Friday, July 15, 2016

Profile: Abram Ioffe


  1. For his huge influence on Soviet/Russian science that persists to this day, Ioffe deserves a higher score... K5 is correct. I4 makes sense since he did agree to convert to Lutheran (a legal requirement, and he never practiced as Christian, so probably not a statement against his Judaism) for his marriage to a gentile. But I would argue for O4 or even O5...

    "It is difficult to overestimate Ioffe's contribution to the organization of a network of physical institutes in the former USSR (more than 20 institutes have originated from the Physico-Technical Institute) and to the development of a new educational system."

    "Before the Revolution, the concept of teaching physics in Russia amounted to repeating basic information that had been discovered in the west. There was no physics school of its own in Russia, not to mention any proper experimental studies. All the institutions created by Ioffe provided a solid base to prepare a new qualified workforce in the area of physics. Because of his great gifts as a teacher and mentor, the most talented and brightest minds of the country came to study under Ioffe.
    He raised a plethora of leading physicists, who helped build the future of science in the Soviet Union including Nobel Prize winners Pyotr Kapitsa and Lev Landau, as well as other prominent scientists like Igor Kurchatov. His creation of a scientific base of knowledge and his schools which determined the future scientific and technical development of country and the defense capacities of Russia is considered his biggest achievement. He has even been nicknamed the father of Soviet (and subsequently Russian) science."

    1. O4 it is. Too bad he converted, even if it was a token.