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ArticleName Kurnakov as the founder of physico-chemical analysis – the scientific base for the development of new metal alloys and materials
DOI 10.17580/tsm.2021.01.09
ArticleAuthor Syrkov A. G., Prokopchuk N. R., Vorobiev A. G., Brichkin V. N. Academician N. S.

Saint-Petersburg Mining University, Saint-Petersburg, Russia:

A. G. Syrkov, Professor of the Department of General and Applied Physics, Doctor of Technical Sciences, e-mail:

V. N. Brichkin, Head of the Metallurgy Department, Doctor of Technical Sciences, Professor, e-mail:


Belarusian State Technological University, Minsk, Belarus:
N. R. Prokopchuk, Professor of the Department of Polymer Composite Materials, Corresponding member of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, Doctor of Chemical Sciences, e-mail:


“Ore and Metals” Publishing House, Moscow, Russia:
A. G. Vorobiev, Editor-in-Chief, Doctor of Economics Sciences, Professor


In the year of the 160th birth anniversary of Academician N. S. Kurnakov (1860–1941), outstanding graduate of the St. Petersburg Mining Institute (now University), it becomes clear that the issues concerning his activities as a metallurgist, materials scientist and researcher which opened the road through his students (P. P. Weimarn and others) to new technologies, including nanotechnology, are not studied enough. We do not know much about the Kurnakov–Schroeder–Weimarn relations and about their scientific communications with other physicochemists and metallurgists, who later became leaders of scientific schools and successors of the traditions of Kurnakov’s scientific school in the field of physical and chemical analysis. The purpose of this article is to analyze specific examples of the application of physicochemical analysis for development of metal alloys and materials, as well as to clarify the historical gaps in understanding the scientific relation of N. S. Kurnakov, I. F. Schroeder, P. P. Weimarn and other researchers who have made a significant contribution to the deve lopment of modern materials science and metallurgy. It is shown that P. P. Weimarn, being a student of Kurnakov and Schroeder, developed their scientific directions. However, he was not only a supporter, but also a critic of Kurnakov’s ideas, while becoming the founder of the science of nanotechnology. The results of the research summarize facts, including previously unknown ones, which demonstrate the outstanding role of N. S. Kurnakov and his achievements not only as a physicochemist, but also as a metallurgist-preceptor, one of the founders of Russian school of metallurgists and materials scientists, including the school of metallurgists of the Mining Institute, which gave momentum to number of breakthrough technologies of the 21st century.

keywords Kurnakov N. S., Shreder I. F., Weimarn P. P., metallic alloys, materials science, metallurgy, physico-chemical analysis, scientific school

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