Dmitri Ivanenko - a great theoretician of XX century

 

D. Ivanenko, P.A.M. Dirac and W. Heisenberg (Berlin, 1958)

 

Dmitri Ivanenko (29.07.1904 - 30.12.1994), professor of Moscow State University (since 1943), was one of the great theoreticians of XX century. He made the fundamental contribution to many areas of nuclear physics, field theory and gravitation theory.

His outstanding achievements include:

(i) The proton-neutron model of atomic nuclei (1932) (w).

(ii) The first model of exchange nuclear forces by means of massive particles (1934, in collaboration with I. Tamm) (w). Based on this model, Nobel laureate H. Yukawa developed his meson theory.

(iii) The prediction of synchrotron radiation (1944, in collaboration with I. Pomeranchuk) and its classical theory (in collaboration with A. Sokolov) (w).

(iv) The theory of fermions as skew-symmetric tensors (1928, in collaboration with L. Landau) (w). This theory, known as the Ivanenko - Landau - Kahler theory, is not equivalent to Dirac's one in the presence of a gravitation field, and only it describes fermions on a lattice.

(v) The Fock - Ivanenko coefficients of parallel displacement of spinors in a curved space-time (1929) (w). Nobel laureate Abdus Salam called it the first gauge theory.

(vi) The Ambartsumian - Ivanenko hypothesis of creation of massive particles (1930) which is a corner stone of contemporary quantum field theory.

(vii) The first shell model of nuclei (1932, in collaboration with E. Gapon) (w).

(viii) The non-linear generalization of Dirac's equation (1938). Based on this generalization, W. Heisenberg and D. Ivanenko developed the unified nonlinear field theory in 50th.

(ix) Theory of hypernucleus (1956).

(x) The hypothesis of quark stars (1965, in collaboration with D. Kurdgelaidze) (w).

(xi) The gauge gravitation theory (1983, in collaboration with G. Sardanashvily), where gravity is treated as a Higgs field responsible for spontaneous breaking of space-time symmetries (w).

 

 

Sientific biography

 

Professor D. D. Ivanenko was born on July 29, 1904 in Poltava, where he finished school and began his creative path as a teacher of physics in middle school. In 1923 D. D. Ivanenko entered Petrograd University. In 1926, while still a student, he wrote his first scientific works: with G. A. Gamov on the Kaluza-Klein five-dimensional theory and with L. D. Landau on the problems of relativistic quantum mechanics.

After graduating the university, from 1927 to 1930 D. Ivanenko was a scholarship student and then a researcher scientist at the Physical Mathematical Institute of Academy of Sciences of USSR. During these years he collaborated with L. Landau, V. Fok and V. Ambarzumian, later to become famous. This was when modern physics, the new quantum mechanics, and nuclear physics were established.

In 1928, Ivanenko and Landau developed the theory of fermions as skew-symmetric tensors. This theory, known as the Ivanenko - Landau - Kahler theory, is not equivalent to Dirac's one in the presence of a gravitation field, and only it describes fermions on a lattice.

In 1929, Ivanenko and Fock described parallel displacement of spinors in a curved space-time (the famous Ivanenko - Fock coefficients). Nobel laureate Abdus Salam called it the first gauge field theory.

In 1930, Ambartsumian and Ivanenko suggested the hypothesis of creation of massive particles (1930) which is a corner stone of contemporary quantum field theory.

From 1929 to 1931 D. Ivanenko worked at the Kharkov Physical-Technical Institute, being the first director of its theoretical division. Ivanenko was one of organizers of the first Soviet theoretical conference (1929) and the new journal "Physikalische Zeitschrift der Sowjetunion".

After returning to Leningrad at the Physical-Technical Institute, D. Ivanenko concentrated his interest to nuclear physics. In 1932 Ivanenko proposed the proton-neutron model of the atomic nucleus, in connection with which the name Ivanenko entered physics textbooks, including school textbooks. Later D. Ivanenko and E. Gapon proposed the idea of the shell distribution of protons and neutrons in the nucleus. In 1933 on the initiative of D. Ivanenko and I. Kurchatov the first Soviet nuclear conference was called.

In 1934 D. Ivanenko and I. Tamm laid the basis of the first non-phenomenological theory of paired electron- neutron nuclear forces. They made the significant assumption that interaction can be undergone by an exchange of particles with a rest mass not equal to zero. Based on their model, Nobel laureate H. Yukawa developed his meson theory.

