- Yakov Frenkel
Yakov Il'ich Frenkel, _ru. Яков Ильич Френкель (
February 10, 1894, Rostov-on-Don– January 23, 1952, Leningrad, now known as St. Petersburg) was a Russian physicist renowned for his works in the field of solid-state physics. He is also known as Jacov Frenkel.
He was born in a
Jewish family in Rostov on Donon February 10, 1894. He entered St. Petersburg Universityin 1910. Frenkel graduated from the university in 3 years and remained there to prepare for a professorship. In 1912 he finished his first work in physics on the Earth Magnetismand atmospheric electricity. This work attracted Abram Ioffe's attention and later turned into collaboration.
From 1921 till the end of his life, Frenkel worked at the Physico-Technical Institute. Beginning in 1922, Frenkel published a book virtually every year. He was the author of the first theoretical course in the
USSR. Many students learned physics from these books, in the USSR and abroad. For his distinguished scientific service, he was elected a corresponding member of the USSR Academy of Sciencesin 1929 [ [http://www.ioffe.rssi.ru/frenkel.html Yakov I. Frenkel pn the website of Ioffe Physico-Technical Institute] ] .
He married Sara Isakovna Gordin in 1920. They had two sons, Sergei and Viktor (Victor). He served as a visiting professor in the
University of Minnesota(USA) for a short period of time in around 1930. [ Rudolf Peirels, "Yakov Ilich Frenkel", Physics Today, June 1994.]
When conducting research on the molecular theory of condensed state, he introduced the notion of the hole. The
Frenkel defectbecame firmly fixed in the physics of solids and liquids. In the 1930s, his research was supplemented with works on the theory of plastic deformation. His theory, now known as the Frenkel-Kontorova-Tomlinson model, is important in the study of dislocations. [ O.M. Braun, "The Frenkel-Kontorova model: concepts, methods and applications", Springer, 2004.(Note: Kontorova was a female scientist working with Frenkel.)]
The results of his more than twenty years of study of the theory of liquid state were generalized in the classic monograph "Kinetic theory of liquids". In 1930-1931, Frenkel showed that "neutral excitation" of a
crystalby light is possible, with an electronremaining bound to a hole created at a lattice site identified as a quasiparticle, the exciton. Mention should be made of Frenkel's works on the theory of metals, nuclear physics(the liquid drop modelof the nucleus), and semiconductors.
He contributed to semiconductor and insulator physics by proposing a theory, which is now commonly known as the
Poole-Frenkel effect, in 1938. "Poole" refers to H. H. Poole (Horace Hewitt Poole, 1886-1962), Ireland. Poole reported experimental results on the conduction in insulators and found an empirical relationship between conductivity and electrical field. Frenkel later developed a microscopic model, similar to the Schottkyeffect, to explain Pooles results more accurately. [ J. Frenkel, "On pre-breakdown phenomena in insulators and electronic semi-conductors", Phys. Rev.Letters, vol. 54, pp. 647-648, 1938. In this paper published in USA, Frenkel only very briefly mentioned an empirical relationship as Poole's law. Frenkel cited Poole's paper when he wrote a longer article in a Soviet journal. (Note: Yakov Frenkel quite frequently put down his name as J. Frenkel when he published his papers in journals using the English language, for example, Physical Review.)]
His son, Victor Ya. Frenkel, wrote a biography for his father, "Yakov Ilich Frenkel: His work, life and letters". This book, originally written in Russian, has also been translated and published in English.
* [http://www-groups.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/~history/Mathematicians/Frenkel.html Biography of Jacov Il'ich Frenkel]
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