Aleksandr Terenin

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Terenin, Aleksandr Nikolaevich


Born Apr. 24 (May 6), 1896, in Kaluga; died Jan. 18,1967, in Moscow. Soviet physical chemist. Academician of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (1939; corresponding member, 1932). Hero of Socialist Labor (1966).

After graduating from Petrograd University in 1922, Terenin began his scientific work at the university and at the State Optics Institute, where he was scientific director from 1945 to 1956. In 1932 he became a professor and head of a subdepartment at Leningrad State University. His main works dealt with the physical and chemical processes that occur in a substance exposed to light. He discovered that light causes the splitting of salt molecules in the vapor phase with the formation of luminescent atoms (1924). He initiated the use of spectral and optical studies to determine the states of molecules adsorbed on the surface of solids and to establish the mechanism of operation of catalysts (1934). In 1939 he began his study of photoconductive and photoemissive effects in organic compounds and inorganic semiconductors. In 1943 he determined that the phosphorescent state of organic compounds is a triplet state, and in 1945 he extended existing spectral techniques to research on the photochemical reactions of chlorophyll and its analogues. In 1952, working with V. L. Ermolaev, he discovered triplet-triplet energy transfer.

Terenin founded a school of Soviet photochemistry. He was awarded the S. I. Vavilov Gold Medal (1953), the State Prize of the USSR (1946), four Orders of Lenin, two other orders, and various medals.


Vvedenie v spektroskopiiu. Leningrad, 1933.
Fotokhimiia parov solei. Leningrad-Moscow, 1934.
Fotonika molekul krasitelei i rodstvennykh organicheskikh soédinenii. Leningrad, 1967.


Goriacheva, R. I., and O. F. Rumiantseva. A. N. Terenin. Moscow, 1971. (AN SSSR: Materialy k biobibliografii uchenykh SSSR. Ser. khim. nauk, fasc. 47.)
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.