Beketov, Nikolai [Бекетов, Николай], b 13 January 1827 in the village of Alferevka, Penza gubernia, Russia, d 13 December 1911 in Saint Petersburg. Physical chemist, member of the Saint Petersburg Academy of Sciences; father of Oleksii Beketov. In 1849 Beketov graduated from Kazan University. He worked at Kharkiv University from 1855–87 and, beginning in 1887, at the Saint Petersburg Academy of Sciences. In 1864 he organized the department of physical chemistry at Kharkiv University and taught the first course in physical chemistry as an independent discipline. Beketov determined the activity series in metals, formulated the law of reactive masses, and laid the foundations of aluminothermy. The work of Beketov and his students created the basis of the Kharkiv school of physical chemistry.
[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 1 (1984).]