Vladimir Mikhalovich Fridkin (On the occasion of his 80th birthday)

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  • ISSN 10637745, Crystallography Reports, 2009, Vol. 54, No. 6, pp. 10901091. Pleiades Publishing, Inc., 2009.Original Russian Text Editorial Board, 2009, published in Kristallografiya, 2009, Vol. 54, No. 6, pp. 11431144.


    Professor Vladimir Mikhalovich Fridkin, Dr. Sci.(Phys.Math.), was born on November 23, 1929, inMoscow. In 1952 he graduated with distinction fromthe Faculty of Physics of Moscow State University. In1955 A.V. Shubnikov and A.S. Zheludev invited Fridkin to study as a postgraduate student at the Instituteof Crystallography of the USSR Academy of Sciences.Since September 1955, his entire life has been connected with the Institute of Crystallography.

    In 1958 Fridkin defended his candidates dissertation on electrophotography, and in 1964 he defendedhis doctoral dissertation on the physics of photoelectrets; both were done at the Institute of Crystallography.

    Fridkin has published more than 300 papers andguided 70 candidates of sciences; five of them became

    doctors of sciences. His main scientific interestsinclude the electric and optical properties of nonlinearcrystals and nonlinear and photorefractive optics.Fridkin likes to quote the famous words of Albert Einstein, who said A life in science gives a researcher onlya couple of good ideas. Therefore, it is not a long listof publications and not even not the citing index thatdetermine the sum of scientists life, but only few studies.

    Fridkin considers such studies to be the first experimental observation of the critical Curie point(according to Landau) or tricritical point (1967), generalization of the LandauGinzburg phenomenologyfor ferroelectric phase transitions with allowance forthe electronic subsystem (photoferroelectric phenomena, 1968), his contribution to the study of bulk photovoltaic effect in crystals without a center of symmetry, and his participation in the work of a large international team on obtaining Langmuir ferroelectric films(2D ferroelectrics).

    However, Fridkin believes that his greatest achievement is the first design of a copy machine in the world(he called it an electrophotographic apparatus) in1953. Fridkins contribution was acknowledged: in2003 he was awarded the Berg International Prize forthis study and, even earlier, the Kozar Medal (Photographic Society of America) for developing the theoryof electrophotography (xerography). Fridkin oftenremembers how Shubnikov invited him to report oncopy machines at Kapitzas seminar in 1956. A discussion began between the young postgraduate and Landau, who asked, Which area of knowledge doesxerography belong, physics or technology? and wasinterested as to why a physicist like Fridkin was working in technology. The postgraduate was brave enoughto answer the great physicist that everything is determined by the future of a study, regardless of whether itis applied or fundamental. He was supported byKapitza, but Landau did not agree. Time proved to bethe best arbiter in this dispute.

    From 1990 to 1993 Fridkin was a professor of theUniversity of Trento (Italy). In 1992 he became a professor at Lincoln University (United States).

    He published a number of scientific monographs(which were translated in the United States and Germany): V.M. Fridkin and I.S. Zheludev, Photoelectrets


    Vladimir Mikhalovich Fridkin (On the Occasion of His 80th Birthday)

    PACS numbers: 01.60. +q

    DOI: 10.1134/S106377450906025X



    and Electrophotographic Process (Izdvo USSR Academy of Sciences, Moscow, 1960); V.M. Fridkin, Physical Fundamentals of the Electrophotographic Process(nergiya, Moscow, 1966); V.M. Fridkin, FerroelectricSemiconductors (Fizmatgiz, Moscow, 1976); Photoferroelectrics (Fizmatgiz, Moscow, 1979); E.I.Gerzanichand V.M. Fridkin, AVBVICVII Ferroelectrics (Fizmatgiz,Moscow, 1982); and B.I. Sturman and V.M. Fridkin,Photovoltaic Effect in Media Without a Center of Symmetry and Related Phenomena (Fizmatgiz, Moscow,1992).

    Finally, he is a coauthor of the second volume ofthe monograph Modern Crystallography (along withB.K. Vanshten and V.L. Indenbom), which has beenpublished in three editions by Springer (Germany). Asin the old days, postgraduates refer to this textbook asa threeauthor book (analogously to the textbook byE.E. Flint, A.V. Shubnikov, and G.B. Boki, which isnow very rare).

    His daughter, Mariya Vladimirovna Chekhova, is adoctor of physics and mathematics and a professor atthe Faculty of Physics at Moscow State University. Hisgrandson Aleksandr is a student at the Faculty of Physics, continuing his familys traditions. His granddaughter Tatyana is a linguist; after graduating fromthe Russian State Humanitarian University, she worksas a sports journalist.

    Russian readers and TV viewers know Fridkin as aman of literature, being an author of eight books ofstories. Many of them are devoted to Pushkins worksand the poets of Pushkins circle.

    The editorial board, students, colleagues, andfriends heartily congratulate Vladimir Mikhalovichand wish him many years of fruitful scientific work,good health, and happiness.

    Translated by Yu. Sinkov

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