Matvei Petrovich Bronstein and Soviet Theoretical Physics in by Gennady Gorelik

By Gennady Gorelik

The brief existence and tragic demise of Matvei Petrovich Bronstein (1906-1938) should be noticeable as a logo of the man's time and his state. essentially the most awesome gains of Soviet background used to be the remarkable increase of its actual sciences opposed to the brutal and violent history of totalitarianism. Soviet advances in nuclear and house expertise shape a tremendous a part of international background. those achievements had their roots within the 30s, while Bronstein's iteration entered technological know-how. between his neighbors have been the well-known physicists Lev Landau and George Gamow. Bronstein labored within the large box of theoretical physics, starting from nuclear physics to astrophysics and from relativistic quantum concept to cosmology. His pioneering paintings on quantizing gravitation is going past the background of physics, simply because this day the quantum concept of gravitation occupies a different position in basic physics. Bronstein used to be additionally a grasp of medical clarification because of his profound wisdom, enthusiasm as a instructor and a present for literature. This enabled him to put in writing renowned technological know-how for kids, the widest and such a lot responsive team of readers. He grew to become a author with assistance from his spouse Lidiya Chukovskaya, recognized now as a good author and fighter for human rights. Bronstein's existence was once heavily intertwined with the social, historic and medical context of 1 of the main tragic and exciting sessions of Russian history.

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In his time this book was another step toward granting GR its place in the sun. There were physicists had accepted the substitution of space-time for ether as a fact and saw beyond the mere words of the Leiden speech. Hessen was not among them. In his book [160] and the encyclopedic entry, he demonstrated that his knowledge of SR was quite adequate but his ideas of GR rather superfluous - his loyalty to ether was rooted in pre-relativistic physics. This was what invited the young physicists' ridicule.

We shall discuss this in detail in Chapter 5. In 1931 he finished his article with the words: "Most of the theoreticians seem to be at a loss when confronted with still unresolved and seemingly unsolvable problems. " 42 Chapter 3 At the Leningrad Physicotechnical Institute Indeed, this feeling was deep enough to drive some physicists to the idea (formulated by Bohr) that the future reconstructing would sacrifice even the law of the conservation of energy (for more details see Chapter 4). They still remained under the spell of the preceding thirty revolutionary years.

Society had regarded science and technology as omnipotent. The cult of knowledge was prominent. It was not accidental that the journal entitled "Knowledge Is Power" appeared at that time at that time (in 1926). In 1929 Bronstein published a popular account of a paper by Einstein in which the great physicist made an attempt to combine gravitation and electromagnetism. He was an excellent guide in fundamental physics. His articles of 1929-1930 [54, 57-60] testify that he closely followed the developments in fundamental physics while being mostly engaged in astro- and geophysics.

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