From the Atomic Bomb to the Landau Institute: Autobiography. Top Non-Secret

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Springer Berlin Heidelberg, Jun 7, 2012 - Science - 216 pages

The book is an expanded autobiography of the famous theoretical physicist Isaak Khalatnikov. He worked together with L.D. Landau at the Institute for Physical Problems lead by P.L. Kapitza. He is the co-author of L.D. Landau in a number of important works. They worked together in the frame of the so-called Nuclear Bomb Project. After the death of L.D. Landau, I.M. Khalatnikov initiated the establishment of the Institute for Theoretical Physics, named in honour of L.D. Landau, within the USSR Academy of Sciences. He headed this institute from the beginning as its Director. The institute inherited almost all traditions of the Landau scientific school and played a prominent role in the development of theoretical physics. So, this is a story about how the institute was created, how it worked, and about the life of the physicists in the "golden age" of the Soviet science. A separate chapter is devoted to today ́s life of the institute and the young generation of physicists working now in science.

It is an historically interesting book on the development of Soviet and Russian science and presents the background of the Soviet nuclear bomb program in the cold war age. In war times, Khalatnikov was a chief of the military staff of nuclear research. He writes about the internal conditions of Soviet society, the way of operating of the Soviet authorities and ways for scientists to interact with them. It gives many interesting insights into the development of superconductivity and superfluidity. The book is written by the most experienced and best informed person among the few living Russian scientists in the environment of Landau. Many stories of the book were never published before and considered as "top secret".

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About the author (2012)

Born 17 October 1919 in Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine, USSR. Graduated from Dnipropetrovsk State University (Physical Department) in 1941. Defended candidate dissertation (Ph.D thesis) in 1948. From 1945 till 1965 worked as researcher and then the head of department at P.L. Kapitza Institute of Physical Problems of the USSR Academy of Sciences. In 1952 defended Dr. Sci. dissertation. From 1965 till 1992 was director of L.D. Landau Institute for Theoretical Physics of the USSR Academy of Sciences (now Russian Academy of Sciences), since 1993 honorary director of L.D. Landau Institute for Theoretical Physics. From 1994 till now President of Landau Network - Centro Volta (Como, Italy).

Since 1954 professor at Moscow Institute for Physics and Technology (Phystech) and from 1993 till now professor at Tel Aviv University, School of Physics and Astronomy.

In 1972 was elected the corresponding member of the USSR Academy of Sciences and in 1984 became the full member (academician).

Was also elected as foreign member of Royal Society in 1994, became Lorentz Professor at Leiden University in 1968.

Decorated with USSR and Russian orders.

Was awarded: State Prize of the USSR 1953, Landau Prize of the USSR Academy of Sciences 1974, Alexander-von-Humboldt Award 1989, Kiwanis Prize "For Science and Disarmament" 1999.

I.M. Khalatnikov is the author of several hundreds papers and many books including: "Introduction to the Theory of Superfluidity" (W.A. Benjamin, Inc. New York, Amsterdam, 1965), "Landau: The Physicist and the Man "(Recollections of L.D. Landau edited by I.M. Khalatnikov) ( Pergamon Press, Oxford, New York, Beijing, Frankfurt, Sao Paulo, Sydney, Tokyo, Toronto, 1989), "The theory of superfluidity" (Nauka, Moscow, 1971).

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