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I.M. Frank

23.10.1908 – 22.06.1990

1930 – graduated from M.V.Lomonosov Moscow State University (MSU)
1930-1934 – State Optics University (Leningrad)
1934-1970 – Physics Institute of the USSR Academy of Sciences
1935 – Doctor of Sciences (Phys. and Math.)
1936-1937 – I.M.Frank and I.Ye.Tamm gave a theoretical explanation for the Vavilov-Cherenkov radiation
Since 1940 – lectured and conducted research in MSU, 1944 – Professor of MSU
1946-1956 – head of the Laboratory of Radioactive Radiation of the Research Institute of Nuclear Physics at MSU
1946 – Corresponding Member of the USSR Academy of Sciences
1946 – laureate of the State Prize
1953 – laureate of the State Prize
1958 – laureate of the Nobel Prize in physics
1968 – Academician of the USSR Academy of Sciences
1946-1970 – founded and directed the Laboratory of Atomic Nucleus at the Physics Institute of the USSR Academy of Sciences
1957-1988 – organized and headed the Laboratory of Neutron Physics at JINR
1971 – laureate of the State Prize
1990 – emeritus director of the Laboratory of Neutron Physics

Prominent scientist, laureate of the Nobel and State Prizes, Academician I.M.Frank made important contributions to the formation and development of various directions in physics in our country.

In honor of his outstanding achievements, the Laboratory of Neutron Physics was named after I.M.Frank.

The name of I.M.Frank is primarily associated with a new direction in physics electrodynamics of a moving charged relativistic particle. In 1937 S.I.Vavilov, I.M.Frank’s guru, who characterized him as an extremely versatile physicist-experimenter with remarkable theoretical erudition, involved him in the research of the luminescence of liquids (discovered by P.A.Cherenkov) irradiated with radium gamma rays. I.Ye.Tamm and I.M.Frank theoretically explained the observed phenomenon. In 1958 I.Ye.Tamm, I.M.Frank and P.A.Cherenkov were awarded the Nobel Prize in physics as a token of recognition of the great importance of the experimental and theoretical work done. This work became part of the gold fund of world science. I.M.Frank took part in fundamental investigations of electrodynamics of moving sources in refracting media. I.M.Frank together with V.L.Ginzburg opened a new important direction in modern physics connected with transitional radiation. All his life I.M.Frank preserved interest in the research of effect of optical properties of media on radiation of a moving source.

One more field of science, to which I.M.Frank made a fundamental contribution, was nuclear and especially neutron physics. The thirties and forties were years of rapid development of nuclear physics. In 1933 S.I.Vavilov suggested I.M.Frank start research in this area. In 1946 I.M.Frank organized the Laboratory of Atomic Nucleus in the Physics Institute of the USSR Academy of Sciences, where together with his colleagues he carried out a number of important investigations in the fields of nuclear and neutron physics. Precision measurements of parameters of uranium-graphite lattices were performed, a new pulsed method for studying thermal neutron diffusion was suggested and the phenomenon of diffusion cooling was discovered, reactions on light nuclei with neutron emission, as well as the interaction of fast neutrons with nuclei and fission processes were investigated. I.M.Frank also initiated studies of fission processes induced by mesons and high-energy particles. Investigations in reactor physics were conducted in close contact with I.V.Kurchatov. Most of these works were carried out under a special government project. In 1946 I.M.Frank also participated in the creation of the first Soviet uranium-graphite reactor. Later I.M.Frank noted that his specialization in the field of neutron physics began from investigations in reactor physics. It was under his leadership that in Dubna at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research the pulsed reactors of periodic operation IBR, IBR-30 with injector and IBR-2 ?{ were constructed. This allowed the scientists of the Laboratory of Neutron Physics to obtain a number of new results in the investigations in nuclear and condensed matter physics. Of special note is the role of I.M.Frank in the creation of scientific traditions of the Laboratory, which is now one of the leading neutron centers in the world.