Vitaly Lazarevich Ginzburg (Russian: Виталий Лазаревич Гинзбург; born October 4, 1916 in Moscow) is a Russian (formerly Soviet) theoretical physicist and astrophysicist, a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and the successor to Igor Tamm as head of the Department of Theoretical Physics of Academy's physics institute (FIAN).

Life and work

He graduated from the Physics Faculty of Moscow State University in 1938, defended candidate's (Ph.D.) dissertation in 1940 and doctor's dissertation in 1942. Since 1940 up to present time (as of 2004) he works in the P. N. Lebedev Physical Institute in Moscow. Among his achievements are a partially phenomenological theory of superconductivity, developed with Landau in 1950, the theory of electromagnetic wave propagation in plasmas such as the ionosphere, and a theory of the origin of cosmic radiation. In the 1950s he played a key role in the development of the Soviet hydrogen bomb.


  • USSR State Prize in 1953
  • Lenin Prize in 1966
  • Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1991
  • Wolf Prize in Physics in 1994/5
  • Lomonosov Gold Medal in 1995
  • Nobel Prize in Physics in 2003, together with Alexei Alexeevich Abrikosov and Anthony James Leggett.


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