© 2009

On Superconductivity and Superfluidity

A Scientific Autobiography


  • Presents a Nobel Laureate's view of the development in the field of superconductivity resp. superfluidity and the related theory

  • The personal contribution of Ginzburg, resulting in the Nobel Prize, is presented in the context of his scientific biography


About this book


This book presents the Nobel Laureate Vitaly Ginzburg's views on the development in the field of superconductivity. It contains a selection of Ginzburg's key writings, including his amended version of the Nobel lecture in Physics 2003. Also included are an expanded autobiography, which was written for the Nobel Committee, an article entitled "A Scientific Autobiography: An Attempt," a fundamental article co-written with L.D. Landau entitled "To the theory of superconductivity," an expanded review article "Superconductivity and superfluidity (what was done and what was not done)," and some newly written short articles about superconductivity and related subjects. So, in toto, presented here are the personal contributions of Ginzburg, that resulted in the Nobel Prize, in the context of his scientific biography.


History of physics Physics development superconductivity superfluidity

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Russian Academy of SciencesP.N. Lebedev Physical InstituteMoscowRussia

About the authors

Born 4 October 1916 in Moscow, Russia. Graduated from Moscow State University in 1938. Defended candidate dissertation (Ph.D.) in Moscow State University in 1940. From 1940 till now works in P. N. Lebedev Physical Institute Acad. Sci. USSR (now Russian Acad. Sci.). In 1942 defended Dr. Sci. dissertation. From 1971 till 1988 - head (director) of I. E. Tamm department of theoretical physics, from 1988 till now adviser in Russian Acad. Sci. and head of the theoretical group in P. N. Lebedev Physical Institute. From 1945 was visiting professor in Gorkii State University and from 1968 till now professor in Moscow Physico-Technical Institute. In 1953 was elected corresponding member of Acad. Sci. USSR and in 1966 - full member. Decorated with USSR and Russian orders. Was elected also: 1969 - member Intern. Acad. Astronautics, 1970 - associate Roy. Astron. Soc., 1971 - foreign honorary member American Acad. Art and Science, 1977 - foreign member Royal Danish Acad. Sci. and Letters, 1977 - honorary fellow Indian Acad. Sci., 1981 - foreign fellow Indian Nat. Sci. Acad., 1981 - foreign associate National Acad. Sci. USA, 1987 - foreign member Roy. Soc. (London), 1990 - member Academia Europaea. Was awarded: Mandelstam Prize 1947, Lomonosov Prize 1962, State Prize 1953, Lenin Prize 1966, M. Smoluchovskii Medel Polish Phys. Soc., 1987, Gold medal Roy. Astron. Soc. 1991, Bardeen Prize 1991, Wolf Prize 1994/1995, Vavilov Gold medal 1995, Big Lomonosov Gold medal Russian Acad. Sci. 1995, UNESCO - Nils Bohr Gold Medal 1998, D. Nicholson Medal (APS, 1999), O'Ceallaigh Medal 2001, "Triumph" Prize 2002, Nobel Prize in Physics 2003. "for pioneering contributions to the theory of superconductors and superfuids".

V. L. Ginzburg is the author of several hundreds papers and many books including: Theoretical Physics and Astrophysics (Pergamon Press, 1979); Waynflete Lectures of Physics (Pergamon Press, 1983); Origin of Cosmic Rays (with S. I. Syrovatskii, Pergamon Press, 1964); Propagation of electromagnetic waves in plasma (Pergamon Press, 1970); Transition radiation and Transition Scattering (with V. N. Tsytovich, Adam Hilger Publ. House, 1990); Crystal Optics with Spatial Dispersion and Excitons (with V. M. Agranovich, Springer-Verlag, 1984), Physics and Astrophysics. A selection of key problems (Pergamon Press, 1985); On Physics and Astrophysics (in Russian, Publ. House "Nauka", Moscow, 1992; Publ. House "Quantum", Moscow, 1995). About Science, Myself and Others (in Russian, Publ. House "Nauka", Moscow, 1997), The Physics of a Lifetime (Reflections on the Problems and Personalities of 20th Century Physics) (in English, published by Springer 2001), About Science, Myself and Others (in Russian, 3rd edition, "FizMatLit" Publishing House, 2003), About Science, Myself and Others (in English, Institute of Physics Publishing, 2005), "Superconductivity and Superfluidity. An Autobiography." (in Russian, "FizMatLit" Publishing House, 2006).

Bibliographic information


From the reviews:

“Ginzburg’s final book, On Superconductivity and Superfluidity: A Scientific Autobiography, contains his 2003 Physics Nobel Prize lecture, his views on contemporary scientific and political issues, and his contributions to physics, particularly to his two favorite fields, mentioned in the book’s title. … The general public will find Ginzburg’s personal views interesting … . the book is intended for people with a physical-science or mathematical education.” (Valery Pokrovsky, Physics Today, January, 2010)

“The volume under review presents Vitaly Ginzburg’s personal impressions on the development in the field of superconductivity. The present book contains a selection of Ginzburg’s key writings, including his amended version of the Nobel lecture in Physics 2003. … The book is intended for people with a physical-science or mathematical education and the readers will find Vitaly Ginzburg’s personal views as very interesting.” (Vicenţiu D. Rădulescu, Zentralblatt MATH, Vol. 1205, 2011)