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Александр Герцен

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Михаил Булгаков

On centenary of
Vera Ivanovna Mikheeva

7 may 2006 was centenary since the birthday of Vera Ivanovna Mikheeva, the outstanding scientist in the field of physicochemical analysis of inorganic systems, chemistry and technology of the light alloys, of hydrides of light and transition metals, Professor, Doctor of Chemistry, Honored Scientist of USSR.
V.I.Mikheeva was born in the town Gorbatov of the Nizhnii Novgorod’s province in the family of teacher. The normal education she has obtained in Nizhnii Novgorod and then in 1924 she has entered the chemical department of Nizhnii Novgorod’s University. From 4th year, she has been transferring to the chemical department of Leningrad’s polytechnic. There she worked in the chair of general chemistry under the leadership of academician N.T. Kurnakov and, at the same time, she examined the theoretical electrochemistry under the leadership of professor V.A. Kistyakovskii.
From 1934 up to the end, Vera Ivanovna worked in the N.S. Kurnakov Institute of General and Inorganic Chemistry of RAS, where she become leader of the laboratory of the chemistry of boron and hydrides (now is the part of the laboratory of energy-capacious substances and materials). V.I. Micheeva has organized and effectuated the complex of works dealing with the technology of synthesis and investigation of magnesium and aluminium alloys for the airspace industry, with the investigation of chemical nature of the phases with variable composition, of highest oxygen compounds (e.g., of perchlorates) of the light metals, of different boron compounds (e.g., of borohydrides), of materials for nuclear technology. The was the very active and consistent propagandist of the method of physicochemical analysis. Her monograph “Method of physico-chemical analysis in inorganic synthesis” (Moscow, 1975) was by right awarded by the N.S.Kurnakov’s Premium of RAS.
After 1950, under the leadership of V.I.Mikheeva, the basic researches in the field of physico-chemistry of hydrides of metals and their alloys were started in USSR. The works dealing with the synthesis and investigation of binary hydrides of transition metals, of hydrides of alloys and intermetallic compounds of the systems Ce-Mg, Ce-Mg-Al; Ti-V, Nb, Ta, Mo; Zr-Ni, Co, Cr, V; La-Ni are widely known. During the working process, the number of unique installations was constructed, the very original techniques and methods of processing the chemically active hydrides were developed. Samples of hydrides, deuterides, and deuterohydrides synthesized in Mikheeva’s laboratory have made the material basis for divers investigations (structure, lattice dynamics, catalysis, etc.) effectuated in a great number of scientific centers in Russia and abroad. The concept of involving in hydriding of “passive” (in respect to hydrogen) metals was formulated by V.I.Mikheeva as well as the basic principles about character of the chemical bond and the limiting hydrogen capacity in metalhydride systems. Such (obvious now) methods of data treating as the use of Gibbs’s triangles, the comparison of composition and properties of hydrides with the corresponding phase diagrams of metallic systems, the graphical representation of the “hydriding regions” of complex alloys were also introduced by V.I.Mikheeva for the first time.
V.I.Miheeva was the organizer of many large-scale conferences on metal hydrides, the scientific editor of the Russian translation of K.Mackay’s monograph “Hydrogen compounds of the metallic elements” (Moscow, 1968), and the author of the first (in our country) monograph “Hydrides of transition metals” (Moscow, 1960) which was held in century of the teacher of V.I.Mikheeva – N.S.Kurnakov.
Many pupils of V.I.Mikheeva work successfully in scientific centers of Russia and abroad (more than 40 Ph.D. and 9 Doctors of Sciences). All of them keep the grateful memory of this remarkable scientist and person.

Dr. N.T. Kuznetsov, Dr. L.N. Padurets, Dr. A.L. Shilov
Institute of General and Inorganic Chemistry,
Moscow Russia,
October 2007