# Fényes, Imre

(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.

*Selected bibliography:*

- 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

**probabilistic interpretation of quantum physics**

In his significant paper of 1952, Fényes studied the statistical foundations of quantum physics. In the introduction (as P. Szegedi noted) he states the deeper investigation shows us, that there is no any difference between the statistical apparatus of classical physics and wave mechanics. We shall see that all of peculiarities distinguishing quantum mechanics from classical physics are the consequence of statistical method, and it can be traced all of differences between classical and quantum physics back to this method.

**Irreversible thermodynamics **

The conventional thermodynamic theory is a static one. Most of the theory is dedicated to the macroscopic state reprenentation of a system in equilibrium state and then explaining the realtionship between various intensive and extensive state-variables.

Irreversible thermodynamics attempts to apply the fundamental principles of thermodynamics to systems that are not in equilibrium and to suggest principles by which they relax toward equilibrium or steady state.

**University of Kolozsvár**

In its beginnings the University of Kolozsvár was a royal lyceum with faculties of law and surgery. In 1872, it was raised to the rank of university and during the 46 years when it operated as a Hungarian university it played a significant role in Hungarian higher education and scientific research. This was reflected in the role of the masters of the university in Hungarian scientific life after the move of the Ferencz József University of Science to Szeged in 1921 and in the further history of the university remaining in Romania. The effect of the initial decades of the university, which was born under a good scientific star, can be shown in the results and the scientific-educational spirit of József Attila University in Szeged and Babes-Bolyai University in Kolozsvár.

Main building of the University of Kolozsvár

Library of the University of Kolozsvár (Korb and Giergl 1906-1907)