Gennady Mesyats

Gennady Mesyats
Associated organizations
Lebedev Physics Institute
Fields of study


Considered one of the world’s leading researchers on pulsed power, vacuum, and gas discharges, Gennady Mesyats’ pioneering work in Russia helped establish nanosecond pulsed power technology as a new engineering discipline. His contributions began in 1957 when he constructed a nanosecond rise-time high-voltage pulse generator. Dr. Mesyats discovered the phenomenon of explosive electron emission (EEE) in 1967. Important in explaining and predicting current switching in a vacuum discharge, this phenomenon makes it possible to produce pulsed electron currents of almost infinite magnitude. His research group then developed the first high-current nanosecond pulsed electron accelerator using an EEE diode. Dr. Mesyats’ work on volumetric gas discharges led to new types of high-power pulsed gas lasers. Dr. Mesyats also discovered the phenomenon of current cut-off in semiconductor switches at high current densities within nanoseconds. This enabled fully solid-state nanosecond pulse generators that could produce pulsed voltages in the megavolt range at a high repetition rate.

Dr. Mesyats is currently the director of the Lebedev Physics Institute within the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow, and serves as the Academy’s vice president.