Abram Fedorovich Ioffe (Абра́м Фёдорович Ио́ффе, October 29, 1880 (new style) October 14, 1960) was a prominent Soviet/Russian physicist.
In the course of his brilliant career he researched electromagnetism, radiology, features of crystals, physics of high impact, thermoelectricity, photoelectricity, and was a leading force in building new research laboratories for radioactivity, superconductivity, and nuclear physics. Many of these laboratories later became independent institutes.
Ioffe's pedagogical efforts resulted in the Soviet school of physics, his students include Aleksandr Aleksandrov, Yakov Dorfman, Pyotr Kapitsa, Isaak Kikoin, Igor Kurchatov, Yakov Frenkel, Nikolay Semyonov, Lev Artsimovich and others.
Born to a middle-class Jewish family in small town of Romny, Russian Empire (now in Sumy region, Ukraine), after graduation in (1902) from St. Petersburg Technological Institute he worked for two years as an assistant to famous Wilhelm Roentgen in his Munich laboratory. In 1905 Ioffe obtained Ph.D. from Munich University.
After 1906 Ioffe worked in the St. Petersburg (from 1924 Leningrad) Politechnical Institute, where later became a professor. In 1911 Ioffe converted to Lutheranism. In 1913 he attained the title of Magister of Philosophy, in 1915 - Doctor of Physics. In 1918 he became a head of Physics and Technology division in State Institute of Roentgenology and Radiology. This division later became the Ioffe Physico-Technical Institute.
Ioffe refused a job offer of directing the Soviet project to build the nuclear bomb. He saw great promise in the young Igor Kurchatov, and in 1942 placed him in charge of the first nuclear laboratory. During the Stalin's campaign against the so-called rootless cosmopolitans, in 1950 Ioffe was fired from his position of the Director of Institute and from the Board of Directors.
Ioffe crater on the Moon is named after him.
Ioffe Physico-Technical Institute carries his name
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