an article about academician Boris Ieremievich Verkin 

Академик Б.И.Веркин

   It seems absolutely incredible that in the deep world of low temperature physics with its inconceivable coldness unapproachable level of absolute zero should be found a person with a singing soul. The fact is that the first director of Institute of Low Temperature Physics and Engineering (ILTPE) Boris Ieremievich Verkin was also a musician. The scope of his musical interests was as large as the depth of his scientific research.   
Academitian B.I.Verkin.
Kharkov, UTPI, 1948.
Photo by Diya Alexandrovna Ghai

  As early as during his student years he used to take part in concerts as a pianist. Two physicists Verkin - Lifshits would often play duets on the piano. Among the composers whose works were played in these concerts were Skryabin, Grieg, Bach, Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, Mozart. B. I. put a great deal of effort into construction of The Scientific Council Hall in his institute, which soon became the best philharmonic hall in Kharkov. And in order to deliver in safety the Paderevsky's grand piano from Nezhin where it happened to be found, B. I. had to turn for help to the first secretary of Kharkov regional Communist party committee Vashenko G. I. and the help was given.

In "physical philharmonic society", set up by B. I. Verkin in ILTPE, were constantly organised concerts where played musicians from Moscow, international contests prize winners. Interesting to note that B. I. ended up being sued for "financial undermining" of Kharkov Philharmonic Society of State Concert Office as a result of brilliant activities of "ILTPE physical philharmonic society" organised by him. It could be experessed as "Art needs in victims".


  B. I. Verkin's personal book collection included over 20 000 copies of works of art and sculpture from museums around he world, many volumes of rare monographs on art. This is another indication of the remarkable personality of the modern scientist which increases his professionalism and dignity.

In 1940, Boris Verkin graduated from Kharkov State University. He was 21 at that time.

From February 1942 to November 1946 he fought in military units near Stalingrad front line and Trans-Caucasus military district, suffered injury and concussion.



From 1946  to 1960, he worked in UTPI (Ukrainian Technical Physics Institute) as a researcher in the field of low temperature physics.

In 1951, B. I. Verkin became a candidate of sciences, and in 1957, - a Doctor Physical and Mathematical science.

Since that time he contributes his multifarious talent to the development of solid matter physics and low temperature physics: the talent of a professional scientist, of the head of a team of scientists, the talent of the initiator and organiser of large scale theoretical research and applied engineering schemes.


  The scientist himself personally conducted research - often innovative and high priority - in the field of electronic characteristics of metals, superconductivity, low temperature and vacuum material theory, superconductor magnetic systems, cryogenic liquids physics, cryogenic biology and medicine.

B. I. Verkin discovered and researched magnetic receptivity oscillation in many different metals and demonstrated global metallic nature of this phenomenon. He also was the first one to show high sensitivity of electronic layers in metals to impact of admixtures and strains. These works by B. I. combined with E. S. Borovik's works on galvanic and magnetic effects in metals at low temperatures, which to a geat degree prompted I. M. Lifshits and his school to design the modern theory of electronic characteristics of metals.


  In his follow up works B. I. conducted systematic research into monotonous part of magnetic taking up of metals. He was first to discover in this area a lot of new characteristics. By virtue of the scientist and his disciples and colleagues' works magnetic taking up became an important tool in disordered systems research.

During almost thirty years B. I. Verkin was engaged in organizing a school of cryo-physicists, experimenters and theorists, used to be their head. They were academicians V. V. Yeremenko, I. M. Dmitrenko, V. G. Manzhiliy, corresponding members I. O. Kulik, I. K. Yanson, professors I. V. Svechkarev, I. Y. Fugol, Y. P. Blagoy, Y. A. Kirichenko and others.


  The main research line of this school are: the physics of ordinary metals at low temperatures, high magnetic fields and high pressures, the physics of magnetically ordered structures, mainly антиферромагнетиков, the physics of crystals - solidified gases, the physics of loose super-conducting systems, the physical properties of biological macro-molecules.

B. I. Verkin together with his colleagues developed super-conductive tunnel spectroscopy method, expanded it to determine photon spectres. They also developed the theory basics, engineering calculation methods, studied the processes of heat and mass transfer in cryogenic systems at high centrifugal overcharge, worked out hints on use of super-conductive and construction materials and were the first in our country to construct and test 5 and 300 megawatt turbogenerator with super-conductive excitation winding.


  In 1980's the scientist set a series of experiments on structure, heat capacity, magnetic and optical properties of super-conductive ceramics - high temperature superconductors.

B. I. Verkin together with academicians S. A. Vekshinsky, S. N. Vernov and others are the creators of science of space materials. He conducted research of physical and mechanical properties of weld and solder seams of construction materials in mock space conditions, of possible lubricants, seal, friction and wear in these conditions. On the scientist's initiative in ILTPE was conducted a series of research works on hydrodynamics of liquids if weightlessness.


  B. I. Verkin and his colleagues initiated the development of Soviet Union nitrogen technology: in transportation of perishable products, to create inertial and controlled environment in storehouses, in cryogenic pounding of organic and non-organic materials (food powders, recycling of used tires), in cryogenic sublime drying and others.

Nitrogen technologies developed by B. I. Verkin are closed related to the series of works on creation and wider application of cryogenic surgical instruments for gynecology, obstetrics, urinology, ophthalmology, otology, laryngology and stomatology.

During the last years of his life B. I. Verkin and his colleagues successfully effected DNA and RNA molecule crystallization, and developed a new method of macro molecular interaction research.

At present Institute of Low Temperature Physics and Engineering of Ukrainian National Academy of Sciences proudly and gratefully bears his name.

In this page are used materials from photo album "Moments of Life", published by academician A. Y. Usikov  
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Rambler's Top100
Home Welcome to Kharkov | City Government | Strolling through Kharkov | What, When, Where
General Information | Kharkov Region | Strolling through site | Internet
META - Ukrainian search engine TopList Rambler's Top100

All texts and images are permitted to use with the site reference only