Alexei A. Abrikosov
Born: 25 June 1928, Moscow, USSR (now Russia)
Died: 29 March 2017
Affiliation at the time of the award: Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, IL, USA
Prize motivation: "for pioneering contributions to the theory of superconductors and superfluids"
Field: condensed matter physics, superconductivity, superfluidity
Prize share: 1/3
When certain substances are cooled to extremely low temperatures, they become superconductors, conducting electrical current entirely without resistance. With one type of superconductivity, the magnetic field is forced away from the conductor, but with another type of superconductivity, the magnetic field is admitted into the conductor. The different types of superconductivity cannot be described with the same theory. At the end of the 1950s, Alexei Abrikosov formulated a theory for the second type of superconductor. He introduced a mathematical function that described vortexes whereby an external magnetic field can intrude into the conductor.