Alexander Goncharov
Staff Scientist
(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

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— As astronomers continue finding new rocky planets around distant stars, high-pressure physicists are considering what the interiors of those planets might be like and how their chemistry could differ from that found on Earth.
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.
High Pressure
Washington, DC— Superconductivity is a rare physical state in which matter is able to conduct electricity—maintain a flow of electrons—without any resistance.
High Pressure
Washington, DC— Carbonates are a group of minerals that contain the carbonate ion (CO32-) and a metal, such as iron or magnesium.