Iulii Khariton

Khariton, Iulii Borisovich


Born Feb. 14 (27), 1904, in St. Petersburg. Soviet physicist. Academician of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (since 1953; corresponding member, 1946). Three times Hero of Socialist Labor. Member of the CPSU since 1956.

Khariton graduated from the Leningrad Polytechnic Institute in 1925. In 1921 he began working at the Physicotechnical Institute under the direction of N. N. Semenov. From 1926 to 1928 he was sent to work at the Cavendish Laboratory in Great Britain, where under E. Rutherford he conducted research on the nature of scintillations and the sensitivity of the eye and where he received the Ph.D. degree. In 1931 he began working at the Institute of Chemical Physics of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR; he later worked at other research institutions.

Khariton investigated the condensation of metallic vapors and, together with Z. F. Val’ta, studied the phenomenon of the lowest limit of the oxidation of phosphorus vapors and discovered how to lower this limit by the addition of argon. He worked out a theory for separating gases by centrifugation. He and his students carried out fundamental research in the physics of combustion and explosion. In 1939, together with Ia. B. Zel’dovich, Khariton was the first to calculate the chain reaction of uranium fission.

Khariton has received the Lenin Prize and three State Prizes of the USSR. He was a deputy to the third through ninth convocations of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. Khariton has also been awarded five orders of Lenin, the Order of the October Revolution, two other orders, and various medals.


Elektronnaia khimiia. Moscow-Leningrad, 1927. (With V. N. Kondrat’ev and N. N. Semenov.)
Mekhanizm kondensatsii i obrazovanie kolloidov. Leningrad-Moscow, 1934. (With A. I. Shal’nikov.)
Elektronnyeiavleniia. Leningrad, 1935. (With others.)
“Delenie i tsepnoi raspad urana.” Uspekhi fizicheskikh nauk, 1940, vol. 23, issue 4. (With Ia. B. Zel’dovich.)
“K voprosu o razdelenii gazov tsentrofugirovaniem.” Zhurnal tekhnicheskoi fiziki, 1937, vol. 7, no. 14, p. 1476.