New Delhi, Jan 22: Soviet-era physicist Lev Landau, who also won the 1962 Nobel Prize, was born on this day in 1908. Not many know that there is a crater on the moon named after Landau.
On his 111th birth anniversary, Google celebrated his work by dedicating a doodle on its homepage.
Lev Landau born in 1908 in Baku, Azerbaijan, then the part of the Russian empire, have fundamental contributions to many areas of theoretical physics. Young Lev Davidovich Landau was known as a “quiet and shy” boy who was brilliant at math and science but somehow faced difficulties in making friends. Landau was Math prodigy who learned to differentiate at age of 12, to integrate at age 13. He graduated at age of 13 from the gymnasium and matriculated at 15 from Baku State University where he studied in two departments, Department of Physics and Mathematics and Department of Chemistry.
His parents were followers of Jewism, his father is an engineer in a local oil company and mother is a doctor. He received a doctorate in physical and mathematical sciences in 1934 from Leningrad State University.
Landau's 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 in plasma physics, the Landau pole in quantum electrodynamics, the two-component theory of neutrinos, and Landau's equations for S matrix singularities.
After his education, he went to Copenhagen in 1930 to work at the Niels Bohr’s Institute of Theoretical Physics. His work was influenced by Bohr in later years.
Landau 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)."
A supporter of “Free Love” instead of monogamy and an atheist, Landau was known for his sharp humor.
Landau died on 1 April 1968, aged 60, from complications of the injuries sustained in the car accident he was involved in six years earlier. He was buried at the Novodevichy cemetery.
His legacy has been kept alive by the Landau Institute for Theoretical Physics in Moscow.