Mukhin Gleb Yevgeniyevich (1888-1932)

Rector of Kharkov Chemical – Pharmaceutical Institute, 1922 – 1923

A special role in the formation and development of chemistry in KharkovUniversity and in general in the city in the post-revolutionary period had played Gleb Yevgeniyevich Mukhin. After graduation from KharkovImperialUniversity in 1910, he was hired as assistant at the Department of Chemistry.

In the Soviet period and during the NEP G.Ye.Mukhin managed in the then capital Kharkov to develop rigorous and very productive activity. It is difficult to list all the positions that he held: he worked in KhIPE (Kharkiv Institute of Public Education, founded instead of the Imperial University), Institute of Technology, military courses, headed the Department of  Analytical Chemistry at Kharkov Medical Institute and Department of Physical Chemistry at Kharkov Pharmaceutical Institute from 1922 to 1923, replacing M.P. Krasowskiy in this position, and since 1926 headed the Department of Physical Chemistry at KhIPE; he was head of the chemical courses at KhIPE, then – Deputy Director of the Institute of Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics, later director and first director of the Institute of Chemistry. Gleb Yevgeniyevich was a member of the Committee on chemicalization of the country and member of the editorial board of “Journal of Physical Chemistry”, managed to get financing of construction of special chemical building, which mainly housed Department of Chemistry to 1959.

In 1924 G.Ye.Mukhin headed physico-chemical laboratory of the Institute of Applied Chemistry, where he created the first in Ukraine ray laboratory for the study of metals, organized physical-chemical laboratory at Kharkov Mechnikov Institute. It is hard to overestimate the efforts of this restless man concerning the implementation in Kharkov of latest at the time methods of: refractometry, spectral analysis, pH meters and electrochemical methods of analysis.

The field of main research interests of G.Ye.Mukhin was always physical chemistry of solutions. Even in his first work – students’ work “Solubility of cadmium iodide in organic solvents”, that won a gold medal, based on the study of the temperature dependence of solubility he was able to make conclusions about the nature of solvates. To the solutions were dedicated both his first and the majority of subsequent publications. The most extensively G.Ye.Mukhin and his numerous followers studied the kinetics of chemical reactions in mixed solvents, and he proposed empirical diffusion equation, which take into account the chemical interaction of the solvent with diffusing substance; he studied the effect of neutral salts on the optical activity and the rate of occurrence of reactions in solutions; used infrared spectroscopy and X-ray of the liquids.

Among the alumnus of G.Ye.Mukhin are: I.N. Frantsevich, S.S. Urazovskiy, Ye.N. Gapon, T.V. Ase, P.K. Migal, I.I. Chalenko and many others. In the period from 1926 to 1931 G.Ye.Mukhin read the general course of physical chemistry at KhIPE.

It is obvious that Gleb Yevgeniyevich was one of those people whose work permanently determines the development of many research groups and communities. Unfortunately, due to illness the fruitful scientific and organizational activity of G.Ye.Mukhin prematurely stopped in 1932 when he was only 44 years old.