The realization of Ivanenko's far-reaching plans and hopes was interrupted, however. In 1935 he was arrested in connection with the Kirov affair. Exile to Tomsk followed. D. Ivanenko was a professor at Tomsk University from 1936 to 1938. Until the beginning of the World War II he managed the theoretical-physics personnel at Sverdlovsk and Kiev Universities. In 1940 he defended his doctoral dissertation. In this period, Ivanenko's scientific interest gradually shifted from nuclear physics to cosmic ray theory. In particular, he proposed a non-linear generalization of Dirac's equation (1938). Based on this generalization, W. Heisenberg and D. Ivanenko developed the unified nonlinear field theory in 50th.

From 1943 and until the last days of his life, Professor Ivanenko was closely associated with the Physics Faculty of M. V. Lomonosov Moscow State University.

In 1943, D. Ivanenko and I. Pomeranchuk predicted the phenomenon of synchrotron radiation given off by relativistic electrons in magnetic fields. This radiation was soon discovered by American experimenters. The discovery of synchrotron radiation began a new and important chapter in modern physics as a result of its special properties and possible applications. Classical and quantum theory of synchronous radiation was developed in research performed by students and followers of D. D. Ivanenko: A. A. Sokolov, I. M. Ternov et al. For his work in this area D. D. Ivanenko and A. A. Sokolov were awarded the Stalin (State) Prize in 1950. Two of D. D. Ivanenko's and A. A. Sokolov's monographs "Classical Field Theory" and "Quantum Field Theory" were published at the beginning of the 50th.

The theme of Professor Ivanenko's postwar work was mesodynamics, theory of hypernucleus, the unified non-linear spinor field theory, gravitation theory.

In the 60th, D. Ivanenko did intensive scientific, scientific-methodological, and organizational work on the development and coordination of gravitation research in the USSR. In 1961, on his initiative the first Soviet gravitation conference, which initiated a series of Soviet, and later also Russian, gravitation conferences was organized. At the beginning of the 1960's D. D. Ivanenko was the organizer of the gravitation section of Ministry of Higher Institutes of Learning of the USSR, which lasted until the 1980's. He was a member of the International gravitation Committee since its founding in 1959.

Theoretical physics has been enormously influenced by the seminar on theoretical physics organized by D. D. Ivanenko in 1944 that has continued to meet for 50 years under his guidance at the physics department at MGU. The distinguishing characteristic of Ivanenko's seminar was the breadth of its grasp of the problems of theoretical physics and its discussion of the links between its various divisions, for example, gravitation theory and the physics of elementary particles. The most prominent physicists in the world participated in the seminar: N. Bor, P. Dirac, H. Yukawa, J. Schwinger, A. Salam, A. Bohr, I. Prigogine, J. Wheeler et al.

In the 70 - 80th, D. Ivanenko was concentrated on gravitation theory. His scientific team mainly developed different generalizations of Einstein's general relativity, including scalar-tensor gravitation theory, the hypothesis of quark stars, gravity with torsion, gauge gravitation theory and others. In 1985, D. Ivanenko and his collaborators published two monographs "Gravitation" and "Gauge Gravitation Theory".

The scientific style of D. Ivanenko was characterized by great interest in ideas of frontiers in science where these ideas were based on strong mathematical methods or experiment.

Professor Dmitrii Ivanenko passed away on December 30, 1994 at the age of 91.

 

 

Selected publications of D. Ivanenko

Dmitri Ivanenko published more than 300 scientific works including 6 monographs and 11 volumes edited.

 

Nobel laureates inscriptions

It seems illuminative to quote the famous inscriptions that seven Nobel Laureates: P.A.M. Dirac, H. Yukawa, N.Bohr, I.Prigogine, S.Ting, M. Gell-Mann, G. 't Hooft wrote with a chalk on the walls of Ivanenko's office in Moscow State University.

 

Ivanenko's archives

The letters of A. Einstein, L. de Broglie, Ch. Raman, W. Heisenberg, P. A. M. Dirac, A. Sommerfeld, P. Jordan, F. Joliot-Curie, W. Pauli, P. Blackett, H. Yukawa, M. Born, E. Segre, O. Chamberlain, E. Wigner, H. Bethe, H. Alfven, A. Bohr, I. Prigogine, and some other famous scientists are kept in Ivanenko's archives.

 

External Link

Dmitri Ivanenko in WikipediA

G. Sardanashvily, "Dmitri Ivanenko. Scientific Biography", In vol.: The People of Physics Faculty. Selected papers of the Journal "Soviet Physicist" (1998-2006) text.pdf

G. Sardanashvily, "Dmitri Ivanenko - a great theoretician of XX century. Scientific biography" (SciTecLibrary, 2009) in Russian text.pdf

 

G. Sardanashvily, "Dmitri Ivanenko - soviet physics superstar: Unpublished memoirs " (URSS, Moscow, 2010) in Russian text.pdf

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Main | Publications | Nobel Laureates Inscriptions | Nobel Laureates Letters | Photos | Russian version