Ilya Mikhaylovich Frank

Ilya Mikhaylovich Frank
(1908 - 1990)

Soviet winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1958 jointly with Pavel A. Cherenkov and Igor Y. Tamm, also of the Soviet Union. He received the award for his work in explaining the phenomenon of Cherenkov radiation.
Frank graduated from the University of Moscow in 1930. In 1934 Cherenkov discovered that light is emitted by charged particles traveling at very high speeds through water. Frank and Tamm provided the theoretical explanation of this effect, which occurs when the particles travel through an optically transparent medium at speeds greater than the speed of light in that medium. This discovery resulted in the development of new methods for detecting and measuring the velocity of high-speed particles and became of great importance for research in nuclear physics.

Frank's work also included collaboration with Cherenkov and Tamm in research on electron radiation. Frank also specialized in the study of gamma rays and neutron beams. He became head of the department of physics at the University of Moscow in 1944 and was made a member of the Academy of Sciences of the U.S.S.R. in 1946.



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