Person: Frank, Philipp
Philipp Frank was an Austrian-born physicist, mathematician and philosopher who moved to America.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Philipp studied physics at the University of Vienna obtaining a doctorate in theoretical physics in 1907 after working under Boltzmann.
- The group of students that Frank is describing in this quotation is the group who would eventually become known as the Vienna Circle.
- During this time Frank became a friend of von Mises, who obtained his doctorate from Vienna in the 1907, the same year as Frank.
- In 1907 Frank wrote an important paper on causality.
- Einstein was impressed by Frank's ideas which he put forward in this paper and the resulting discussions led to another life long friendship, this time between Frank and Einstein.
- Frank received his habilitation and was appointed a lecturer in the University of Vienna in 1910.
- On Einstein's recommendation Frank succeeded him to the chair of theoretical physics in the German University of Prague in 1912.
- Frank, Hahn and von Mises became part of the somewhat larger group active during the 1920s in the Vienna Circle of Logical Positivists.
- The friendship between Frank and von Mises developed into a collaboration in the mid 1920s.
- Frank remained at the German University in Prague until 1938.
- Political pressure was put on Frank and other members of the Vienna Circle, and the group disbanded with many of its members including Frank fleeing to the United States.
- In the United States Frank was first appointed as a visiting lecturer, then made a lecturer in physics and mathematics at Harvard.
- In 1947 Frank wrote an excellent biography Einstein: His Life and Times.
- Frank worked on a wide range of topics in mathematics, and when one takes into account his publications on physics and philosophy it was a truly remarkable breadth.
Born 20 March 1884, Vienna, Austria. Died 21 July 1966, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.
View full biography at MacTutor
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Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive