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Herbert Fröhlich

Herbert Fröhlich (1905-1991)
Born 9 December 1905(1905-12-09)
Rexingen, Germany
Died 23 January 1991 (aged 86)
Liverpool, England
Residence UK
Nationality British
Ethnicity Jewish-German
Fields Physicist
Institutions University of Bristol
University of Liverpool
University of Salford
Ioffe Physico-Technical Institute
University of Freiburg
University of Bristol
Alma mater Ludwig-Maximilians University
Doctoral advisor Arnold Sommerfeld
Doctoral students Sebastian Doniach
Gerard Hyland
Other notable students Sigurd Zienau
Known for Fröhlich coherence
Fröhlich polaron
Fröhlich Hamiltonian
Fröhlich term
Notable awards Max-Planck Medal (1972)
He is the brother of the mathematician Albrecht Fröhlich.

Herbert Fröhlich (9 December 1905 in Rexingen, Germany – 23 January 1991 in Liverpool, England) was a German-born British physicist and a Fellow of the Royal Society.

Fröhlich was the son of Fanny Frida (née Schwarz) and Jakob Julius Fröhlich, members of an old-established Jewish family.



In 1927, Fröhlich entered the Ludwig-Maximilians University, Munich, to study physics, and he received his doctorate under Arnold Sommerfeld, in 1930.[1] His first position was as Privatdozent at the University of Freiburg. Due to rising anti-Semitism and the Deutsche Physik movement under Adolf Hitler, and at the invitation of Yakov Frenkel, Fröhlich went to the Soviet Union, in 1933, to work at the Ioffe Physico-Technical Institute in Leningrad. During the Great Purge following the murder of Sergey Kirov, he fled to England in 1935. Except for a short visit to Holland and a brief internment during World War II, he worked in Nevill Francis Mott’s department, at the University of Bristol, until 1948, rising to the position of Reader. At the invitation of James Chadwick, he took the Chair for Theoretical Physics at the University of Liverpool.

He was offered by the Bell Telephone Laboratories a handsome salary to go to Princeton University as their specially endowed professor. But at Liverpool he had a purely research post, which was attractive to him, and he was newly married to an American postgraduate philosophy student, and later an artist, Fanchon Aungst, who was not keen to return to America at that time.

From 1973, he was Professor of Solid State Physics at the University of Salford, however, all the while maintaining an office at the University of Liverpool, where he gained emeritus status in 1976 until his death. During 1981, he was a visiting professor at Purdue University.[2] [3] [4]

Fröhlich proposed a theory which is known as Fröhlich coherence.[5] [6]



  • Herbert Fröhlich Elektronentheorie der Metalle. (Struktur und Eigenschaften der Materie in Eigendarstellung, Bd.18). (Springer, 1936, 1969)
  • Herbert Fröhlich Elektronentheorie der Metalle (Ann Arbor: Edwards Brothers, First US edition, in German, 1943) ISBN 1114566489
  • Herbert Fröhlich Theory of Dielectrics: Dielectric Constant and Dielectric Loss (Clarendon Press, 1949, 1958)
  • Herbert Fröhlich and F. Kremer Coherent Excitations in Biological Systems (Springer-Verlag, 1983)
  • Herbert Fröhlich, editor Biological Coherence and Response to External Stimuli (Springer, 1988) ISBN 978-0387187396


  • Terence W. Barrett and Herbert A. Pohl Energy Transfer Dynamics: Studies and Essays in Honor of Herbert Frohlich on His Eightieth Birthday (Springer-Verlag, 1987) ISBN 978-3540175025
  • GJ Hyland and Peter Rowlands (editors) Herbert Frohlich FRS: A Physicist Ahead of his Time. (University of Liverpool, 2006, 2nd edition 2008.) ISBN 978-0-906370-57-5

See also


  1. ^ Fröhlich – Mathematics Genealogy Project. Dr. phil. Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München. 1930 Dissertation title: Zum Photoeffekt an Metallen. Advisor: Arnold Sommerfeld.
  2. ^ Fröhlich Biography – International Institute of Biophysics
  3. ^ Fröhlich – Purdue University
  4. ^ Fröhlich – University of Liverpool
  5. ^ Fröhlich Coherence
  6. ^ Fröhlich Coherence – Institute of Science in Society

External links



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