Nikolay Semyonov

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Nikolay Semyonov (or Semenov)
Nikolay Semyonov Nobel.jpg
Nikolay Nikolayevich Semyonov

15 April [ O.S. 3 April] 1896
Died25 September 1986(1986-09-25) (aged 90)
Moscow, Soviet Union
Resting place Novodevichy Cemetery, Moscow
Known for chemical transformation
Awards Nobel Prize in chemistry (1956)
Lomonosov Gold Medal (1969)
Scientific career
Fields physicist and chemist
Doctoral advisor Abram Ioffe
Doctoral students David A. Frank-Kamenetskii

Nikolay Nikolayevich Semyonov (or Semenov), ForMemRS [1] (Russian : Никола́й Никола́евич Семёнов; 15 April [ O.S. 3 April] 1896 – 25 September 1986) was a Russian/Soviet physicist and chemist. Semyonov was awarded the 1956 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work on the mechanism of chemical transformation.

Russian language East Slavic language

Russian is an East Slavic language, which is official in the Russian Federation, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, as well as being widely used throughout Eastern Europe, the Baltic states, the Caucasus and Central Asia. It was the de facto language of the Soviet Union until its dissolution on 25 December 1991. Although, nowadays, nearly three decades after the breakup of the Soviet Union, Russian is used in official capacity or in public life in all the post-Soviet nation-states, as well as in Israel and Mongolia, the rise of state-specific varieties of this language tends to be strongly denied in Russia, in line with the Russian World ideology.

Old Style and New Style dates 16th-century changes in calendar conventions

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Physicist scientist who does research in physics

A physicist is a scientist who specializes in the field of physics, which encompasses the interactions of matter and energy at all length and time scales in the physical universe. Physicists generally are interested in the root or ultimate causes of phenomena, and usually frame their understanding in mathematical terms. Physicists work across a wide range of research fields, spanning all length scales: from sub-atomic and particle physics, through biological physics, to cosmological length scales encompassing the universe as a whole. The field generally includes two types of physicists: experimental physicists who specialize in the observation of physical phenomena and the analysis of experiments, and theoretical physicists who specialize in mathematical modeling of physical systems to rationalize, explain and predict natural phenomena. Physicists can apply their knowledge towards solving practical problems or to developing new technologies.


Life and career

Semyonov was born in Saratov, the son of Elena Dmitrieva and Nikolai Alex Semyonov. [2] He graduated from the department of physics of Petrograd University (19131917), where he was a student of Abram Fyodorovich Ioffe. In 1918, he moved to Samara, where he was enlisted into Kolchak's White Army during Russian Civil War.

Saratov City in Saratov Oblast, Russia

Saratov is a city and the administrative center of Saratov Oblast, Russia, and a major port on the Volga River located upstream (north) of Volgograd. Population: 837,900 (2010 Census); 873,055 (2002 Census); 904,643 (1989 Census).

Physics Study of the fundamental properties of matter and energy

Physics is the natural science that studies matter and its motion and behavior through space and time and that studies the related entities of energy and force. Physics is one of the most fundamental scientific disciplines, and its main goal is to understand how the universe behaves.

Saint Petersburg State University is a Russian federal state-owned higher education institution based in Saint Petersburg. It is the oldest and one of the largest universities in Russia.

In 1920, he returned to Petrograd and took charge of the electron phenomena laboratory of the Petrograd Physico-Technical Institute. He also became the vice-director of the institute. In 1921, he married philologist Maria Boreishe-Liverovsky (student of Zhirmunsky). She died two years later. In 1923, Nikolay married Maria's niece Natalia Nikolayevna Burtseva. She brought Nikolay a son (Yuri) and a daughter (Lyudmila).

Electron subatomic particle with negative electric charge

The electron is a subatomic particle, symbol
, whose electric charge is negative one elementary charge. Electrons belong to the first generation of the lepton particle family, and are generally thought to be elementary particles because they have no known components or substructure. The electron has a mass that is approximately 1/1836 that of the proton. Quantum mechanical properties of the electron include an intrinsic angular momentum (spin) of a half-integer value, expressed in units of the reduced Planck constant, ħ. As it is a fermion, no two electrons can occupy the same quantum state, in accordance with the Pauli exclusion principle. Like all elementary particles, electrons exhibit properties of both particles and waves: they can collide with other particles and can be diffracted like light. The wave properties of electrons are easier to observe with experiments than those of other particles like neutrons and protons because electrons have a lower mass and hence a longer de Broglie wavelength for a given energy.

Philology is the study of language in oral and written historical sources; it is the intersection between textual criticism, literary criticism, history, and linguistics. Philology is more commonly defined as the study of literary texts as well as oral and written records, the establishment of their authenticity and their original form, and the determination of their meaning. A person who pursues this kind of study is known as a philologist.

During that difficult time, Semyonov, together with Pyotr Kapitsa, discovered a way to measure the magnetic field of an atomic nucleus (1922). Later the experimental setup was improved by Otto Stern and Walther Gerlach and became known as Stern–Gerlach experiment.

