The influence of electromagnetic fields on electrically conducting liquid materials is a complex phenomenon attracting more and more interests of specialists in the fields of metallurgy, technology, energetics, medicine and geophysics. The major part of the phenomena concerning the movement of electrically conducting liquid media in electromagnetic fields is studied by magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) which is comparatively a new branch of the science based on the principles of electrodynamics and mechanics of continuous media. In USSR, MHD has passed the full scale distance of the development practically covering all the known fields of the science. This discipline obliged notably, not only by its successes to the development of the MHD method for the generation of electric power, but also by the development of MHD theory and MHD technology in metallurgy and material science which have enriched MHD with new ideas and turned it into productive force helping it out of the sphere of abstractions.
The current review of basic Soviet publications obviously appears for the first time in the Western journals and demonstrates the uneasy way for MHD and the main achievements along the way of MHD developed. The extremely great value of information containing in Soviet publications on hydrodynamics of conducting media can not be in essence concentrated in the style of a journal article. Nevertheless, it is possible to mark out the main fields, where the most significant results have been achieved.
1) Magneto-hydraulics and -hydromechanics including those in strong magnetic fields
2) MHD turbulence
3) MHD machinery (pumps, generators, throttles)
4) MHD technology of liquid metal
Beside of these usual sections of modern MHD, there are some new sections which have appeared comparatively recently in the USSR. They are electrovortex flows where current in liquid material interacts with the magnetic field induced by the current and capillary MHD-flows which is a small-scale MHD flow with a small-scale boundary and with strong surface forces at the boundary. Appearance of such new sections is first of all obliged to penetrate into MHD and the series of engineering sciences in electrometallurgy and electric welding mutually. Such an interfusion guarantees us the development of MHD in the future.