Lev Davidovich Landau (Ле́в Дави́дович Ланда́у) (January 22, 1908 – April 1, 1968) was a Russian physicist and mathematician.
Landau was born in Baku, Azerbaijan, Russian Empire (now Baky, Azerbaijan).
His broad field of work included the theory of superconductivity and superfluidity, quantum electrodynamics, nuclear physics and particle physics. He developed the theory of second order phase transitions. In 1937 he became head of the theory department of the Institute for Physical Problems in the former Soviet Union; he was also a member of the Academy of Sciences. He was arrested in 1938, during the Great Purge, but released one year later. He suffered a major car accident in 1962 which precluded him from further scientific activities.
Many physical effects are named after Landau, for example Landau pole, Landau buttocks, and Landau damping.
His research group in 1965 transformed into what is now known as Landau Institute for Theoretical Physics.
He was a Nobel Laureate in Physics for the year 1962 for his pioneering theories of condensed matter, especially liquid helium. He is also admired for a prolific series of textbooks on theoretical physics, co-authored with E. M. Lifshitz.
He died in Moscow in 1968 and was interred there in Novodevichy Cemetery.