Prewar Years

  • Victor Ya. Frenkel


During the prewar years Frenkel published more than 100 papers. Their distribution through time is not uniform: the peak of the “article” activity coincides with the low point of that of the “book”. This correlation could not escape J.I.’s own notice. However, his work on the books, and textbooks in particular, he regarded as his civic duty, so he had chosen to make it a priority, harming thus to a certain extent his research studies.


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  1. 1).
    I.E. Tamm. UFN, v. 76, n. 3, p. 427, 1962 (in Russian).Google Scholar
  2. 2).
    V.L. Indenbom, I. Kratochvil. Checkoslov. phys. journ., v. 13, p. 814, 1963 («Mobility of dislocation in the Frenkel-Kontorova model»); W. Atkinson & N. Canberra, Phys. Rev., v. 138, p. 763A, 1965 («Motion of the Frenkel-Kontorova dislocation in one-dimensional crystal»).Google Scholar
  3. 3).
    A little earlier Frenkel had considered the same rectification mechanism but at the contact of two metals (Phys. Rev., 1931, v. 37, 31, p. 102).Google Scholar
  4. 4).
    V.I. Fistul’ & RZ. Shvarz. Tunnel diodes. UFN, v. 77, # 1, p. 109, 1962. In Russia the quantum-mechanics theory of the tunnel effect was further promoted in well-known papers by L.V. Keldysh.Google Scholar
  5. 5).
    L.D. Landau & E.M. Lifshits. Physikalische Zeitschrift der Sowjetunion, Bd. 9, H. 5, S. 475, 1936 (in German).Google Scholar
  6. 6).
    S.E. Bresler. J.I. Frenkel’s studies on molecular physics. In: J.I. Frenkel, Collection of Selected Papers, v. 2, 1958, p. 231 (in Russian).Google Scholar
  7. 7).
    See cf. L.D. Landau and E.M. Lifshits. Statistical physics. Moscow: Nauka, 1964, p. 560 (in Russian).Google Scholar
  8. 8).
    Tamm’s letter is published in: «Paul Dirac and Twentieth Century Physics» Moscow: Nauka, 1990, pp. 163-165 (in Russian).Google Scholar
  9. 9).
    Frenkel’s letter to Dirac was published in several places, in particular in the book: «Frenkel, Recollections», and in the collection of papers mentioned in the previous footnote.Google Scholar
  10. 10).
    The analysis of this statement by Dirac at the Congress is given in: J. Mehra. «The golden age of theoretical physics». In: Aspects of Quantum Theory / Ed. by A. Salam and E.P. Wigner. Cambr. Univ. Press, 1972.Google Scholar
  11. 11).
    The idea was developed further, most notably in a fundamental paper by Heisenberg who referred directly to Ivanenko.Google Scholar
  12. 12).
    The notion of a nucleus similar to a liquid drop was first formulated by G.A. Gamov in 1929 and later developed by W. von Weizsäcker. A thermodynamic aspect of this model had not, however, been at all covered by them.Google Scholar
  13. 13).
    J.I. Frenkel. Speech on the I.E. Tamm report. Izvestiya AN SSSR, ser. fiz., v. 13, 1936, p. 343. Included in the collection of papers: «Neutron», ed. by I.M. Frank. Moscow: Nauka, 1983, pp. 283-85.Google Scholar
  14. 14).
    A journal published in Khar’kov in German and English since 1932.Google Scholar
  15. 15).
    We are happy to take the opportunity to thank Professor A. Bohr who kindly provided us with copies of the letters by N. Bohr and J.I. Frenkel cited below. Bohr’s letters were written in German; Frenkel answered him in English.Google Scholar
  16. 16).
    The report is published in «Philosophy of Science», v. 4, p. 289, 1937.Google Scholar
  17. 17).
    The corresponding fragment of Bohr’s paper is cited below.Google Scholar
  18. 18).
    H. Bethe. Review of Modem Physics, v. 8, # 2; v. 9, # 2, 1937.Google Scholar
  19. 19).
    N. Bohr. UFN, v. 18, p. 337, 1938 (in Russian).Google Scholar
  20. 20).
    Its Russian translation is published in UFN, v. 20, p. 1, 1938; Bohr refers to this paper in his letter to Frenkel of May 2, 1936.Google Scholar
  21. 21).
    Izv. AN SSSR, OMEN, # 1-2, p. 233, 1938.Google Scholar
  22. 22).
    See Physikalische Zeitschrift der Sowjetunion, Bd. 11, S. 556, 1937 and Phys. Rev., 1937, v. 52, p. 295.Google Scholar
  23. 23).
    Physical Review, v. 55, p. 987, 1939 («On the splitting of heavy nuclei by slow neutrons»). This paper was included in 1979 in the collection dedicated to the 40 year jubilee of the Hahn and Strassmann paper: «40 Jahre Kernspaltung: Eine Einführung in die Originalliteratur». Herausgegeben von H. Wohlfarth. Darmstadt: Wiss. Bücherges., 1979, S. 108-110.Google Scholar
  24. 24).
    I express my gratitude to Dr. H. Levi for sending me a copy of this letter.Google Scholar
  25. 25).
