Shiller, Nikolai [Шиллер, Николай; Šiller, Nikolaj], b 13 March 1848 in Moscow, d 23 November 1910 in Saint Petersburg. Physicist. A graduate of Moscow University (1868), he did postgraduate work at Berlin University (1871–4). In 1876 he was appointed a professor at Kyiv University, and there in 1884 he assumed the first chair of theoretical physics in Ukraine. His major contributions were in the fields of thermodynamics and electromagnetism. He showed that the differential equations describing the second law of thermodynamics contain an integrating factor that is a universal function of temperature, and developed what became known as the Shiller (1900)–Carathéodory (1909) formulation of the second law of thermodynamics. His work on dielectric susceptibility and displacement currents was highly regarded by James Clerk Maxwell. Shiller was the founder of the Kyiv Physics and Mathematics Society (1890) and served as its president until 1904. In 1903 he became the rector of Kharkiv Technological Institute.

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 5 (1993).]

Encyclopedia of Ukraine