Nonfiction 1

Leonid Isaakovich Mandelstam: Research, Teaching, Life by Alexander Pechenkin

By Alexander Pechenkin

This biography of the recognized Soviet physicist Leonid Isaakovich Mandelstam (1889-1944), who turned a Professor at Moscow country collage in 1925, describes his contributions to either physics and know-how, in addition to discussing the clinical group which shaped round him, frequently known as the Mandelstam university. Mandelstam’s existence tale is thereby put in its right cultural context. the subsequent extra basic concerns are taken into account: the effect of German clinical tradition on Russian technological know-how; the issues and fates of Russian intellectuals through the progressive and post-revolutionary years; the formation of the Soviet Academy of Sciences; and transformation of the approach of upper schooling within the USSR through the 1920's and 1930's.The writer indicates that Mandelstam’s basic writings and his lectures notes permit to reconstruct his philosophy of technological know-how and his method of the social and moral services of technological know-how and technology schooling. That reconstruction is greater via vast use of hitherto unpublished archival fabric in addition to the transcripts of private interviews performed by way of the author.

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Extra resources for Leonid Isaakovich Mandelstam: Research, Teaching, Life

Sample text

The 1905 lecture was entitled ‘On wireless telegraphy and new researches in physics’. This lecture is less philosophical than the one delivered in 1899. 5 F. Braun’s Philosophy of Science 25 Guglielmo Marconi, Marconi’s company and his own work. At the end of the lecture, he came to two philosophical conclusions. The first concerns the unity of fundamental and of applied research (see the discussion in the previous section), the second was also partially cited and reads as follows: New ways of research cannot be designed a priori.

1929 letter to von Mises sheds light on this quick development. Mandelstam wrote: I should like to say a couple worlds about the translation of your book. I spoke about it with Prof. Kogan, who is the head of the scientific department at State Publisher. He is going to write you, or probably he has already written. You will probably understand by reading his letter why I don’t enlarge upon it. As far as it is concerned with me, I am eager to read your book. I consider that it is very desirable to translate your book in Russian.

The 1899 lecture was entitled ‘Über Physikalische Forschungsart’, which could be translated as ‘On a kind of research (peculiar to) physics’. This lecture is imbued with the spirit of Kantian philosophy which is approached in a quite modernist manner and is rather loosely interpreted. Braun’s lecture begins with an overview of the development of physics from Galileo and proceeds to Newton who developed a theory that would form the basis of textbooks, proposed a method for explanation 22 2 Youth and Strasbourg Years in physics, and also proposed the idea to rely on forces of attraction between particles.

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