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Person: Lifshitz, Evgenii Mikhailovich
Evgeny Lifshitz was a leading Ukranian physicist, best known for the textbook he wrote with Lev Landau.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Evgenii Mikhailovich was educated at home only spending only two years, the sixth and the seventh, in the secondary school in Kharkov.
- Evgenii Mikhailovich completed his secondary school studies in 1929 when he was only fourteen years old.
- After the award of his Ph.D., Lifshitz worked at the Institute until 1938 as a senior research scientist.
- contains the so-called Landau-Lifshitz equivalent of motion for the magnetisation in ferromagnets.
- Lifshitz continued to work on the book after Landau's death and it was not completed until 1979.
- The work includes many of the results of Landau and Lifshitz's research over many years including the results of many jointly written research papers.
- Lifshitz and Landau were close friends, Landau was the brilliant researcher while Lifshitz was the outstanding expositor.
- Lifshitz was in Moscow in early 1938, teaching from February of that year at the All-Union Leather Institute.
- Lifshitz decided that the safest thing for him to do was to keep out of sight in case he attracted the same attention from the KGB.
- In 1939 Lifshitz's thesis for the DSc examination of Leningrad State University was accepted.
- It was Peter Kapitsa, the director of the Institute of Physical Problems, who invited Lifshitz to Moscow and arranged for him to share with Landau a 5-room apartment on two floors.
- Landau lived on the upper floor where there were three rooms, and Lifshitz and his wife, Elena Konstantinovna Berezovskaya, lived on the lower floor.
- Lifshitz deeply admired Kapitsa's courage in sending these letters and he treasured copies of the letters which he kept throughout his life.
- In the afternoon, Evgenii Lifshitz would drop by Landau's place, and from behind the study's closed doors one could hear their loud arguments.
- After a couple of hours Lifshitz would leave, agitated and red-faced.
- Lifshitz had to take charge of the production of the final volumes of the Course of Theoretical Physics and also take charge of the new editions of the earlier books which were produced regularly.
- However, others believe that the exceptionally high standard of the texts written with Landau are maintained in the later volumes where Lifshitz was the main author.
- After Landau's death, the further volumes that were written were jointly authored with Lifshitz choosing his co-authors with great care.
- However, when the topic was exhausted, when the matter was settled, or when it became clear that nothing more could be added, the conversation ended, and Evgenii Mikhailovich continued at his rapid pace, until the next person crossed his path.
- The chief editor was Kapitza but it was Lifshitz who was in complete charge of the day-to-day running of the Journal.
- In 1966 Lifshitz was elected a corresponding member of the USSR Academy of Sciences being elected a full member in 1979.
- This hit Lifshitz very hard and from this time on his health began to deteriorate.
- For most of his life Lifshitz had enjoyed excellent health.
- However, Lifshitz was always one to work extremely hard and so he battled to continue to keep up the same high work rate despite his illness.
Born 21 February 1915, Kharkov, Ukraine. Died 29 October 1985, Moscow, USSR.
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Thank you to the contributors under CC BY-SA 4.0!
Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive