Nobel Laureate Lev Landau

Lev Landau

Lev Davidovich Landau (1908-1968)

On January 22, 1908, Soviet physicist and Nobel Laureate Lev Landau was born. Landau made fundamental contributions to many areas of theoretical physics. He received the 1962 Nobel Prize in Physics for his development of a mathematical theory of superfluidity that accounts for the properties of liquid helium II  at a temperature below 2.17 K (−270.98 °C).

Lev Landau was born in Baku and attended Leningrad University where he graduated from the Physical Department at the age of 19. Landau started his scientific career at the Leningrad Physico-Technical Institute. In the 1920s-1930s, Landau spent some time to work in Germany, Switzerland, England and, especially, in Copenhagen under Niels Bohr.[5] Landau became head of the Theoretical Department of the Ukrainian Physico-Technical Institute at Kharkov and starting from 1937, the scientist was head of the Theoretical Department of the Institute for Physical Problems of the Academy of Sciences of the U.S.S.R. in Moscow.

Landau’s research covered several fields of theoretical physics and he was especially active in the field of the theory of the condensed state. In 1938, P.L. Kapitsa discovered the superfluidity of liquid helium and afterwards, Landau started his research on the subject which led to his construction of the complete theory of the “quantum liquids” at very low temperatures. In the 1940s, Lev Landau devoted much of his time to the theory of the quantum liquids of the so called “Bose type” to which the liquid helium and in the 1950s, he worked on the theory of the quantum liquids of the “Fermi type”, to which liquid helium of isotope 3He refers.

Already in 1946, Landau was elected to the membership of the Academy of Sciences of the U.S.S.R. and he received the U.S.S.R. State Prize several times. In 1962, Landau reiceived the Lenin Science Prize amongst E.M. Lifshitz for their Course of Theoretical Physics. In the same year, Lev Landau received the 1962 Nobel Prize in Physics.

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