My teacher Ilya Mikhailovich Lifshitz

I.M.Lifshitz (January 13, 1917 - October 23, 1982)

Virtually every physicist knows the Landau-Lifshitz textbook series on theoretical physics. But not everybody realizes that there were two brothers Lifshitz, both physicists. The textbook Lifshitz is the older brother Evgeniy (1915-1985), while my teacher is the younger brother Ilya (1917-1982).

Of the most famous results, "Lifshitz points" and "Lifshitz theory of Van der Waals interactions" belong to E.M.Lifshitz, while Lifshitz-Slyozov-Wagner theory of Ostwald ripening, Lifshitz tails in the density of states of a disordered system, Lifshitz transition happening when Fermy surface topology changes, Lifshitz-Kosevich formula, all belong to I.M.Lifshitz (along with many other things).

I was fortunate to work closely under I.M.Lifshitz supervision, first as a student, then as a PhD candidate, and for total of 13 years, practically until I became Doctor of Science: Ilya Mikhailovich passed away one week before my defense...

IM Portrait
In 2017, I.M.Lifshitz would have turned 100

On this occasion, Bertrand Halperin, John Singleton and I wrote a paper in Physics Today.

Physics Today article in pdf format

Link to the Physics Today magazine.

This article was also translated into Japanese and published in Parity, August 2018, pages 34-43.

Link to the Parity magazine.
IM at Blackboard
In 2007, a book about I.M.Lifshitz was published in Russian

Here is my (corrected) personal memoir from that book.

Personal memoir (in Russian)

Also in January 2017, there was a special session in Moscow dedicated to I.M.Lifshitz. I spoke there.

Slides of my presentation in Moscow in January 2017 (in Russian)
IM in Triangle