© 2015

Herbert Fröhlich

A Physicist Ahead of His Time


Part of the Springer Biographies book series (SPRINGERBIOGS)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxi
  2. G. J. Hyland
    Pages 1-5
  3. G. J. Hyland
    Pages 6-26
  4. G. J. Hyland
    Pages 27-38
  5. G. J. Hyland
    Pages 39-87
  6. G. J. Hyland
    Pages 224-239
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 240-263

About this book


This biography provides a stimulating and coherent blend of scientific and personal narratives describing the many achievements of the theoretical physicist Herbert Fröhlich. For more than half a century, Fröhlich was an internationally renowned and much respected figure who exerted a decisive influence, often as a ‘man ahead of his time’, in fields as diverse as meson theory and biology. Although best known for his contributions to the theory of dielectrics and superconductivity, he worked in many other fields, his most important legacy being the pioneering introduction quantum field-theoretical methods into condensed matter physics in 1952, which revolutionised the subsequent development of the subject. Gerard Hyland has written an absorbing and informative account, in which Herbert Fröhlich’s magnetic personality shines through.


Connection between Macro and Micro Physics Continuous Reflections Dielectric Theory Herbert Fröhlich Biography Meson Theory Pioneer of Condensed Matter Physics Polaron Theory QFT Methods for Solid State Physics Theoretical Physics and Biology Theory of Superconductivity

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.ex-University of WarwickCoventryUnited Kingdom

About the authors

Gerard Hyland was born in Birkenhead, Merseyside, UK in 1942, entered the University of Liverpool in 1961 and was Fröhlich’s last doctoral student, 1965-68. He taught theoretical physics at the University of Warwick 1968-2001, was consultant to the EU on the thermophysics of nuclear fuels and high temperature superconductors, 1980-2001 and in 1997 was elected a member of the International Institute of Biophysics in Neuss-Holzheim, Germany. He maintained close contact with Fröhlich, collaborating with him on a number of research topics and contributing to his two Festschrifts.

Bibliographic information


“It is a valuable technical exposition of Fröhlich’s oeuvre—not only his contributions to physics, but also his contributions to theoretical biology and his reflections on the relationship between mathematics and physics and between microscopic and macroscopic descriptions. Hyland must have invested a huge amount of work on his book; it is a labor of love.” (Silvan Schweber, Physics Today, Vol. 69 (5), May, 2016)

“The book is meticulously referenced and filled with photos and historical letters. Hyland has presented an inspiring account of a trailblazing physicist and outdoorsman who counted Schrödinger, Sommerfeld, and Feynman among his inner circle … .” (Ram Devanathan, MRS Bulletin, Vol. 41, February, 2016)