(Kötegyán, July 29th, 1917 – Budapest, November 13th, 1977)
After some attempts in other fields, he finally decided on theoretical physics and attained a Ph.D. at the University of Kolozsvár, where later, at the age of 27 he became a professor heading a department, who enthusiastically taught quantum mechanics.
Following this he headed the Department of Physics at the University of Debrecen and in 1953 he went to the Department of Theoretical Physics at the Loránd Eötvös University and remained there till his death.
He had begun to deal with the question of the probabilistic interpretation of quantum physics even when he had worked in Kolozsvár and in 1952, a remarkable paper of his own was published in this field in the Zeitschrift für Physik. In this work, taking the micro-physical random events as being of an objective nature, he proved the hidden parameters that cannot provide an excuse from the stochastic nature of events. 20 years later he supported this result creating a great sensation with net theory as well. It was a sign of attention drawing that the series of seminars on principle questions of quantum theory held in Dubrovnik was chaired by Werner Heisenberg and Imre Fényes.
His work in the field of thermodynamics is at least of the same significance, though due to the nature of this discipline these results can be appreciated by a selected company of experts only. Imre Fényes dealt with irreversible thermodynamics in 1950 and later he developed a process for solving thermodynamic motion equations and achieved basic results in describing equilibrium stability and expanded the principle of thermodynamic variation to irreversible events - this is the Helmholtz-Fényes principle.
Thermostatics and thermodynamics already published more than 30 years ago can be regarded as a fundamental work. The Modern Small Encyclopaedia of Physics edited by Fényes (of which he wrote the biggest part) is at least of the same significance, and there is The Origin of Physics. This book is a successful attempt to reconstruct the development of conceptual thinking, in which the author discusses in general the development of thinking first, then separately the individual physical concepts.
- Fényes, I.,: Zur wellenmechanischen Herleitung des statistischen Atommodells. Z. f. Phys., 1949
- Fényes, I.,: Stochastischer Abhangigkeitscharakter der Heisenbergischen Ungenauigkeitsrelation. Die Naturwisseschaften, 1952
- Fényes, I.,: Eine wahrscheinlichkeitstheoretische Begründung und Interpretation der Quantenmechanik. Z. f. Phys., 1952