Pysarzhevsky, Lev

Pysarzhevsky, Lev [Писаржевський, Лев; Pysarževs'kyj], b 13 February 1874 in Kishinev, Bessarabia, d 23 March 1938 in Dnipropetrovsk. Inorganic and physical chemist; full member of the All-Ukrainian Academy of Sciences from 1925; corresponding member of the USSR Academy of Sciences from 1928 and full member from 1930. A graduate of the New Russia University in Odesa (1896; M SC, 1903), he was a professor at Tartu University (1904–8), the Kyiv Polytechnical Institute (1908–11), the Katerynoslav Higher Mining School (1913–30) and the Katerynoslav Chemical Technology Institute (1930–2). He cofounded and directed the Ukrainian Physical-Chemical Institute in Dnipropetrovsk (1927–34), the Tbilisi Chemical Research Institute (1929–31), and the Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR in Kyiv (1934–8), which was later named in his honor. Pysarzhevsky studied the structure and properties of peroxides and peracids, the influence of solvents on chemical equilibria, the free energy of reactions, and electronic concepts of chemistry in all their ramifications. His work played a significant role in establishing the current views on the nature of chemical bonding and chemical reaction mechanisms, with particular emphasis on the electronic theory of heterogeneous catalysis. He wrote over 90 papers, monographs, and textbooks. His book on elementary chemistry (1926) introduced a holistic view of chemistry from the standpoint of electronic interactions. Editions of his selected works were published in 1936, 1955, and 1956. Since 1964 the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR has awarded the Pysarzhevsky Prize for outstanding contributions to chemistry or chemical technology. A biography, by Kostiantyn Yatsymyrsky and R. Kostrova, was published in Kyiv in 1979.

Swiatoslaw Trofimenko

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 4 (1993).]

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