Landau, Lev Davidovich

Landau, Lev Davidovich lyĕf dəvēˈdəvĭch ləndouˈ [key], 1908–68, Soviet physicist, b. Baku, Azerbaijan. A child prodigy in mathematics, he entered Baku Univ. at 14; at 21 he received a doctorate from the Univ. of Leningrad. In 1934 he worked with Niels Bohr in Copenhagen. In 1937 he became head of the theoretical department of the USSR Academy of Sciences. A key figure in Soviet space technology, he helped make the first Soviet atomic bomb. For his contributions to low-temperature physics he was voted the Fritz London Award at the 1960 International Congress of Physics, held in Toronto. For his pioneering studies on gases, especially his development of a mathematical theory of superfluidity that accounts for the properties of liquid helium II at a temperature below −455.73℉ (−270.96℃), he received the 1962 Nobel Prize in Physics.

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