An Interdisciplinary Journal

2014, Vol.17, No.2, pp.207-208

In memory of the outstanding person and scientist

Anatoly P. Sukhorukov

We mourn for the death (April 10, 1014) of Anatoly Petrovich Sukhorukov who was an outstanding Soviet/Russian scientist, a pioneer in nonlinear optics, whose authority and influence on the progress in optics, radio physics, and acoustics is hardly overestimated.

À.P. Sukhorukov was born on 29th of November 1935 in Moscow. In 1961 he graduated with honors from the Physics faculty of the Lomonosov Moscow State University (MSU). For three years he was working as a junior research worker at the Institute of Electronic Control Machines of the USSR Academy of Sciences. After finishing his post-graduate studies at MSU, A.P. Sikhorukov defended his thesis for a Candidate’s Degree under the science management of academician R.V. Khokhlov. In 1974 he took his Doctor’s degree in physics and mathematics and in 1977 he was given the academic status of Professor. Nearly the whole course of life of A.P. Sukhorukov was associated with MSU: from a postgraduate student to the head engineer and from the Chair to the Dean’s Office. His numerous awards include the Lenin Prize (1988), State Prize of the USSR (1984), Lomonosov Prize (2006), Order of Friendship: (2013), honorary titles "Honored Worker of Science of the Russian Federation"and "Honored Worker of Moscow State University".

A.P. Sukhorukov has gained the world recognition for his scientific and tutorial achievements. His findings were especially remarkable in the field of wave physics, nonlinear and coherent optics, laser physics, nonlinear acoustics and radio physics. His works were fundamental for the modern advances in these fields. The most important contribution has been made by A.P. Sukhorukov into a theory of the wave beam self-focusing in media with different nonlinearity mechanisms. Drawing on the hydrodynamic analogy, he was the first to obtain exact analytical solutions describing the beam path in nonlinear media. Sukhorukov is an author of the universal aberration-free description method that is still extensively used. Well known are the works by À.P. Sukhorukov devoted to three-frequency interactions of wave beams and packets with due regard for diffraction and dispersion, giving a deeper insight into the phenomenon of diffraction incoherence; establishing the diffraction limit for the efficiency of high-power light frequency doublers; formulating the optimum focusing principle that lays the basis for the advanced highly-efficient technique of laser radiation frequency conversion. He was one of the first to derive a theory of the parametric interaction and stimulated scattering of short pulses considering the group velocity mismatch. He was the first to study generation of the giant parametric pulse with the amplitude exceeding that of the pump wave and having a length of several femtoseconds. This effect is still widely used in the process of forming ultrashort optical pulses. Also, A.P. Sukhorukov has revealed the unique property of the complete pumping-energy conversion to a single wave in multiple-frequency parametric oscillators.

À.P. Sukhorukov was the beginner of studies into nonlinear acoustics of wave beams; he was the first to attack the problem of narrow-beam diffraction in dispersionless media and to apply his theory to a description of parametric acoustic antennas. His works in nonlinear acoustics of stratified media in the presence of wind are of great practical importance. In 1974 Sukhorukov discovered a new localization mechanism of wave beams and pulses in quadratic nonlinear media and predicted the parametric solitons. The parametric spatial solitons were first found experimentally in 1995. This phenomenon offers principally new opportunities in design of the optically controlled logic elements for data processing. A discovery of the quadratic solitons is of fundamental importance not only for optics but also for different fields of wave physics including hydrodynamics and plasma physics.

A wide range of his studies were associated with nonlinear optics of nematic liquid crystals, nonlinear optics of atmosphere, nonlinear adaptive optics. He was the first to state the aberration nature of the ring structure of a laser beam self-focusing within a liquid crystal observed experimentally; to derive relationships for the propagation of high-power laser beams in the atmosphere; to predict the self-deflection phenomenon of a light-beam path in a moving medium or in the process of scanning; to reveal the principal properties of a thermal defocusing with regard to free convection. A.P. Sukhorukov has proposed a theory of laser bleaching in a cloudy medium based on the introduction of the water content variable due to the laser-induced evaporation of liquid aerosols. Nearly all the following works by other authors were based on this theory. Later the idea of the induced atmospheric bleaching was extended by Sukhorukov and his followers to laser photolysis of ozone and to the development of two new research leads: nonlinear optics of ozonosphere and laser photochemistry of ozone. Important results have been obtained in studies of the formation of parametric and vector spatial solitons, solitons with little oscillations, dissipative solitons in resonators and in the case of Bragg gratings. Very interesting findings have been made in such advanced fields as optics of metamaterials and plasmonics. The nonlinear reflection effect of optical waves from the laser-induced inhomogeneities predicted and experimentally verified by Sukhorukov and colleagues has been studied further at the Belarusian State University.

In 1988 À.P. Sukhorukov headed the Radiophysics department of the Physics faculty to be its leader to the end of life. During this period the science subjects of the department have been widened considerably to keep up to date. A new scientific school (physics of wave interactions in inhomogeneous and nonlinear media) was created to keep on the traditions of MSU laid by academician R.V. Khohklov. In 2008 the department was renamed as the Department of Photonics and Microwave Physics and the research activities associated with the optical radiation control, magnetooptics, acoustooptics and plasmonics were initiated; the experimental base has been improved, international scientific and academic contacts have been widened considerably. Among the followers of A.P. Sukhorukov, there are more than 80 graduates from the Physics faculty of MSU, 36 candidates for PhD and 8 for D.Sc. Owing to human merits of A.P. Sukhorukov, the atmosphere in his laboratory was business-like but warm and friendly; he was a real leader capable to motivate his students and colleagues, to set their inventive incentives on the right track. Because of this, his students and colleagues had numerous publications, participated actively in the Russian and international conferences. The lecture course worked out by A.P. Sukhorukov in a wave theory more than 40 years ago is still very popular. His textbook "Wave theory"was constantly updated to include the latest findings in optics and acoustics, metamaterials and plasmonics.

A.P. Sukhorukov was an in initiator of the all-Russian annual seminary in wave phenomena. The first sessions of this seminary were held at the faculty and involved 20 participants only. In a period of 25 years since its organization this seminary (now organized at the rest homes near Moscow) has attracted not only Russian but also foreign participants involving more than 180 researchers. A.P. Sukhorukov is known as a broad-mined and erudite person. He was an expert in various problems of optics, radio physics, and acoustics including the fields not in the immediate sphere of his interests. A.P. was at the head of the Academic Council of MSU, on the board of several scientific journals, among the experts of the science foundations and members of organization committees for numerous conferences.

The last lecture was read by Anatoly Petrovich on the 19 of March 2014, only three weeks prior to this death. Though he had to leave the working place, Anatoly Petrovich was up to the developments at the department to nearly the last day.

Anatoly Petrovich Sukorukov has left us a precious heritage embracing his scientific school, different research trends, lecture courses and handbooks, seminary. Paying a tribute to Anatoli Petrovich together with his colleagues, followers, and students over the world, we honor the memory of this outstanding person and scientist.  

Copyright © Nonlinear Phenomena in Complex Systems. Last updated: September 18, 2014