Matvei Petrovich Bronstein

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Matvei Petrovich Bronstein
Matvey Bronshtein.jpg
Matvei Petrovich Bronstein
Born(1906-11-29)29 November 1906
Died18 February 1938(1938-02-18) (aged 31)
Known forQuantum gravity
cGh physics
Spouse(s)Lydia Chukovskaya
Scientific career

Matvei Petrovich Bronstein (Russian: Матве́й Петро́вич Бронште́йн, December 2 [O.S. November 19] 1906, Vinnytsia – February 18, 1938) was a Soviet theoretical physicist, a pioneer of quantum gravity,[1] author of works in astrophysics, semiconductors, quantum electrodynamics and cosmology, as well as of a number of books in popular science for children.

Career and personal life[edit]

Bronstein introduced the cGh scheme for classifying physical theories, with the aim of unifying special relativity (denoted by its constant c (the speed of light), gravitation (denoted by the gravitational constant G), and quantum mechanics (denoted by the Planck constant h).[2]

He was married to Lydia Chukovskaya, a writer, human rights activist, and a friend of Andrei Sakharov.

In August 1937, while was living in his apartment at 38 Rubinstein Street, St. Petersburg, Bronstein was arrested as part of the Great Purge. He was convicted by a list trial in February 1938 and executed the same day in a Leningrad prison. His wife was told that he had been sentenced to 10 years of labor camps without the right of correspondence.

Bronstein's books for children "Solar Matter" (Солнечное вещество), "X Rays" (Лучи X), "Inventors of Radio" (Изобретатели радио) were republished after his reputation had been rehabilitated posthumously on 9 May 1957. In 1990, his wife had a monument erected in the Levashovo Memorial Cemetery where he was thought to have been buried.

The Bronstein Prize in Loop Quantum Gravity is offered to post-doctoral scholars in the field,[3] the inaugural winner of which was Eugenio Bianchi in 2013.

Solar Matter[edit]

Samuil Marshak, a children's writer and editor, scouted Bronstein to write a popular science book for teenagers. Bronstein chose to describe spectral analysis, but it took many attempts as well as Marshak's advice to determine the best plot in which the story could relate a history of helium.

Solar Matter (Солнечное вещество) was first published in the Koster magazine in 1934 and then in book form in April 1936,[4]. whereupon Bronstein made an inscription on a copy to L. Chukovskaya, his copy editor, “To my dear Lida, without whom I would have never been able to write this book.” Later, Chukovskaya wrote that the history of helium had become intertwined in her and Bronstein's life, “The work on the book brought us closer. In fact, the book got us married."[citation needed]


  1. ^ Bronstein, Matvei (2011). "Republication of: Quantum theory of weak gravitational fields". General Relativity and Gravitation. 44: 267–283. Bibcode:2012GReGr..44..267B. doi:10.1007/s10714-011-1285-4. S2CID 122107821.
  2. ^ Bronstein, M. P. "K voprosu o vozmozhnoy teorii mira kak tselogo" ("On the Question of a Possible Theory of the World as a Whole"), in Uspekhiastronomitcheskihnauk. Sbornik, No. 3 (Moscow: ONTI, 1933) p. 3–30, as quoted and translated in Gorelik (2005) loc. cit.
  3. ^ "Bronstein Prize". Retrieved 2017-05-06.
  4. ^ Горелик Г. Е., Френкель В. Я. (1990). Матвей Петрович Бронштейн: 1906—1938 (PDF). Moscow: Наука. pp. 210–218.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)

Further reading[edit]

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