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SPbU 1724 — 2022

The Nobel Prize was awarded to Lev Landau

1962

The Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to Academician Lev Landau ‘for his pioneering theories for condensed matter, especially liquid helium’. He was a graduate of the Faculty of Physics and Mathematics of Leningrad State University.

Lev Landau covered a stunningly wide range of research areas. It includes almost all areas of theoretical physics. Using a fundamentally new mathematical apparatus, Lev Landau explained superfluidity. He determined the damping of electron plasma oscillations (Landau damping). Lev Landau and the future Nobel Laureate Vitaly Ginzburg developed the theory of superconductivity. Lev Landau formulated a number of theories, including the theory of multiple particle production in the collision of high-energy beams, the theory of a two-component neutrino, the theory of quantum fluids and predicted a new type of wave propagation, which he called zero sound. Lev Landau made a great contribution to quantum theory and to studies of the nature and interaction of elementary particles.

Yuri Rumer, who was one of Landau's closest friends and physicist, recreated the image of the student-scientist in his memoirs: ‘In the reading room of the library of Leningrad State University, there is an 18-year-old boy with a lock of black hair hanging down on a high, handsome forehead. He has just received the latest issue of Annalen der Physik. Here he discovers Schrödinger's first paper on quantum mechanics, “Quantisation as an Eigenvalue Problem”. ... He did not understand everything in the article that he was reading ... Yet he pushed his way through this article, which, according to his confession, made the same stunning impression on him as the first acquaintance with the theory of relativity.’