A new postage stamp will be issued in honor of the bicentennial of the mathematician P. L. Chebyshev

20 May, 14:00

May 16, 2021, marks exactly two centuries since the birth of the great Russian mathematician Pafnuty Lvovich Chebyshev. Thus, a commemorative postage stamp will be issued. When to expect it, how it looks and who participated in its development – in our material.

Pafnuty Lvovich Chebyshev made a significant contribution to the development of Russian mathematics. Fundamental works in the field of number theory, probability theory, and function theory came from under his pen. Chebyshev was elected an academician of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences, he founded the St. Petersburg mathematical school – or, as it is also called, Chebyshev mathematical school, one of the best in the world. From childhood, he was interested in mechanics, at a more mature age was engaged in the issues of its applications. Chebyshev wrote several scientific papers on the topic and designed several mechanisms himself.

One of them was the first walking machine, which the scientist called “plantigrade”. It flaunts on a new postage stamp, which will be released on May 20, 2021. You can watch the plantigrade machine in action on the website “Mechanisms of P.L. Chebyshev”. Besides this mechanism, which converts the rotational motion on a certain region into motion almost by a straight line, the stamp displays mathematical formulas – the beginning of the theorem on the integrability conditions for a differential binomial. And, of course, one can see a portrait of the mathematician himself on the stamp, drawn from photographs of the 1860s, his surname and initials, years of birth and death.

The decision to issue the stamp was made by the Commission of the Federal Communications Agency on State Signs of Postal Payment by the request of the Presidium of the Russian Academy of Sciences in September 2020. All stages of the stamp creation were discussed at the art council of JSC “Marka” – the only enterprise in Russia that produces and distributes postage stamps. The Russian Academy of Sciences managed the process of creating a commemorative stamp at all stages.

Sheets with 15 stamps with decorated margins, as well as a first-day envelope and a first-day postmark will be issued: the postmark is pasted on the unmarked envelope, and then finished with a stamp with the date of its issue. It is no longer possible to use such a postmark for sending letters, however, the decorated envelope itself has a value for philatelists. It will be possible to purchase such stamps and envelopes in the “Collector” salons under the auspices of Marka JSC and in the Russian Post offices.

It is the second stamp issued as a tribute to the mathematician. The first commemorative postage sign was timed to the 125th anniversary of his birth in 1946. On the Soviet stamp, there is the portrait of Pafnuty Lvovich, the caption “The Great Russian Mathematician”, as well as the years marking the dates of his birth and 125th anniversary. 

An interdisciplinary research laboratory at the Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science of St. Petersburg State University is named after Pafnuty Lvovich Chebyshev. Moreover, the carbonaceous asteroid 1969 TL 4, discovered in 1969, and the supercomputer SKIF MSU “Chebyshev” bear the name of the famous mathematician. There is also “Pafnuty Lvovich Chebyshev Grants Program” (Chebyshev grants) named in his honor. It provides full support (including travel to St. Petersburg and local expenses in the city) to up to 1,000 participants of the International Congress of Mathematicians Living in Developing Countries that will be held in St. Petersburg on July 6-14, 2022.