|Юрий Цолакович Оганесян|
|Citizenship||Soviet Union, Russia, Armenia|
|Alma mater||Moscow Engineering Physics Institute|
|Known for||Co-discoverer of the heaviest elements in the periodic table; element oganesson named after him|
|Awards||Lomonosov Gold Medal (2017)|
Demidov Prize (2019)
|Institutions||Flerov Laboratory of Nuclear Reactions at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research|
Yuri Tsolakovich Oganessian (Russian: Юрий Цолакович Оганесян [ˈjʉrʲɪj t͡sɐˈlakəvʲɪt͡ɕ ɐgənʲɪˈsʲan];[a] born 14 April 1933) is a Russian-Armenian nuclear physicist who is considered the world's leading researcher in superheavy chemical elements. He led the discovery of these elements in the periodic table. He succeeded Georgy Flyorov as director of the Flerov Laboratory of Nuclear Reactions at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in 1989 and is now its scientific leader. The heaviest element known in the periodic table, oganesson, is named after him, only the second time that an element was named after a living person (the other being seaborgium).
Yuri Tsolakovich Oganessian was born in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, on 14 April 1933 to Armenian parents. His father was from Iğdır (now in Turkey), while his mother was from Armavir in Russia's Krasnodar Krai. Oganessian spent his childhood in Yerevan, the capital of Soviet Armenia, where his family relocated in 1939. His father, Tsolak, a thermal engineer, was invited to work on the synthetic rubber plant in Yerevan. When the Eastern Front of World War II broke out, his family decided to not return to Rostov since it was occupied by Nazis. Yuri attended and finished school in Yerevan. He initially wanted to become a painter.
"A remarkable physicist and experimentalist… his work is characterised by originality, an ability to approach a problem from an unexpected side, and to achieve an ultimate result."
—Flerov on Oganessian, 1990
Oganessian moved to Russia, where he graduated from the Moscow Engineering Physics Institute (MEPhI) in 1956. He thereafter sought to join the Kurchatov Institute of Atomic Energy in Moscow, but as there were no vacancies left in Gersh Budker's team, he was instead recruited by Georgy Flyorov and began working at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR) in Dubna, near Moscow.
He became director of the Flerov Laboratory of Nuclear Reactions at JINR in 1989, after Flerov retired, and remained in the position until 1996, when he was named the scientific leader of the Flerov.
Discovery of superheavy chemical elements
In the 1970s, Oganessian invented the "cold fusion" method (unrelated to the unproven energy-producing process cold fusion), a technique to produce transactinide elements (superheavy elements). It played a vital role in the discoveries of elements from 106 to 113. From the mid-1970s to the mid-1990s, the partnership of JINR, led by Oganessian, and the GSI Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research in Germany, led to the discovery of six chemical elements (107 to 112): bohrium, meitnerium, hassium, darmstadtium, roentgenium, and copernicium.
His newer technique, called "hot fusion" (also unrelated to nuclear fusion as an energy process), helped to discover elements 113 to 118, completing the seventh row of the periodic table. The technique involved bombarding calcium into targets containing heavier radioactive elements that are rich in neutrons at a cyclotron. The elements discovered using this method are nihonium (2003; also discovered by RIKEN in Japan using cold fusion), flerovium (1999), moscovium (2003), livermorium (2000), tennessine (2009), and oganesson (2002).
American chemist Sherry Yennello has called him the "grandfather of superheavy elements". Oganessian is the author of three discoveries, a monograph, 11 inventions, and more than 300 scientific papers.
In early 2016, science writers and bloggers speculated that one of the superheavy elements would be named oganessium or oganesson. The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) announced in November 2016 that element 118 would be named oganesson to honor Oganessian. It was first observed in 2002 at JINR, by a joint team of Russian and American scientists. Headed by Oganessian, the team included American scientists of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, California. Prior to this announcement, a dozen elements had been named after people,[b] but of those, only seaborgium was likewise named while its namesake (Glenn T. Seaborg) was alive. As Seaborg died in 1999, Oganessian is the only currently living namesake of an element.
Honors and awards
In 1990, he was elected Corresponding Member of the Soviet Academy of Sciences and in 2003 a Full Member (Academician) of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
Oganessian holds honorary degrees from Goethe University Frankfurt (2002), University of Messina (2009), and Yerevan State University. In 2019, he was elected as an Honorary Fellow of St Catharine's College, Cambridge.
- USSR State Prize (1975)
- Order "For Merit to the Fatherland" 3rd class (2003)
- Russian Federation National Award (2010)
- Order of Honor of the Republic of Armenia (2016)
- Order of St. Mesrop Mashtots (Armenia, 2019)
- Kurchatov Medal (1989)
- Lise Meitner Prize of the European Physical Society (2000)
- Lomonosov Gold Medal (2018) "for fundamental research in the fields of interaction of complex nuclei and experimental evidence of existence of an 'island of stability' for superheavy elements"
- Demidov Prize (2019)
- UNESCO-Russia Mendeleev International Prize in the Basic Sciences (2021)
Recognition in Armenia
Oganessian was granted Armenian citizenship in July 2018 by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan. Oganessian is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Foundation for Armenian Science and Technology (FAST). He is also the chairman of the international scientific board of the Alikhanian National Science Laboratory (Yerevan Physics Institute). In 2017 HayPost issued a postage stamp dedicated to Oganessian. In 2022 the Central Bank of Armenia issued a silver commemorative coin dedicated to Oganessian and the element Oganesson (Og). In April 2022 he was named honorary professor of Yerevan State University.
