Boris Vsevolodovich was always benevolent to new students and has raised a galaxy of disciples, which work far and wide.

Colleagues knew Boris Vsevolodovich as a profound theoretical physicist. He regarded going from general to particular as his basic research principle. It is this view of the fundamentals of the space-plasma physics that he first of all tried to convey to his disciples. At the same time, he readily perceived new ideas, insistently criticised their drawbacks and emphasized their hidden merits. As recently as a week before his untimely passing away, Boris Somov guided the 705th scientific seminar “Plasma Astrophysics and Solar Physics.” While closing the session, Boris Vsevolodovich touched upon new discoveries and developments in science, sometimes unexpected at first sight. According to his words, “after the 700th seminar, exotic things are no longer anticipated but a quiet phase of balanced understanding comes, when one thinks: but it is just so that it should be!”


Past affiliation(s) within the IAU

  • Past Member of Division E Sun and Heliosphere (until 2022)
  • Past Member of Division F Planetary Systems and Astrobiology (2021-2022)
  • Past Member of Division G Stars and Stellar Physics (2021-2022)
  • Past Member of Inter-Division E-F-G Commission Impact of Magnetic Activity on Solar and Stellar Environments (2021-2022)
  • Past Member of Commission 10 Solar Activity (until 2015)
  • Past Member of Division II Sun & Heliosphere (until 2012)

Areas of interest

1 - General: 1.6 - Astronomy Education

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