Famous Ukrainian Chemist
(Vladimir Vernadsky, Vasiliy Karazin, Nikolay Beketov ) Nikolay Beketov
Nikolay Nikolayevich Beketov (Бекетов, Николай Николаевич in Russian)
(January 13 [O.S. January 1] 1827—December 13 [O.S. November 30] 1911)
was a Ukrainian physical chemist, academician of the Petersburg Academy
of Sciences (1886).
In 1849, Beketov graduated from Kazan University and worked with Nikolay
Zinin. In 1855, he became a junior scientific assistant in the
Department of Chemistry at Kharkov University. In 1859-1887, Beketov was
a professor at the same university. In 1865, he defended his Ph.D.
thesis on "Research on the displacement phenomenon in metals"
("Исследования над явлениями вытеснения одних металлов другими"). In
1886, Beketov moved to Saint Petersburg, where he worked at the academic
chemical laboratory and taught at the University for Women. In 1890,
Beketov delivered lectures on the "Basics of Thermochemistry" at Moscow
Beketov discovered displacement of metals from solutions of their salts
by hydrogen under pressure. He also established that magnesium and zinc
displaced other metals from their salts under high temperatures. In
1859-1865, Beketov proved that aluminum restored metals from their
oxides under high temperatures. Later on, Beketov's experiments served
as a starting point for aluminothermy.
Василь Назарович Каразін, Vasyl Nazarovych Karazin, Russian: Василий
Назарович Каразин; January 30, 1773 – November 4, 1842) was a Ukrainian
Enlightenment intellectual, inventor, and scientific publisher in
Imperial Russia. He is the founder of Kharkiv University, which now
bears his name. He is also known for opposing to what he saw as colonial
exploitation of Ukraine by the Russian Empire, even though he himself
was ethnically Serbian.
He was born in Kruchyk village (Sloboda Ukraine Governorate
(Slobodsko-Ukrainskaya Guberniya), now Bohodukhivskyi Raion of Kharkiv
Oblast), Russian Empire (today Ukraine), in the family of Nazary
Alexandrovych Karazin, a Russian Imperial Army officer (noted for his
involvement in Parvu Cantacuzino's 1769 rebellion in Wallachia). Vasyl
Karazin considered himself to be ethnic Serb, though his family
originally known as Karadji was of Greek origin.
Vasyl Karazin was educated in nobility schools in Kharkiv and
Kremenchuk. At the age of eighteen, he left for Saint Petersburg, and
underwent military training in the prestigious Semyonovsky Regiment. He
also studied at the School of Mines, one of the top educational
institutions in Russian Empire at that time. Karazin was, nevertheless,
opposed to this environment, and often reacted against the manners and
customs condoned by the nobility of the times. Unsatisfied with his
military service, he moved back to his village and married a
In 1798, Karazin attempted to leave Russia given his opposition to the
policies of Russian Emperor Paul I, but was denied a passport. After he
attempted to cross the border illegally, he was swiftly arrested.
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