Ilia Lifshits

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Lifshits, Il’ia Mikhailovich


Born Dec. 31, 1916 (Jan. 13, 1917), in Kharkov. Soviet physicist. Academician of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (1970; corresponding member, 1960) and academician of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR (1967).

Lifshits graduated from the University of Kharkov in 1936 and from the Kharkov (now Polytechnical) Institute of Mechanics and Machine Building in 1938. From 1937 to 1968 he worked at the Physicotechnical Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR in Kharkov. In 1968 he began the Institute of Physical Problems of the USSR. He is also a professor, first teaching at the University of Kharkov (from 1944) and then at Moscow State University (beginning in 1964).

Lifshits’ principal works are on the quantum theory of solids, the electron theory of metals, the theory of disordered systems, physical kinetics, and the physics of polymers. He formulated the dynamical theory of real crystals and predicted the existence of local and quasilocal frequencies. Together with co-workers, he developed the modern form of the electron theory of metals, which has made it possible to interpret the electron energy spectrum of metals (Lenin Prize, 1967). He also worked out the electron spectrum theory of disordered systems, formulated the basic concepts of the kinetics of second-order phase transitions, and set up a theory of nucleation. Lifshits has been awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labor and several medals.


Elektronnaia teoriia metallov. Moscow, 1971. (With others.)


“Il’ia Mikhailovich Lifshitz (K 50-letiiu so dnia rozhdeniia).” Uspekhi fizicheskikh nauk, 1967, vol. 91, issue 3, p. 559. (Contains a bibliography.)


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.