Yoffe, Abram

Yoffe, Abram [Йоффе, Абрам; Joffe], b 29 October 1880 in Romny, Poltava gubernia, d 14 October 1960 in Leningrad. Physicist; full member of the USSR Academy of Sciences from 1929 and the Shevchenko Scientific Society from 1929. A graduate of the Saint Petersburg Technological Institute (1902) and Munich University (doctorate, 1905), he was a physics professor at the Saint Petersburg (later Leningrad) Polytechnical Institute (1913–48) and the Crimean University in Simferopol (1918–25). He was also director of the Physical-Technical Institute (1944–51) and Institute of Semiconductors (1955–60) of the USSR Academy of Sciences. As early as 1931 he recognized the role of electrons in semiconductors and laid the foundation for the technology of thermoelectric cooling devices and thermoelectric generators. It was on Yoffe’s initiative and with his direct involvement that physical-technical institutes were established in Kharkiv (1928; see National Science Center Kharkiv Institute of Physics and Technology of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine) and Dnipropetrovsk (1933). Yoffe’s monographs published in English translation include The Physics of Crystals (1955–60), Semiconductor Thermoelements and Thermoelectric Cooling (1957), and Physics of Semiconductors (1960).

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 5 (1993).]

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