Alexander Naumovich Frumkin was born on October 24, 1895 in the city of Kishinev in what is now Moldova. As a young child, he and his family moved to nearby Odessa in the Ukraine. He left in 1912 to study at Strasbourg and then at the University of Bern. Frumkin published his first two manuscripts at the age of 19. He then returned to Odessa and obtained a degree from Novorossia University (now Odessa University) in 1915. He subsequently worked as a lab assistant at the University and published his first paper in electrochemistry in 1917. The topic was the movement of a mercury drop under the influence of current, an area that would occupy much of his attention over a long career. The Russian revolution temporarily eliminated the doctoral degree, and as a result Frumkin never received his Ph.D. Nonetheless, his thesis, “Electro-Capillary Phenomena and Electrode Potential,” was completed in 1919 and contained the underpinnings of many of his subsequent research thrusts.
Frumkin moved to Moscow in 1920 and took a position at what is now the Karpov Institute of Physical Chemistry. In 1930 he was elected Professor at Lomonosov Moscow State University, and in 1932 he became a full member of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR. Following World War II, decades of tension between the Soviet Union and the West spurred efforts in science and technology. Frumkin founded the Institute ...
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