Edward M Corson may have been acting as an agent provocateur when he plagiarized Vladimir Fock in 1946. Corson appears likely to have been a Russian agent and part of the Max Born Spy Ring.
(Some sort of html error resulted in a strange appearance of the web page. A lot of html and some text was taken out to remove whatever was causing this.)
Edward Corson site:fbi.gov
The FBI investigated Edward Corson, his father and brother for communism.
Fock Corson Letter in Physical Review
Received 10 April 1947; published in the issue dated October 1947
A Note on the Paper “Second Quantization and Representation Theory”
Fock doesn’t use word plagiarism but basically conveys that. The letter was written by the KGB/GRU and possibly approved by Stalin.
Fock Letter 1947. “A Note on the paper Second Quantization and Representation Theory”. “In a recent number of this journal, Dr. Corson published a paper with the above title. On examination this paper bears a close resemblance to a paper of mine entitled Konfigurationsraum und Zweite Quantelung which was published in 1932.” “Without exception all of the results found by Dr. Corson are contained in my paper. There is a close parallelism not only between the formulas but the texts of the two papers.”
Corson Reply: “The author (Corson) sincerely hopes that his work far from detracting from the credit which is due Fock, will rather serve to direct attention to the very important contribution Fock has made in this field.” Corson may have been acting for Russia with just this intention. Their letters fit hand and glove to this purpose as if written before Corson submitted his paper.
Edward Corson passport revoked
In same paper, it reports Leopold Infeld, a Max Born assistant and coauthor was secretly arranging to go to Poland and had concealed this from the president of University of Toronto.
It appears Infeld lied to the university about his plans and his supervisor covered for him.
Edward M Corson, Klaus Fuchs and Leopold Infeld are all Max Born people, Corson was an undergrad and Max Born later endorsed a Corson book based on the plagiarized Fock material. Fuchs and Infeld were assistants and coauthors.
It appears they were all communist spies. Infeld did escape to Poland and never came back.
Russia may have had Corson plagiarize Fock so that Russia could complain of it. At this time, Russia did not have any Nobel Prize winners in physics, at least still in the Soviet Union. They were hoping to get a Nobel Prize for Vladimir Fock. This would be based on this work as well as Hartree Fock or Hartree Slater Fock type methods.
Sidney Dancoff may have plagiarized Igor Tamm in the same way in 1950.
I am not sure if Dancoff had security clearance problems during WWII. However, the following is of interest.
Almost immediately some of Oppenheimer’s students—Philip Morrison, Sydney Dancoff, the newly arrived Joseph Weinberg—went to work designing a bomb.
Sidney Dancoff, but wanted to know more about his early years in Pittsburgh, and how the son of a Russian immigrant paperhanger could become one of the country’s top theoretical physicists.
Mr. Dancoff, who was 38 when he died in 1951, earned his Ph.D. in 1939 at UC Berkeley under Robert Oppenheimer, later working with him on the Manhattan Project during World War II. Mr. Dancoff was one of the men responsible for designing the atomic bomb, an early prototype of which he and two other Oppenheimer students worked out on a napkin in a Berkeley student union restaurant in 1939.
City directories indicate that Sidney and his two siblings, Laura and Ernest, moved there with their father, Morris Dancoff, in 1928, the year after their mother, Ida Glazer Dancoff, died a few weeks after giving birth to Ernest.
Dancoff likely spoke Russian so he could have read Tamm’s 1945 article, which was in Russian, and
copied it in 1950.
If Dancoff was a Russian agent, part of an Oppenheimer student spy ring, then the Russians may have put Dancoff up to copying the Tamm article on what is now called Tamm Dancoff.
Tamm did win the Nobel Prize in 1958. So whether intended or not, the Russians could view the Dancoff duplication as helping Tamm get the Nobel Prize. Thus the Russians would seek to replicate it, i.e. do it on purpose to get Nobel Prizes for Russians.
Edge of the Wedge may fall into that pattern. Reinhard Oehme duplicated in part a result by Bogolyubov presented at a conference but not yet published or recognized. Oehme was from Germany and he and his wife likely had relatives in East Germany. Someone with same name Reinhard Oehme left East Germany in the 1980s.
Perhaps the Russians used leverage over Reinhard Oehme to get him to copy Bogolyubov so that they could get a Nobel Prize for Bogolyubov. That never materialized.
Russia may have been having some person involved in the Samuelson Stanley Fischer duplication of Nils Hakansson play a variant of this. They hoped to use this as pressure to get Nobel Prize nominations for Kantorovich of the USSR to win the Nobel Prize. One of the persons involved in the duplication of Hakansson’s work at MIT in 1969 by Paul Samuelson and Stanley Fischer may have been working for the Russians under this hypothesis. Later duplications may also have involved agent provocateurs. This is another reason for the FBI to investigate these cases.
One scenario is that Stanley Fischer was already working for Israel and Israel studied this history and wanted Fischer to create an incident as part of a deal with Russia. Russia would get the Nobel Prize in econ it wanted in exchange for some favor. Or someone in Israel acting for Russia told Fischer to do it. This is just a hypothetical.
Perhaps someone else involved? Someone who later wrote pro Marxist material? Just a thought.
The above is speculation and hypotheses. Please restate as questions. All other disclaimers apply.