    A footnote in this paper (Phys. Rev., v. 56, p. 426, 1939) indicates that the main formulae derived in it coincide with those obtained by Frenkel, as one sees «from the manuscript sent by him».Google Scholar
  26. 26).
    Ya.A. Smorodinsky and I.E. Tamm. «Works by Frenkel on the Theory of Electrons and Heavy Nuclei. Coll. of Selected Papers of J.I. Frenkel», v. II, AN SSSR Publ., Moscow-Leningrad, 1958, p. 458. (in Russian).Google Scholar
  27. 27).
    I. Noddak. Angewandte Chemie, Bd. 47, S. 653, 1934. On page 654 the author says: «It seems to be possible that under the neutron bombardment of heavy nuclei these nuclei split into large parts which are isotopes of the known elements, but not the neighbours of those bombarded.»CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28).
    G. Günter. Tekhnicheskie mechtaniya, Leningrad, Seyatel’, 1925. Ed. by Prof. J.I. Frenkel (in Russian).Google Scholar
  29. 29).
    See also my papers in «Archives for History of Exact Sciences», 1974, v. 13, # 1, pp. 1-26, and in UFN, 1994, v. 164, # 4, pp. 352-356.Google Scholar
  30. 30).
    Meaning «iron» in Russian.Google Scholar
  31. 31).
    David L’vovich Talmud was a known physical-chemist, corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences.Google Scholar
  32. 32).
    From a paper based on a lecture given by Frenkel in 1947 in Moscow. See J.I. Frenkel. In: «Na zare novoy fiziki», Leningrad, «Nauka», 1970, pp. 373-374. series «Populyarnye proizvedeniya klassikov estestvoznaniya», (in Russian).Google Scholar
  33. 33).
    In Russian one says «3 beginnings of thermodynamics» instead of «3 laws of thermodynamics».Google Scholar
  34. 34).
    J.I. pointed to Lagrange who gave exams simply by opening his own treatise and questioning students on specific topics.Google Scholar
  35. 35).
    J.I. Frenkel. «The mysticism of the world of ether». Vestnik znaniya, # 6, p. 426, 1925 (in Russian).Google Scholar
  36. 36).
    «The nature of the electric current». VEO, Moscow-Leningrad, 1930, p. 101 (in Russian).Google Scholar
  37. 37).
    Op. cit., pp. 112-114.Google Scholar
  38. 38).
    Tovarishtch, # 42 (128) of June 10, 1930 (in Russian).Google Scholar
  39. 39).
    «Under the banner of Marxism».Google Scholar
  40. 40).
    Vsesoyuznaya Kommunisticheskaya Partiya (bol’shevikov), i.e., the All-Union Communist Party of Bolsheviks.Google Scholar
  41. 41).
    A.A. Maksimov. «On the physical idealism and its defense by acad. A.F. Ioffe», PZM, 1937, # 11-12, p. 171 (in Russian).Google Scholar
  42. 42).
    LE. Tamm. Pod znamenem marksizma, # 5, pp. 220–221, 1933 (in Russian).Google Scholar
  43. 43).
    A.A. Maksimov. Pod znamenem marksizma, # 6, p. 52, 1937 (in Russian).Google Scholar
  44. 44).
    A.F. Ioffe. Same journal, # 11–12, p. 135, 1937 (in Russian).Google Scholar
  45. 45).
  46. 46).
    «Industrial’ny», April 19, 1938 (in Russian).Google Scholar
  47. 47).
    The complete paper «Reply to A.A. Maksimov» is published in: «Readings in the memory of A.F. Ioffe, 1989». Leningrad: Nauka, 1990, pp. 53-60 (in Russian).Google Scholar
  48. 48).
    «Literaturny Leningrad», # 13, November 6, 1933 (in Russian).Google Scholar
  49. 49).
  50. 50).
    «Literaturny Leningrad», # 9 (31), February 23, 1934.Google Scholar
  51. 51).
  52. 52).
    N.N. Davidenkov, Academician of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences (1880-1960), was a specialist in the physics of metals and strength and one of the first staff members of the PTI.Google Scholar
  53. 53).
    «Physical Stupidities».Google Scholar
  54. 54).
    In Russian the words «wave» and «agitation» have the same root and are pronounced similarly.Google Scholar
  55. 55).
    This report, «The quantum theory of dances» is published in: «Fiziki prodolzhayut shutit’», ed. V. Turchin. Moscow: Mir, 1968, pp. 281-86 (in Russian). Several other jokes of J.I. Frenkel’s are also found there.Google Scholar
  56. 56).
    P.L. Kapitza. «Zhizn’ dlya nauki. Lomonosov, Franklin, Rutherford, Langevin». Moscow, Znanie, 1965, p. 35 (in Russian).Google Scholar
  57. 57).
    E.V. Shpol’sky. UFN. v. 27, # 1, p. 3, 1945 (in Russian).Google Scholar
  58. 58).
    A.F. Ioffe. In: J.I. Frenkel. Collection of Selected Papers, v. II. Moscow-Leningrad: AN SSSR publ, 1958, p. 18 (in Russian).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Basel AG 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Victor Ya. Frenkel
    • 1
  1. 1.A.E. Ioffe Physico-Technical InstituteSt. Petersburg K-21Russia

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