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Lev Landau, Soviet physicist who won Nobel Prize for mathematical theory of superfluidity

Devdiscourse News Desk
Updated: 22-01-2019 18:32 IST
Lev Landau, Soviet physicist who won Nobel Prize for mathematical theory of superfluidity

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Lev Landau was a Soviet physicist who made some of the fundamental contributions to many areas of theoretical physics. Landau's one the important discovery was the independent co-discovery of the density matrix method in quantum mechanics, Other discoveries includes the quantum mechanical theory of diamagnetism, the theory of superfluidity, the theory of second-order phase transitions, the Ginzburg–Landau theory of superconductivity, the theory of Fermi liquid, the explanation of Landau damping in plasma physics, the Landau pole in quantum electrodynamics, the two-component theory of neutrinos, and Landau's equations for S matrix singularities.

Lev Davidovich Landau received the 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 in the year 1962.

Landau was born on 22 January 1908 in Baku, Azerbaijan. Landau's father was an engineer with the local oil industry and his mother was a doctor. In 1922, at age 14, he matriculated at the Baku State University, studying in two departments simultaneously: the Departments of Physics and Mathematics, and the Department of Chemistry. In 1937, Landau married Kora T. Drobanzeva from Kharkiv.

In 1924, Landau moved to the main centre of Soviet physics, the Physics Department of Leningrad State University, and dedicated himself to the study of theoretical physics, graduating. Between 1932 and 1937, Landau headed the Department of Theoretical Physics at the National Scientific Center Kharkiv Institute of Physics and Technology. In 1932, Landau computed the Chandrashekhar limit, however, he did not apply it to white dwarf stars.

Landau died on 1 April 1968, aged 60, and was buried at the Novodevichy Cemetery.