Saturday, November 24, 2012

Theory and Practice, Moscow. Interview.

Recently, I have been interviewed as a young scientist for a Theory and Practice project, Moscow.

Follow the link for the ORIGINAL interview and pictures (Russian language).

The  translation (text only) is available below:

Zakharov David talks about his love of minerals and enthusiasm Greco-Roman wrestling, explains what is the beauty of science petrology, and hopes that in a few years he will not be ashamed of that interview. The new hero in the regular column T & P.
  • MGRI-RSGPU, Department of mineralogy, petrology and geochemistry
  • Studies of mineral composition, structure and texture features of the igneous rocks origin. 
  • All his life making music, and enjoys the Greco-Roman wrestling. 
I am a student on the fifth year of the Russian State Geological Prospecting University Sergo Ordzhonikidze. I must say that my school is not very popular but, perhaps, the only one in Moscow prepares prospecting geologist  - the people doing the proceeding , mining, exploring the ore and its development. Unfortunately, my interests lie far from the industrial development, discovering and general exploration of deposits. I hold the position of the technologist (1st category) Vernadsky Institute, full name of the institution is: Federal State Institution of Science of the Order of Lenin and the Order of the October Revolution, Institute of Geochemistry and Analytical Chemistry, Russian Academy of Sciences, Vernadsky.

Study and work in the area of ​​my professional interests take up a lot of my time. I like to go different ways. Spent my life in music, however, the last time there is no time for it at all. The last few years trying to find time to sports, fond of Greco-Roman wrestling. On the Internet, except for killing time on social networks, I run the blog of earth sciencesDue to the fact that the school I was able to travel a few times in the geological reviews (Karelia, the Urals, Taman, the Caucasus), I already knew what I would do after the 11th grade (high school), furthermore I always was interested in chemistry. Most strongly affected me Karelia, where I saw the Precambrian rocks and minerals. I was strongly influenced by finding of corundum, tourmaline and apatite in their habitats. I was amazed when I realized that the substance can "cut" themselves to crystal forms and shapes during their growth, moreover, to do so in different ways
unequally, with the advent of combinations of different faces. After that I'm keen to crystallinity matter and my friends think I'm crazy. 
Then I thought I was going to do mineralogy. I liked crystallography, mineralogy, I studied the conditions of formation, chemistry, typomorphism minerals. I was wondering why some minerals (even within the same mineral species) of the same color, the second - the other, and others - all can change color depending on the light source. Depending on the symptoms of minerals they can grow various forms, some of the faces are greater development, maintaining constant angles. In this case, by appearance of the mineral can be judged on a number of factors. Most of the minerals are anisotropic, their properties vary depending on the destination. I was always amazed that in this world there is a substance that has anisotropy. I'm still surprised about this, as it was going on. There are even special honors minerals that can be seen directly in the hands of the anisotropy. For example, kyanite. It can not be scratched with a knife across the crystal, and along - easily.The atoms are joined in a variety of structures, bands and groups that constitute frames, layers, and in the end it turns crystal. Its properties depend on the atoms of which elements of its terms, and more on how the particles are connected, in what order and motive. If the layered crystal structure of the mineral, it will in most cases have a plate appearance, a perfect cleavage (easily split into regular geometric shapes) along the layers in the structure. Touching an object, I often think that I touch the outer electron shells of atoms.
As I said, I am fond of mineralogy. Once we had classes where a large collections of rock have to be studied. And a rock is an aggregate of minerals, so my interests have moved in a different scale: from individuals to the aggregates. Here, we first study the mineral composition, structure and texture features of the breed, these data allow us to have to make some conclusions. I study the origin of igneous rocks that are formed from the once-molten material. Important to me, what was the composition of the original magma, how long it has cooled, under what parameters. All this, of course, coupled with geological field data. I'm interested in what geological conditions manifested a particular magmatism. Each environment (crustal extension, mid-ocean ridges, stable regions of the crust and so on) has its own type of magmatism. And each rock, in turn, has a set of features that allow it to be attributed to a particular situation. To do this, scientists have resorted to the study of the chemical composition of rocks and minerals, the isotopic characteristics of the breed, and scattered distribution of trace elements and the like. I think it's very interesting. To do this in science uses many methods of study of minerals, rocks and ores, and many of them are quite expensive. To use some of them, people are turning to foreign organizations.My classmates are interested in the industrial development of, one of them is involved in geology minimally. We have a few guys who go on field work in poorly developed in our country. They go for a period of three months. For me it is too much. The last time I went to the Kola Peninsula, it took me two weeks. Of course, the period are scarce, but a more detailed study is planned in the area next season.
My favorite and quite affordable method is the study of rocks under a polarizing microscope. When light passes through a prism Nicolas polarized light (i.e., varies in the same direction), and passing through anisotropic minerals, is divided into two waves. Ordinary and extraordinary. Omitting the cumbersome theory, I want to say that I find it amazing and beautiful. For this kind of microscope uses thin slices of rock thickness of 30 microns. I would like to share a few photos that I made in the description of certain breeds. This science is called descriptive petrography.
Laboratory, in which the number of I, is engaged in geochemistry of alkaline rocks. With this laboratory, I am writing a diploma based on field work carried out on the Kola Peninsula. Alkaline rocks of a relatively high amount of alkali (K + Na) and make up a very small fraction of all the rocks. For many of them characterized by the high content of trace elements (zirconium, niobium, tantalum, rare earths, thorium, uranium, cesium, rubidium, lithium, and so on). With these rocks are associated deposits of rare elements and platinum group metals, which are increasingly used in modern industry to the needs of new technologies. And it draws attention to the alkaline rocks even more. Our Kola alkaline province is considered the largest in the world, it can be associated with only a few provinces of Greenland and North America.Plans for the next few years a lot, be sure to go to graduate school, yet to solve the problem. In Russia science poorly funded and someone survives through grants and various projects. However, I understand that working in science is very interesting, especially when developing allied sciences, create new directions at the intersection of different disciplines, and new research methods. Usually it is well funded. In any case, you need to look for options for the application of science and the ability to work both in business and science. 
I must say, I really like the idea of ​​popularizing science. A lot happens below the interests of uninvolved people, many digs in graphs, figures, ratios, become boring and uninteresting. Cover scientific discoveries, evaluate them significance, illustrate examples - it all makes sense. I enjoy the feeling that we - scientists, naturalists, we're exploring the nature. I admire people who are in daily life are interesting facts, explanations of phenomena, apply their knowledge and entertaining can tell about it. In our science was outstanding and distinguished man, Alexander Fersman, and I advise everyone to read his book, "Entertaining geochemistry."

People should do what they like (if it is not associated with violence), even if it is at the level of a hobby. I hope that in a few years, when I re-read the text, I will not be ashamed.


  1. Эй, Давид. Прочитала с тобой интервью на T&P, с тех пор отслеживаю блог. Не хочешь случайно попробовать принять участие - ?

  2. Мне это очень интересно и я бы с удовольствием поучаствовал. Пожалуйста, напишите мне на

  3. Давид, по поводу вопроса об участии в конкурсе научных блогов. К сожалению не нашел другого способа с Вами связаться.
    Ответ - да, можете, мы обязательно рассмотрим Ваш пост.