The Institute of Chemical Physics was organized October 15, 1931, on the base of physicochemical Division of the Leningrad Physicotechnical Institute. The first Head of the Institute was N. N. Semenov, Corresponding Member USSR Academy of Sciences and later academician, Nobel Prize Winner.
The Institute was created with the aim of "introduction of physical theories and methods into chemistry, chemical industry, and other branches of economics". 70 years of the Institute activity showed that this problem was solved. However, the main achievement of the Institute team and its Head N. N. Semenov was the creation of a new branch of natural sciences, chemical physics. N. N. Semenov defined the chemical physics as a "science describing the fundamentals of chemical transformations and the associated problems of substance structure". This notion indicates that chemical physics has a comprehensive character and it is not surprising that its ideas and concepts are using in all areas of natural sciences including biology and medicine.
Initially, the basic line of investigation in the Institute was the theory of chain reactions, processes of combustion and explosion, later chain reactions of nuclear fission and polymerization reactions. At present, in the Institute, studies of kinetics and mechanism of heterogeneous chemical reactions and catalysis, liquid-phase oxidation reactions, and kinetics of chemical reactions in biological systems are developing.
New research centers for studying different branches of chemical physics were created during N. N. Semenov's lifetime: Institute of Chemical Kinetics and Combustion, Siberian Division, Russian Academy of Sciences, Institute of Catalysis, Siberian Division, RAS, Institute of Chemical Physics, Academy of Sciences of Armenia. In Noginsk Research Center, the Institute of Problems of Chemical Physics was organized; in Moscow, Emanuel Institute of Biochemical Physics, Center of Photochemistry, Institute of Energy Problems of Chemical Physics were organized, and Heads of these Institutes are disciples of N. N. Semenov and their disciples.
Recently, on academician V. I. Gol'danskii initiative, the United Institute of Chemical Physics was created involving Semenov Institute of Chemical Physics, RAS, Institute of Problems of Chemical Physics (Noginsk Center, Chernogolovka), Institute of Biochemical Physics, RAS, and Center of Photochemistry, RAS.
The Institute team consists of 940 researchers and 150 engineers and technicians including 142 Dr.Sci., 322 Ph.D., 2 Members, RAS, and 1 Corresponding Member, RAS; about 70 collaborators of the Institute are Lenin and State Prize winners.
In spite of geopolitical perturbations, the scientific cooperation of the Insitute with research centers of FSU and foreign countries is developing. At present a number of researchers of the Institute works in USA, Japan, West Europe, and East European countries, and personal contacts contribute to the development of scientific and technical cooperation.
The Institute can be proud of large-scale introduction of the scientific results obtained by the Institute collaborators into various branches of industry including the military applications. At the moment, in all Departments of the Institute, the fundamental works are deeply intertwined with the industry problems, creation of new materials, machines, and technologies.
Other institution names:
- Institute of Chemical Physics of the USSR Academy of Sciences