Alexei A. Abrikosov
Alexei Alexeevich Abrikosov was born
on June 25, 1928, in Moscow, Russia.
He graduated from the Moscow State University in 1948.
In 1948-1965, he worked in the Institute for Physical
Problems of the USSR Academy of Sciences, where he received
his Ph.D. (in 1951) for the theory of thermal diffusion
in plasmas and then the next degree, Doctor of Physical
and Mathematical Sciences (in 1955), for a thesis on
quantum electrodynamics at high energies. From 1965-1988,
he worked in the Landau Institute for Theoretical Physics
(USSR Academy of Sciences). He has been a professor
of the Moscow State University since 1965, Academician
of the USSR Academy of Sciences in 1987-1991, and since
1991 he has been academician of Russian Academy of Sciences.
In 1952, Abrikosov discovered the
way in which magnetic flux can penetrate a superconductor.
The phenomenon is known as type-II superconductivity,
and the accompanying arrangement of magnetic flux lines
is called the Abrikosov vortex lattice.
Since 1991, he works in the Materials
Science Division at Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois,
USA on contract basis. He is a citizen of both Russia
and the United States.
Alexei Abrikosov was awarded
the Lenin Prize (in 1966), USSR State Prize
(in 1982), Fritz London Memorial Prize (in
1972). He was the co-recipient of the 2003 Nobel
Prize in Physics, with Vitaly
Ginzburg and Anthony James Leggett.
The following press release from the Royal
Swedish Academy of Sciences describes the
This year's Nobel Prize in Physics
is awarded to three physicists who have made decisive
contributions concerning two phenomena in quantum physics:
superconductivity and superfluidity. Superconducting
material is used, for example, in magnetic resonance
imaging for medical examinations and particle accelerators
in physics. Knowledge about superfluid liquids can give
us deeper insight into the ways in which matter behaves
in its lowest and most ordered state.
At low temperatures (a few degrees
above absolute zero) certain metals allow an electric
current to pass without resistance. Such superconducting
materials also have the property of being able to displace
magnetic flows completely or partly. Those that displace
magnetic flows completely are called type-I superconductors
and a theory explaining them was awarded the Nobel Prize
in Physics in 1972. This theory, which is based on the
fact that pairs of electrons are formed proved, however,
to be inadequate for explaining superconductivity in
the technically most important materials. These type-II
superconductors allow superconductivity and magnetism
to exist at the same time and remain superconductive
in high magnetic fields. Alexei Abrikosov succeeded
in explaining this phenomenon theoretically. His starting
point was a theory that had been formulated for type-I
superconductors by Vitaly Ginzburg and others, but which
proved to be so comprehensive that it was also valid
for the new type. Although these theories were formulated
in the 1950s, they have gained renewed importance in
the rapid development of materials with completely new
properties. Materials can now be made superconductive
at increasingly high temperatures and strong magnetic
Liquid helium can become superfluid,
that is, its viscosity vanishes at low temperatures.
Atoms of the rare isotope 3He have to form pairs analogous
with pairs of electrons in metallic superconductors.
The decisive theory explaining how the atoms interact
and are ordered in the superfluid state was formulated
in the 1970s by Anthony Leggett. Recent studies show
how this order passes into chaos or turbulence, which
is one of the unsolved problems of classical physics.