Lev Aleksandrovich Shuvalov

It is with great sadness that the international ferroelectrics community bids farewell to Professor Lev Shuvalov who died in Moscow in December 2004 in his eighty-first year. Lev Alexandrovitch, as he was affectionately known to his Russian and non-Russian friends, was one of the world’s leading scientists in ferroelectrics and related materials. Over a long and productive life, he was a pioneer in many of the most important developments in the field of ferroelectricity and phase transitions.

Lev Shuvalov’s international reputation was first established in the 1950s and 1960s for his classical work on the crystal symmetry and classification of ferroelectrics. Some of us will remember the brilliant paper on the topic that he delivered at the 2nd International Meeting on Ferroelectricity held in Kyoto, Japan in 1969. This basic approach allowed him in the 1970s and 1980s to make important fundamental studies of the changes in symmetry that occur at phase transitions in ferroelectric, ferroelastic and ferromagnetic materials. This pioneering work in turn led to his fundamental studies of domains in both classical ferroelectrics and ferroelastics.

During his long and successful career at the Institute of Crystallography in Moscow, where for more than 20 years he headed the Laboratory of Phase Transitions, Professor Shuvalov made major contributions in many other areas. They included the discovery of ferroelectricity in trihydrogen selenites and sulphates, extensive studies of bulk and surface waves in piezoelectrics, fundamental work on TGS pyroelectric vidicons and the discovery and characterization of a new family of superprotonic conductors. Lev Aleksandrov was equally at home in the theory, experimental studies and applications of ferroelectrics and related materials. He saw the big picture and successfully led and inspired colleagues and young scientists. He wrote more than 700 papers and had 20 patents.

Professor Lev Shuvalov lived through turbulent times. His courage and strength of personality, his intelligence, his hard work and his unfailing optimism led to his great successes. As a young man in the Second World War, Lev Shuvalov fought at the Battles of Moscow, Kursk, and Stalingrad and was awarded the Medal of Valor and the Order of the Red Star. He graduated in Physics in 1951 from Moscow State University and subsequently obtained his Candidate and Doctoral degrees under the supervision of the famous crystallographer, Professor A.V. Shubnikov. Later in his career Lev Aleksandrovitch was awarded the State Prize of the USSR and the Federov Prize of the Russian Academy of Sciences for his work on phase transitions, ferroelastics, and domains and the Prize in Physics of the Polish Academy of Sciences.

Professor Shuvalov was a founding Member of the Editorial Board of the International Journal FERROELECTRICS. He served with much distinction over 34 years andwas Guest Editor for many special issues of the journal. Lev Aleksandrovitch was to me, a source of great advice and inspiration on editorial matters, which I will sorely miss. In addition to his work with the journal FERROELECTRICS, Lev was the Editor in Chief of the journal KRISTALLOGRAFIYA, Associate Editor of FERROELECTRICS LETTERS and on the Editorial Board of ZEITSCHRIFT FUR KRISTALLOGRAPHIE and CRYSTALLOGRAPHY REVIEWS.

In Russia, Lev Aleksandrov was Vice Chairman of the Ferroelectrics and Dielectrics Section of the Russian Academy of Sciences. He represented Russia on the International and the European Advisory Committees on Ferroelectrics, and the bilateral Russian–American Symposium and the bilateral Russian–Japanese Symposium on Ferroelectricity. Professor Shuvalov established excellent scientific relationships in many countries, including Czech Republic, Germany, Japan, Lithuania, Poland, Slovenia, Ukraine, and USA.

The international ferroelectrics community has always had a great admiration for Lev Shuvalov’s scientific achievements and respect and affection for him as a man. The papers and personal tributes in the special volume of FERROELECTRICS (Volumes 97 and 98) published in 1989 to honor his 65th birthday bear witness to this. All of us fortunate enough to have known and worked with him will greatly miss him.

George W. Taylor
Princeton, New Jersey, USA
June 2005

George W. Taylor, “Obituary: Lev A. Shuvalov (1923-2004)”, Ferroelectrics, Volume 322, pp. 1-2 (2005). (Published by Taylor & Francis Ltd, http://www.informaworld.com, reprinted by permission of the publisher)