- Oganessian, Yuri (13 September 2001). "Nuclear physics: Sizing up the heavyweights". Nature. 413 (6852): 122–125. Bibcode:2001Natur.413..122O. doi:10.1038/35093194. PMID 11557964. S2CID 4414134.
- Armenian: Յուրի Ցոլակի Հովհաննիսյան Yuri Ts'olaki Hovhannisyan [juˈɾi t͡sʰɔlɑˈki hɔvhɑnnisˈjɑn]. Oganessian is the Russified version of the Armenian last name Hovhannisyan. The article on Oganessian in the Armenian Soviet Encyclopedia (1980) described him as an "Armenian Soviet physicist."
- 12 other elements named in honor of people: curium, einsteinium, fermium, mendelevium, nobelium, lawrencium, rutherfordium, seaborgium, bohrium, meitnerium, roentgenium, copernicium; in addition, the intention behind the name flerovium was to honour Flerov.
- "President Armen Sarkissian receive Academician Yuri Oganessian". Office to the President of the Republic of Armenia. 12 July 2018.
President Sarkissian said that on July 11 he signed the decree to granting Armenian citizenship to Yuri Oganessian.
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- "Presidential Decree on Awarding Y. Ts. Hovhannisyan with the Order of Honor". president.am (in Armenian). 17 September 2016.
- Armenian Soviet Encyclopedia Volume 6 (in Armenian). Yerevan. 1980. p. 572.
ՀՈՎՀԱՆՆԻՍՅԱՆ Յուրի Ցոլակի (ծն. 14.4.1933, Դոնի Ռոստով), հայ սովետական ֆիզիկոս
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...Yuri Oganessian, a Russian nuclear physicist of Armenian heritage...
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...says Oganessian, in excellent English.
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- Oganessian, Yu. Ts.; Utyonkov, V. K.; Lobanov, Yu. V.; Abdullin, F. Sh.; Polyakov, A. N.; Shirokovsky, I. V.; Tsyganov, Yu. S.; Gulbekian, G. G.; Bogomolov, S. L.; Gikal, B.; Mezentsev, A.; Iliev, S.; Subbotin, V.; Sukhov, A.; Buklanov, G.; Subotic, K.; Itkis, M.; Moody, K.; Wild, J.; Stoyer, N.; Stoyer, M.; Lougheed, R. (October 1999). "Synthesis of Superheavy Nuclei in the 48Ca + 244Pu Reaction". Physical Review Letters. 83 (16): 3154. Bibcode:1999PhRvL..83.3154O. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.83.3154. S2CID 109929705.
- Oganessian, Yu. Ts.; Utyonkov, V. K.; Dmitriev, S. N.; Lobanov, Yu. V.; Itkis, M. G.; Polyakov, A. N.; Tsyganov, Yu. S.; Mezentsev, A. N.; Yeremin, A. V.; Voinov, A.; Sokol, E.; Gulbekian, G.; Bogomolov, S.; Iliev, S.; Subbotin, V.; Sukhov, A.; Buklanov, G.; Shishkin, S.; Chepygin, V.; Vostokin, G.; Aksenov, N.; Hussonnois, M.; Subotic, K.; Zagrebaev, V.; Moody, K.; Patin, J.; Wild, J.; Stoyer, M.; Stoyer, N.; et al. (2005). "Synthesis of elements 115 and 113 in the reaction 243Am + 48Ca". Physical Review C. 72 (3): 034611. Bibcode:2005PhRvC..72c4611O. doi:10.1103/PhysRevC.72.034611.
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- Oganessian, Yu. Ts.; Abdullin, F. Sh.; Bailey, P. D.; Benker, D. E.; Bennett, M. E.; Dmitriev, S. N.; Ezold, J. G.; Hamilton, J. H.; Henderson, R. A.; Itkis, M. G.; Lobanov, Yu. V.; Mezentsev, A. N.; Moody, K. J.; Nelson, S. L.; Polyakov, A. N.; Porter, C. E.; Ramayya, A. V.; Riley, F. D.; Roberto, J. B.; Ryabinin, M. A.; Rykaczewski, K. P.; Sagaidak, R. N.; Shaughnessy, D. A.; Shirokovsky, I. V.; Stoyer, M. A.; Subbotin, V. G.; Sudowe, R.; Sukhov, A. M.; Tsyganov, Yu. S.; et al. (April 2010). "Synthesis of a New Element with Atomic Number Z=117". Physical Review Letters. 104 (14): 142502. Bibcode:2010PhRvL.104n2502O. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.104.142502. PMID 20481935.
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In honour of Yuri Oganessian for his laurea honoris causa that will be conferred by the University of Messina.
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- on YouTube