Gennady Mesyats

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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.