Pyotr Kapitsa Soviet physicist

Pyotr Leonidovich Kapitsa or Peter Kapitza (Russian: Пётр Леони́дович Капи́ца, Romanian: Petre Capiţa was a leading Soviet physicist and Nobel laureate, best known for his work in low-temperature physics.

Magnetic field spatial distribution of vectors allowing the calculation of the magnetic force on a test particle

A magnetic field is a vector field that describes the magnetic influence of electrical currents and magnetized materials. In everyday life, the effects of magnetic fields are often seen in permanent magnets, which pull on magnetic materials and attract or repel other magnets. Magnetic fields surround and are created by magnetized material and by moving electric charges such as those used in electromagnets. Magnetic fields exert forces on nearby moving electrical charges and torques on nearby magnets. In addition, a magnetic field that varies with location exerts a force on magnetic materials. Both the strength and direction of a magnetic field varies with location. As such, it is an example of a vector field.

Atomic nucleus core of the atom; composed of bound nucleons (protons and neutrons)

The atomic nucleus is the small, dense region consisting of protons and neutrons at the center of an atom, discovered in 1911 by Ernest Rutherford based on the 1909 Geiger–Marsden gold foil experiment. After the discovery of the neutron in 1932, models for a nucleus composed of protons and neutrons were quickly developed by Dmitri Ivanenko and Werner Heisenberg. An atom is composed of a positively-charged nucleus, with a cloud of negatively-charged electrons surrounding it, bound together by electrostatic force. Almost all of the mass of an atom is located in the nucleus, with a very small contribution from the electron cloud. Protons and neutrons are bound together to form a nucleus by the nuclear force.

In 1925, Semyonov, together with Yakov Frenkel, studied kinetics of condensation and adsorption of vapors. In 1927, he studied ionisation in gases and published an important book, Chemistry of the Electron. In 1928, he, together with Vladimir Fock, created a theory of thermal disruptive discharge of dielectrics.

Yakov Frenkel Russian physicist

Yakov Il'ich Frenkel was a Soviet physicist renowned for his works in the field of condensed matter physics. He is also known as Jacov Frenkel.

Kinetic theory of gases scientific theory

The kinetic theory of gases describes a gas as a large number of submicroscopic particles, all of which are in constant, rapid, random motion. The randomness arises from the particles' many collisions with each other and with the walls of the container.

Condensation change of the physical state of matter from gas phase into liquid phase; reverse of evaporation

Condensation is the change of the physical state of matter from gas phase into liquid phase, and is the reverse of vapourisation. The word most often refers to the water cycle. It can also be defined as the change in the state of water vapour to liquid water when in contact with a liquid or solid surface or cloud condensation nuclei within the atmosphere. When the transition happens from the gaseous phase into the solid phase directly, the change is called deposition.

He lectured at the Petrograd Polytechnical Institute and was appointed Professor in 1928. In 1931, he organized the Institute of Chemical Physics of the USSR Academy of Sciences (which moved to Chernogolovka in 1943) and became its first director. In 1932, he became a full member of the Soviet Academy of Sciences.

Russian Academy of Sciences academy of sciences

The Russian Academy of Sciences consists of the national academy of Russia; a network of scientific research institutes from across the Russian Federation; and additional scientific and social units such as libraries, publishing units, and hospitals.

Chernogolovka Town in Moscow Oblast, Russia

Chernogolovka is a town in Moscow Oblast, Russia. Center of the town located some 43 km northeast of the Moscow city limit and 59 km from Red Square. Its population in 2018 was 21,342.

Significant works

Semyonov (right) and Kapitsa, portrait by Boris Kustodiev, 1921. KustodiyevSemenov Kapitsa.JPG
Semyonov (right) and Kapitsa, portrait by Boris Kustodiev, 1921.

Semyonov's outstanding work on the mechanism of chemical transformation includes an exhaustive analysis of the application of the chain theory to varied reactions (19341954) and, more significantly, to combustion processes. He proposed a theory of degenerate branching, which led to a better understanding of the phenomena associated with the induction periods of oxidation processes.

Semyonov wrote two important books outlining his work. Chemical Kinetics and Chain Reactions was published in 1934, with an English edition in 1935. It was the first book in the U.S.S.R. to develop a detailed theory of unbranched and branched chain reactions in chemistry. Some Problems of Chemical Kinetics and Reactivity, first published in 1954, was revised in 1958; there are also English, American, German, and Chinese editions. In 1956, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry (together with Sir Cyril Norman Hinshelwood) for this work.

Honours and awards

Semyonov was also an Honorary Doctor of several universities: Oxford (1960), Brussels (1962), London (1965), Budapest Technical University (1965), Polytechnic Institute of Milan (1964) and others.

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  1. 1 2 Dainton, L. (1990). "Nikolai Nikolaevich Semenov. 16 April 1896-25 September 1986". Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society . 36: 526–546. doi:10.1098/rsbm.1990.0042.
  3. "1956 Nobel Prize Winner in Chemistry : Soviet Scientist Nikolai Semyonov Dies". Los Angeles Times . 1 October 1986.Missing or empty |url= (help)
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 "Nikolai Nikolaevich Semenov". Complete Dictionary of Scientific Biography. 2008. Retrieved 10 Oct 2011.
  5. "List of Members". Retrieved 6 October 2017.

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