Яков Евсеевич Гегузин

1918 – 1987

V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University, Kharkiv, Ukraine 


YAKOV EVSEEVICH GEGUZIN  was born on August 1, 1918 - 1987, in the city of Donetsk (Ukraine). In 1941, he graduated from the Kharkov University and was sent to work to the FED Plant’s Central Laboratory, which was evacuated to Berdsk (Novosibirsk Region) after the war started. The plant began there the production of aircraft engines for military purposes. Geguzin was appointed master of the foundry shop, where he, a university graduate in physics, had to deal with challenging issues related to foundry technology. At the plant, he began as master of the foundry shop and consequently advanced to the deputy chief metallurgist. After the war, having completed postgraduate studies at the Ukrainian Institute of Physics and Technology under the guidance of Professor Pines, Yakov Evseevich defended his thesis in 1950 and began his carrier at the Kharkov University, first at the Solid State Physics Department and then at the General Physics Department, where he defended his doctoral thesis in 1958. He received the title of professor in 1960 and founded the Crystal Physics Department in 1964, which he headed until the last days of his life (1987). Hundreds of students who studied at the department and completed there their first research efforts continued them after graduation. Many of them have become PhDs and ScDs and are now working in different countries of the world.

As Professor Yakov E. Geguzin, a prominent physicist, outstanding lecturer, and popular science communicator in the 20th century would say  “There is no line between science and art: a true natural scientist is an artist, and a true artist is a scholar of nature in a way,” the great physicist used to say. He followed this principle in his life and creative efforts.  The editorial board decided to devote the current Theory and Technology of Sintering and Thermal and Thermochemical Treatment section to the memory of Yakov E. Geguzin, the man for whom science was art, inspiration, and ultimately the way of life.

His books Physics of Sintering, Diffusion Zone, and Movement of Inclusions in Solids (in co-authorship with Krivoglaz), published in several editions and translated into foreign languages, are still unique in the world literature. Geguzin’s ideas and their implementation in experiments have been embodied in more than 400 original articles and overviews, 5 scientific monographs, and 5 popular science books.

Yakov Evseevich was the first to single out the physics of sintering as an individual chapter in solid-state physics from a vast body of knowledge on sintering, primarily of technological nature. Developing the ideas about the role of plasticity in sintering, Geguzin offered a revolutionary idea that activated sintering did not occur through atom-by-atom mass transfer, but rather through movement of structural elements relative to each other as a whole. Yakov Evseevich actually developed the idea about the role of grain slip in the polycrystalline diffusion creep process presented in Lifshits’ classical work

Geguzin’s ideas live, evolve, and successively work nowadays in various areas of real crystal physics, being embodied in research efforts using new materials and new modern experimental techniques and promoting a deeper understanding of the physics behind various processes, without which scientific progress and, accordingly, technological breakthrough would be impossible.

Powder Metallurgy and Metal Ceramics, Vol. 57, Nos. 7-8, November, 2018
(Russian Original Vol. 57, Nos. 7-8, July-August, 2018)

Many thanks to Yury S. Kaganovskii for unselfish help