Herbert Frohlich, FRS (1905-1991) - A physicist ahead of his time
UNSPECIFIED (2005) Herbert Frohlich, FRS (1905-1991) - A physicist ahead of his time. In: International Symposium on Coherence and Electromagnetic Fields in Biological Systems, Prague, CZECH REPUBLIC, JUL 01-04, 2005. Published in: ELECTROMAGNETIC BIOLOGY AND MEDICINE, 24 (3). pp. 161-182.Full text not available from this repository.
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15368370500382164
This contribution records the key events in Frohlich's life, and discusses his most influential contributions, ranging from meson theory to biology, many of which will be seen to be the result of a 'cross-fertilisation of some kind. Most influential was undoubtedly his introduction of the concepts and techniques of quantum field theory into solid-state physics in the early 1950s, which not only predicted a phonon-induced electron-electron attraction as the basic interaction underlying the phenomenon of superconductivity, but also - more importantly - completely revolutionised the future development of both solid-state and many-body physics. Even more revolutionary, however, was his introduction, in the mid 1960s, of concepts of modern theoretical physics - in particular, that of coherence - into the open, dissipative systems encountered in biology, in a highly novel attempt to understand the orderly functioning of living systems. Less well known and appreciated was his continued interest in particle physics, dating from his pre-war work on meson theory and which, with attempts to understand the separation of Dirac particles into leptons and quarks, continued up to the time of his death.
The hallmark of his particular genius was an ability to balance the radical with the conservative: to realise when new ideas had genuinely to be introduced and when they did not. This, coupled with a truly holistic outlook and constant alertness to the possibility that certain concepts might well have a relevance to fields other than those in which they had first arisen, helped resolve some of the most enigmatic mysteries of the physics of his era.
|Item Type:||Conference Item (UNSPECIFIED)|
|Subjects:||Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology|
|Journal or Publication Title:||ELECTROMAGNETIC BIOLOGY AND MEDICINE|
|Publisher:||TAYLOR & FRANCIS INC|
|Number of Pages:||22|
|Page Range:||pp. 161-182|
|Title of Event:||International Symposium on Coherence and Electromagnetic Fields in Biological Systems|
|Location of Event:||Prague, CZECH REPUBLIC|
|Date(s) of Event:||JUL 01-04, 2005|
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