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Home :: History of Research :: Introduction


The beginning of research in crystal physics at Moscow State University is associated with the names of the Academician V.I.Vernadsky and the Corresponding Member of the Academy Yu.V.Wulff who worked there at the turn of the century [1,2]. The Academician A.V.Shubnikov (1887-1970) was their brilliant student and follower. Having graduated from the University in 1913 he returned to the Physics department of his Alma Mater in 1953 to found there a new Chair of crystal physics, the first chair of such kind in the universities of the world. At that time A.V.Shubnikov was the director of the famous Institute of Crystallography, the recognized head of the scientific school in crystallography and crystal physics in Russia, the author of the basic works in this field [3-4]. The characteristic feature of Shubnikov's scientific school was abroad complex approach to the whole spectrum of physical properties of crystals as dependent on their macro- and microsymmetry, atomic structure and composition, conditions of crystal growth and structural imperfections. A.V.Shubnikov was the head of the Chair till 1968. The first academic plan (consisting of the courses in symmetry theory, crystal growth, crystal optics and crystal physics) and the scientific structure of the Chair (consisting of the laboratories of crystal growth and optical, electrical and mechanical properties of crystals) were established by him. After A.V.Shubnikov the Chair was headed by his disciple Prof. B.A.Koptsik (in 1968-1974), Prof. I.A.Yakovlev (in 1974-1989) and Prof. S.P.Chudinov (in 1989 - 1993). During forty years (1953-1993) some structural transformations enriched the chairs body and staff: the phase transition laboratory headed by Prof. V.K.Semenchenko joined the Chair in 1954; the problem laboratory of crystal growth for electrooptic and radioelectronic applications was set up in 1963; the optical spectroscopy and crystal acoustic group headed by Prof. I.A.Yakovlev joined the Chair in 1974. In 1994 the polymer physics laboratory headed by the Corresponding Member of the Academy A.R.Khokhlov joined the Chair and gave to it its present name the Chair of Polymer and Crystal physics. Prof. A.R.Khokhlov became the head of the renewed Chair and a new stage in its history has begun. During the period of 1953-1993 more than 350 students and 70 Ph D students graduated from the Chair. Afterwards, more than 140 of them received their Candidate degrees ( Ph D ) and 17 - the Doctor of Science degrees. The following section gives a brief outline of the main academic and research achievements of the Crystal Physics Chair in five directions (more detailed information may be found in [8, 9]).


  1. V.I.Vernadsky. Lecture in Crystal Physics. In: Selected Works. Crystallography. - Moscow: Nauka, 1988, pp. 66-181 (in Russian)
  2. G.V.Wulff. Selected Works on Crystal Physics and Crystallography - Moscow-Leningrad: Gosteorizdat, 1952, p. 320 (in Russian)
  3. A.V.Shubnikov, E.E.Flint and G.B.Bokii. Foundations of Crystallography - Moscow-Leningrad: Published by Acad. Sci. of USSR, 1940, p.420 (in Russian)
  4. A.V.Shubnikov. Symmetry and Antisymmetry of Finite Figures. - Moscow: Published by Acad. Sci. of USSR, 1951, p.172.
  5. A.V.Shubnikov et al. Piezoelectric Textures - Moscow. 1947
  6. A.V.Shubnikov. Principals of Optical Crystallography - Consultants Bureau. 1960 (Russian Original: Moscow: Published by Acad. Sci. of USSR, 1958, p.300)
  7. A.V.Shubnikov. Selected Works on Crystallography. - Moscow: Nauka, 1975
  8. V.A.Koptsik. History of Research in Crystal Physics at the Chair of Crystal Physics of Moscow State University in 1953-1993. - In: History and Methodology of Natural Sciences. Physics. - Moscow: Published by Moscow University, 1968. Issue 6, pp. 158-171; ibid. 1982, issue (?),pp.
  9. V.A.Koptsik. Aleksei Vasilyevich Shubnikov (on the 100th birthday). Editorial Board Paper. Soviet Crystallography, 1987, vol. 32, pp. 535-539
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