Landau, Lev

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Landau, Lev Gender: M
Lev Davidovich Landau
born on 22 January 1908
Place Baku, Azerbaijan, 40n23, 49e51
Timezone LMT m49e51 (is local mean time)
Data source
Date w/o time
Rodden Rating X
Collector: Starkman
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_aqucol.18.gif 00°56' s_mo.18.gif s_vircol.18.gif

Lev Landau


Soviet physicist who made fundamental contributions to many areas of theoretical physics. His accomplishments include the independent co-discovery of the density matrix method in quantum mechanics (alongside John von Neumann), 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 inplasma physics, the Landau pole in quantum electrodynamics, and the two-component theory of neutrinos. 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).

Recognized very early as a child prodigy in mathematics, Landau was quoted as saying in later life that he scarcely remembered a time when he was not familiar with calculus. Landau graduated at 13 from gymnasium. His parents considered him too young to attend university, so for a year he attended the Baku Economical Technicum. In 1922, at age 14, he matriculated at Baku State University, studying in two departments simultaneously: the department of Physics and Mathematics, and the department of Chemistry. Subsequently he ceased studying chemistry, but remained interested in the field throughout his life.

In 1924, he moved to the main centre of Soviet physics at the time: the Physics Department of Leningrad State University. In Leningrad, he first made the acquaintance of genuine theoretical physics and dedicated himself fully to its study, graduating in 1927. Landau subsequently enrolled for post-graduate study at the Leningrad Physico-Technical Institute, and at 21, received a doctorate. Landau got his first chance to travel abroad in 1929, on a Soviet government traveling fellowship supplemented by a Rockefeller Foundation fellowship.

After brief stays in Göttingen and Leipzig, he went to Copenhagen to work at Niels Bohr's Institute for Theoretical Physics. After the visit, Landau always considered himself a pupil of Niels Bohr and Landau's approach to physics was greatly influenced by Bohr. After his stay in Copenhagen, he visited Cambridge and Zürich before returning to the Soviet Union.

Between 1932 and 1937 he headed the department of theoretical physics at the Kharkov Polytechnical Institute. During the Great Purge, Landau was investigated within the UPTI Affair in Kharkov, but he managed to leave for Moscow to take up a new post.

Landau was the head of the Theoretical Division at the Institute for Physical Problems from 1937 until 1962. Landau was arrested on April 27, 1938, because he had compared the Stalinist dictatorship with that of Hitler, and was held in the NKVD's Lubyanka prison until his release on April 29, 1939, after the head of the institute Pyotr Kapitsa, an experimental low-temperature physicist, wrote a letter to Joseph Stalin, personally vouching for Landau's behavior, and threatening to quit the institute if Landau were not released.

Landau led a team of mathematicians supporting Soviet atomic and hydrogen bomb development. Landau calculated the dynamics of the first Soviet thermonuclear bomb, including predicting the yield. For this work he received the Stalin Prize in 1949 and 1953, and was

On January 7, 1962, Landau's car collided with an oncoming truck. He was severely injured and spent two months in a coma. Although Landau recovered in many ways, his scientific creativity was destroyed, and he never returned fully to scientific work. His injuries prevented him from accepting the 1962 Nobel Prize for physics in person.

Landau died on 1 April 1968, aged 60, from complications of the injuries sustained in the car accident he was involved in 6 years earlier.

Link to Wikipedia biography


  • friend relationship with Kapitsa, Pyotr (born 26 June 1894 Jul.Cal. (8 July 1894 greg.))


Source Notes

Birth time unknown. Starkman rectified it to 9.10.16 LT


  • Traits : Mind : Child prodigy
  • Vocation : Science : Physics
  • Notable : Extraordinary Talents : For Numbers
  • Notable : Awards : Nobel prize
  • Notable : Famous : Founder/ originator (the theory of superfluidity)
  • Notable : Famous : Top 5% of Profession