Lev Landau was a Soviet physicist who made some of the most important discoveries in physics during the 20th century.
Born in Baku, Azerbaijan, on this day in 1908, Landau was a child miracle intelligent at math and science but struggled in relating to his classmates. He completed his studies by the age of 13 and was ready to start college much before his classmates who described Landau as a “quiet, shy boy” in school. His dad was an engineer with an oil firm and his mom a doctor. By the time he turned 18, his first(1st) publication ‘On the Theory of the Spectra of Diatomic Molecules’ was already in circulation. He then got himself enrolled in the Physics Department of the University of Leningrad, Russia. –alloutlook
Landau completed his Ph.D. at the age of 21 and subsequently earned a Rockefeller Scholarship and Societ stipend which gave him the chance to visit experimentation amenities in Zurich, Copenhagen, and Cambridge. During one of these visits, Landau met Nobel Laureate Niels Bohr who was famous for his work in quantum theory. Bohr had a profound impact on the young Landau who went on to become a Nobel Laureate himself for his groundbreaking research on liquid Helium’s behavior at extremely low temperatures.
Landau died on April 1, 1968, at the age of 60. His legacy has been kept alive by the Landau Institute for Theoretical Physics in Moscow which was constituted in 1964. Not many know that there is a crater on the moon named after Landau.
The Soviet physicist was elected to the USSR’s Academy of Sciences in 1946 and received the Lenin Science Prize for his monumental Course of Theoretical Physics, a ten-volume study, which he had co-written with his student Evgeny Lifshitz.