Boris Nikolsky

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Boris Petrovich Nikolsky
Born (1900-10-01)October 1, 1900
Menzelinsk, Ufa Governorate, Russian Empire
Died January 4, 1990(1990-01-04) (aged 89)
Leningrad (now St. Petersburg)
Citizenship USSR
Fields radiochemistry, physical chemistry
Institutions Leningrad State University
Alma mater Leningrad State University
Doctoral advisor Mikhail Vrevsky
Notable students Alexey Storonkin, Mikhail Shultz
Known for Theory of ion exchange in glass electrodes

Boris Petrovich Nikolsky (Russian: Бори́с Петро́вич Нико́льский) (1900–1990) was a Russian (Soviet) physical chemist and radiochemist, academician of the Soviet Academy of Sciences, and professor of Saint Petersburg (then Leningrad) State University. Boris Nikolsky was a 1925 graduate of Leningrad State University. In the 1930s he studied the ion exchange processes between aqueous solutions and solids (soils, ionites, glasses). During that time Nikolsky developed the theory of ion exchange in glass electrodes. He derived equations that describe properties of glass electrodes as well as other types of ion-selective electrodes depending on chemical structure and multi-component composition of glass, concurrent interference of ions (see Nikolsky-Eisenman equation and Nikolsky-Shultz-Eisenman thermodynamic ion-exchange theory of GE[1][2][3][4]) and so on. Boris Nikolsky also actively participated in the Soviet nuclear program. In 1952-1974 he was the senior scientist and the chairman of scientific committee at the Soviet nuclear fuel reprocessing plant Mayak, where he worked on the technology of processing and refining of plutonium. In 1961-1963 he was the chairman of the chemistry department at Leningrad State University.

General publications on the glass electrode theory

  • Nikolskii, B. P.. Theory of the glass electrode. I. Theoretical. // J. Phys. Chem. (U.S.S.R.) (1937), 10, 495-503.
  • Nikolskii, B. P.; Tolmacheva, T. A. Theory of the glass electrode. II. Effect of boric anhydride and aluminum oxide on the electrode properties of glass. // J. Phys. Chem. (U.S.S.R.) (1937), 10, 504-12.
  • Nikolskii, B. P.; Tolmacheva, T. A. Theory of the glass electrode. III. Transfer from the hydrogen electrode function into the sodium function. // J. Phys. Chem. (U.S.S.R.) (1937), 10, 513-23.

Boris Nikolsky was a co-author of the monumental textbook on physical chemistry and an editor-in-chief of the most comprehensive multivolume handbook of chemistry in Soviet Union.


  1. Morf, W. E. (1981). The Principles of Ion-SelectiVe Electrodes and of Membrane Transport. New York: Elsevier. ISBN 978-0-444-99749-4.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Koryta, J. (1986). "ION-SELECTIVE ELECTRODES". Annual Review of Materials Science. 16: 13–27. Bibcode:1986AnRMS..16...13K. doi:10.1146/<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Шульц М. М. Исследование натриевой функции стеклянных электродов. Учёные записки ЛГУ № 169. Серия химических наук № 13. 1953. стр. 80-156 (Shultz, M.M. Investigations into the internal function of glass electrods. Acad. LSU. Leningrad No. 169. Chemical Series of Science No. 13. 1953. pp. 80-156).
  4. A. A. Belyustin. Silver ion Response as a Test for the Multilayer Model of Glass Electrodes. —Electroanalysis. Volume 11, Issue 10-11, pp. 799—803. 1999.