On 1 April, Lev Davidovich Landau, Soviet Nobel Prize winner, died in Moscow at the age of 60. He had never fully recovered from injuries sustained in an automobile accident six years ago.

Landau was born on 22 January 1908 in the city of Baku on the Caspian Sea. At 14 he entered Baku University, and two years later transferred to the University of Leningrad, where at 19 he received his doctorate in 1927. This period marked the beginning of his scientific writings when, in 1927, he introduced the concept of the density matrix for energy. After spending two years at the Leningrad Physicotechnical Institute, where he worked on the theory of the magnetic electron and on quantum electrodynamics, he went abroad in 1929.

For a year and a half, he studied at the Institute for Theoretical Physics in Copenhagen, and also in Germany, England, and Switzerland. Through collaboration with...

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