Kapitsa was born in Cambridge, England, in 1928 where his father, Nobel-prize winning physicist Pyotr Kapitsa, was on a business trip.
Sergei Kapitsa graduated from the Moscow Aviation Institute in 1949.
After receiving his doctoral degree in physics and mathematics he spent 35 years as head of the Russia's largest department of physics at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology and made contributions to physics in supersonic aerodynamics, applied electrodynamics and accelerator physics.
He was best known to the general public as host of the long running science TV show Ochevidnoye-Neveroyatnoye (Evident, but Incredible) launched in 1973 for which he was awarded UNESCO's Kalinga Prize for the Popularization of Science in 1979, RIA Novosti reported.
The Guinness Book of Records listed him as the television show anchor with longest service record.
In 2012, Kapitsa was awarded the first gold medal of the Russian Academy of Sciences for outstanding achievements in the field of promotion of scientific knowledge.
His death is a "tremendous loss," Russian Academy of Sciences presidium member Vladimir Fortov said.
"He was a person who's done unbelievably much for science, culture and education," Fortov said. "Kapitsa was a person of broad views, and he told about the science in such a manner that even the scientist engaged in that particular field could not turn away from the screen."