The Institute of Applied Physics RAS in Nizhny Novgorod (former Gorky) began independent activities in April 1, 1977. It was created on the basis of several divisions of the Radiophysical Research Institute (RRI) of the Ministry of Higher Education of Russian Federation, and academician A. V. Gaponov-Grekhov was appointed its director. The IAP was conceived and created as a multi-purpose institution combining fundamental and applied studies in the field of plasma physics, high-power electronics, physics of the atmosphere, hydrophysics, and quantum electronics.
The birth of the IAP RAS opened up an “academic” page in the history of Nizhny Novgord physics and was a natural continuation of rapid (beginning with the thirties) formation and development of radio physics and radio electronics in Gorky.
The decision on the establishment of a “special Radiophysical Faculty for preparation of specialists in radiophysics for scientific research institutes and factory laboratories of radar and electric-vacuum industry” was taken by the Soviet of People's Commissars of the USSR immediately after termination of the Second world war on June 29, 1945.
The first dean of the first radiophysical faculty in the USSR was M. T. Grekhova – Honored Science and Engineering Worker, honorary citizen of Nizhny Novgorod. In 1956 M. T. Grekhova was the initiator of creating the Riophysical Research Institute (RRI), whose Director she was until 1972. A memorial plaque is unveiled now on the RRI building in honor of Maria Tikhonovna Grekhova.
To the moment of the establishment of the Radiophysical Faculty Nizhny Novgorod (since 1932 to 1991 the Gorky city) has become one of the largest centers of radio electronic industry. Since the time of the celebrated Nizhny Novgorod radiolaboratory (1918–1928), scientists lived and worked here, who are famous for their works in the theory of oscillations, statistical radiophysics, propagation of radio waves, electrodynamics and electronics of ultrahigh frequencies: V. P. Lebedinsky, M. A. Bonch-Bruevich, V. P. Vologdin, V. A. Kotelnikov, and A. A. Pistolkors. At the beginning of the 30s Moscow scientists A. A. Andronov, V. I. Gaponov, M. T. Grekhova, E. A. Leontovich and G. S. Gorelik arrived in Nizhny Novgorod.
The creation of the Radiophysical Faculty ensured preparation of specialists in radiophysics and successful development of activities on physical and quantum electronics, microwave electrodynamics, propagation of radio waves, and acoustics. The contributions of A. A. Andronov, M. T. Grekhova, G. S. Gorelik, V. L. Ginzburg, M. L. Levin, and their followers and disciples made radiophysics an independent field of knowledge. In the broad sense, radiophysics is science dealing with oscillations and waves of various physical nature, which encompasses the entire spectrum of oscillatory and wave problems: excitation of oscillations and waves in nonequilibrium media and systems, emission and propagation of waves, wave-medium interactions, recording and processing of oscillatory and wave signals, inverse wave problems of remote diagnostics.
Generality in formulation of these problems and in methods of their theoretical and experimental studies gives unique capabilities for efficient collaboration of specialists studying electromagnetic and acoustic waves, dynamics of the ocean and atmosphere, stochastic dynamics of nonequilibrium systems and turbulence, laser physics, and many other subjects. Correspondingly, this increases capabilities for solving applied problems. The potential of such collaboration has been implemented in full measure at the IAP RAS.