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Nobel Winner has UK Connection

Contact: Ralph Derickson

Photo of Vitaly L. Ginzburg
Vitaly L. Ginzburg

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“Dr. Ginzburg was a lively participant, asking a lot of probing questions and suggesting a number of difficult experiments. The focus of these suggestions was on what was then – and is still – one of the major questions in condensed matter physics: what is the mechanism responsible for superconductivity in the high superconducting temperature cuprates.”

-- Joseph W. Brill,
chair,
Department of Physics and Astronomy

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 8, 2003) -- Vitaly L. Ginzburg, one of three persons named yesterday as winners of the Nobel Prize in physics, was a professor in residence in the University of Kentucky College of Arts and Science’s Department of Physics and Astronomy in 1997.

Ginzburg, a Russian physicist and astrophysicist who works in Moscow, Russia, whose research ranges over superconductivity, theories of radio-wave propagation, radio astronomy, and the origin of cosmic rays, gave four seminars during his academic stay at UK from March 3 to May 2, 1997.

During his UK visit, Ginzburg also participated in weekly meetings of the experimental condensed matter (solid state) physics group of physics professors Kwok Wai Ng and Joseph W. Brill, who is now chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy.

“Dr. Ginzburg was a lively participant, asking a lot of probing questions and suggesting a number of difficult experiments,” said Brill. “The focus of these suggestions was on what was then – and is still – one of the major questions in condensed matter physics: what is the mechanism responsible for superconductivity in the high superconducting temperature cuprates,” Brill said. Superconductivity is the ability of some materials to conduct electricity without resistance.

Ginzburg and Alexei A. Abrikosov, a Russian and American citizen who works at a laboratory in Illinois, and Anthony J. Leggett, a British and American citizen who also works in Illinois, were honored for their superconductivity theories.

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