Alexander Goncharov
Staff Scientist
Office: 
R-134
Phone: 
(202) 478-8947

Alexander F. Goncharov's research concentrates on analyzing materials under extreme conditions such as high pressure and temperature using optical spectroscopy and other techniques. He received a Ph.D in physics from the Russian Academy of Sciences, Institute of Spectroscopy in 1983, and a combined MA and MSc in physics from the Moscow Institute for Physics and Technology in 1979.

Alex began his career at the Institute of Crystallography, Russian Academy of Sciences to become a world-recognized expert in optical spectroscopy under high pressure. In 2006 he left his post as a staff scientist at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) to rejoin Carnegie. He came to Carnegie initially as a Fellow during 1993 to 2002 period, became a Senior Research Associate and as a Research Scientist in 2005.

In 1991 his work won Annual European High Pressure Research Group Award for young scientists, and he was awarded by a prestigious Humboldt fellowship in Germany (MPI Stuttgart). At the LLNL we received the Associate Director (CMS) Award, 2005. At the Geophysical Laboratory today he continues leading the field of optical spectroscopy under extreme conditions of high pressure and temperature.

Areas of interest: 

Related News

Matter at Extreme States
Lab-based mimicry allowed an international team of physicists including the Geophysical Laboratory’s Alexander Goncharov to probe hydrogen under the conditions found in the interiors of giant planets—where experts believe it gets squeezed until it becomes a liquid metal, capable of conducting electricity. Their work is published in Science.
Matter at Extreme States
New work from a team led by the Geophysical Laboratory’s Alexander Goncharov confirms that nitrogen, the dominant gas in Earth’s atmosphere, becomes a metallic fluid when subjected to the extreme pressure and temperature conditions found deep inside the Earth and other planets. Their findings are published by Nature Communications.
Matter at Extreme States
The paradox of the missing xenon might sound like the title of the latest airport thriller, but it’s actually a problem that’s stumped geophysicists for decades. New work from an international team including the Geophysical Laboratory’s Alexander Goncharov and Hanyu Liu, and GL alumni Elissaios Stavrou and Sergey Lobanov, is chasing down the solution to this longstanding puzzle.
Geochemistry
The Geophysical Laboratory’s Alex Goncharov and Terrestrial Magnetism’s Peter van Keken were awarded a Venture Grant to apply a novel flash-heating method for high- pressure/high-temperature experiments to measure the thermal conductivity of Mars. They will then develop new models to understand why that planet cooled so fast and early.
High Pressure
Washington, DC— Although helium is the second most-abundant element (after hydrogen) in the universe, it doesn’t play well with others. It is a member of a family of seven elements called the noble gases, which are called that because of their chemical aloofness—they don’t easily form compounds with other elements. Helium, widely believed to be the most inert element, has no stable compounds under normal conditions. 
High Pressure
Washington, DC— New work from a team led by the Geophysical Laboratory's Alexander Goncharov has created a new extremely incompressible carbon nitride compound. They say it could be the prototype for a whole new family of superhard materials, due to the unexpected ratio of carbon and nitrogen atoms. Their work is published in the journal Chemistry of Materials.
High Pressure
Washington, DC— Hydrogen is the most-abundant element in the universe. It’s also the simplest—sporting only a single electron in each atom. But that simplicity is deceptive, because there is still so much we have to learn about hydrogen.
High Pressure
Washington, DC— Earth's magnetic field shields us from deadly cosmic radiation, and without it, life as we know it could not exist here. The motion of liquid iron in the planet’s outer core, a phenomenon called a “geodynamo,” generates the field.
High Pressure
Washington, DC—The interiors of several of our Solar System’s planets and moons are icy, and ice has been found on distant extrasolar planets, as well.  But these bodies aren’t filled with the regular kind of water ice that you avoid on the sidewalk in winter.
High Pressure
Washington, DC— The matter that makes up distant planets and even-more-distant stars exists under extreme pressure and temperature conditions.

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