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Reinhard Folk

Райнгард ФолькAccording the decision of the Academic Council of the ICMP of the National Acad. Sci. of Ukraine of December 3, 2009 the title of Doctor honoris causa was conferred on Reinhard Folk (Linz, Austria) for obtaining fundamental results, which allowed to explain and quantitatively describe the various types of critical phenomena in condensed matter, and for his initiative and personal participation in projects aimed to strengthen cooperation between the countries of Central and Eastern Europe.

Reinhard Folk was born on April 29, 1945 in Neuendettelsau, Germany. He studied at Vienna University, where in 1973 he has defended his doctoral thesis "Hydrodynamic Equations of Dielectric Crystals" (under advice of Franz Schwabl). In the same year he started working at the Institute for Theoretical Physics, Johannes Kepler University in Linz, at first as assistant, and later as associate professor, then as extraordinary professor, and finally as director of the research group "Phase transitions and critical phenomena”. His research interests cover various fields of Condensed Matter Physics. In particular, he obtained important results in the theory of ferroelectrics, quantum liquids, regular and structurally disordered magnets, spin liquids, superconductors, neural networks. Reinhard Folk and his collaborators performed a series of studies that became the basic for understanding and quantitative description of phenomena occurring in many systems. Among them there is the description of thermodynamic properties of matter in the vicinity of Lifshitz points, description of critical dynamics in systems with different types of conservation laws, analysis of effective (non-asymptotic) critical behavior, hydrodynamics of systems with many degrees of freedom. Computing algorithms, resummation methods of asymptotic perturbation series proposed by him and his collaborators find wide range of their applications. He won in 1982 the Walter Schottky Prize of the German Physical Society for the study of critical dynamics of helium-4 (together with Volker Dohm).

Reinhard Folk is also known for his scientific organizational and social activity. In particular, he was an active member of the Austrian organization BUKO (Bundeskonferenz des wissenschaftlichen und künstlerischen Personals der österreichischen Universitäten und Kunsthochschulen). He was member of the Presidium of the organization in 1997-1999 and Chairman in 1999-2003. Since 1998 he is a delegate of Austria at the organization of scientific and technical cooperation EU COST, since 2002 he is Austrian delegate to the supervisory committee of the program "Phase transitions and fluctuation phenomena for random dynamics in spatially extended systems" of European Science Foundation ESF. He is the member of the advisory board and belongs to active organizers of the series of annual conferences MECO (Middle European Cooperation in Statistical Physics). These conferences have now established as important and prestigious European physics forums in statistical physics.

Lively interest in scientific work, participation in various programs of European scientific cooperation, deep concern about the future of science led Reinhard Folk to organization of and participation in projects with aim to establish and strengthen links with Central and Eastern Europe. Here we wish to emphasize his long and fruitful links with Ukraine. Since 1990 he is the initiator of cooperation projects under which many Ukrainian physicists from Lviv, Kyiv and Uzhgorod visited the Institute for Theoretical Physics, Johannes Kepler University in Linz, as well as he is an active participant and co-organizer of many international conferences that take place in Ukraine. He gives lectures for Ukrainian students and young scientists in Lviv (Ising lectures - 2003) and invites numerous Ukrainian young researchers and students for training in Linz. Another evidence of his close scientific contacts with Ukrainian scientists is the fact that in cooperation with them he wrote more than 60 scientific papers and one monograph (Yu. M. Vysochanskii, T. Janssen, R. Currat, R. Folk, J. Banys, J .Grigas, and V. Samulionis. Phase Transitions in Ferroelectric Phosphorous Chalcogenide Crystals. Vilnius University Publishing House 2006).