EHPRG: The European High Pressure Research Group

In memoriam: Prof. Eugene G. Ponyatovsky (1930-2021)

January 17, 2021Contributed by O. Barkalov


E.G. Ponyatovsky was born in Moscow on 11 April 1930. He graduated from Physical and Chemical Faculty of the Moscow Steel and Alloys Institute in 1954. In 1958 while investigating phase transitions in cerium under pressure he discovered that the line of the isomorphic phase transition ends at the critical point of “liquid-vapor” type. Based on these experimental findings he developed later (with Aptekar I.L.) a phenomenological model that allowed for an adequate description of the phase diagrams and physical properties of variable valence metals. He got his PhD degree in 1961 at the Institute of Metal Physics, Kiev and his Dr. Sci. degree in physics and mathematics in 1969 at the Institute of Metal Physics, Sverdlovsk and Professor academic rank in 1979. During 1980-1986 he was Member of AIRAPT Executive Committee and Member of the Editorial Boards of “Soviet Physics Solid State” and also “High Pressure Research” journals (in 1985-2000).
In 1965 he organized the High Pressure Physics Laboratory in the Institute of Solid State Physics of RAS in Chernogolovka and was the Head of the Laboratory till 2003.
In 1978 Prof. Ponyatovsky (with Drs Belash I.T and Antonov V.E) proposed and developed a new method of compressing hydrogen in bulk volumes up to 10 GPa. Hydrides of iron, cobalt, molybdenum, technetium and aurum were synthesized for the first time by this very method. Their structures, superconducting, magnetic and dynamical properties were investigated by ex situ X-ray and neutron diffraction, inelastic neutron scattering. Alloying with hydrogen of various technologically important titanium based alloys resulted in a pronounced increase of their plasticity thus simplifying mechanical treatment processes. Later phenomena of the pressure induced solid state amorphization was observed and studied in various model systems including two-component metallic alloys, water ices and rare earth molybdates. E.G. Ponyatovsky published more than 300 articles in the Soviet, Russian and international journals.
During his life Prof. Ponyatovsky does not restrict himself only to scientific purposes and experimental work. He was skilled in European and Russian history, modern art, classical music and jazz. He was an excellent, heaven-born pedagogue. Everybody who was lucky enough to know him emphasized his modesty, kindness and trustworthiness.

In memoriam


Prof. Eugene G. Ponyatovsky (1930-2021)

Gérard Hamel (1946-2021)

Prof. Vladimir E. Fortov (1946-2020)

Prof. Moshe Paz-Pasternak (1937-2018)

Prof. Gérard Demazeau (1943-2017)

Prof. Svetlana Vladimirovna Popova (1935-2015)

Dr. Vladimir V. Shchennikov (1952-2014)

Prof. Helmuth H. Schloessin (1924-2013)

Prof. Rikimaru Hayashi (1939-2013)

Dr. M. Nicol (1939-2009)

Dr. H. Tracy Hall (1920-2008)

Prof. I. Goncharenko (1965-2007)

Prof. I. N. Makarenko (1938-2005)

Prof. Ph. Pruzan (1941-2005)

Prof. S. C. Bayliss (1955-2004)