Nobel Prize-Winning Physicist. A developer of the hydrogen bomb, he was honored in 2003 for his contributions to the understanding of superconductivity (the phenomenon of electrical resistance in certain metals dropping to zero as the temperature of that metal falls below a certain level) and superfluids. Raised in Moscow, he graduated from Moscow State University in 1938, and received his Ph.D. from the same institution in 1940. Over the years he published around 450 articles and 10 books on such varied topics as radio astronomy, optics, and quantum theory; his 1950 Ginzburg-Landau theory of superconductivity paid practical dividends in such areas as the MRI used in medical diagnostics, and paved the way for his future Nobel Prize. Recruited to work on the hydrogen bomb in 1950, he made his contribution by using lithium deuteride to manufacture the tritium needed for fusion. A member of the Russian Academy of Science, he headed the department of theoretical physics at the Academy's Lebedev Physical Institute from 1971 until 1988. Ginzburg was a Secular Jew, and a self-proclaimed athiest; nevertheless, he was active in the Russian Jewish Congress, and a supporter of Israel. In addition to the 2003 Nobel, his honors were many: the USSR State Prize in 1953, the Order of Lenin (1966), the 1994 Wolf Prize in Physics, and the Lomonsov Gold Medal in 1995, among others. He was a fellow of nine national science academies, including those of America and England. Ginzburg died after a long period of ill health.
Bio by: Bob Hufford