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Valerii Vinokour

Argonne Distinguished Fellow

Valerii Vinokur (also spelled Vinokour) is a Senior Scientist and Argonne Distinguished Fellow at Argonne National Laboratory. He is a Foreign Member of the National Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters and Fellow of the American Physical Society.


Vinokur finished his BSc in Physics of Metals at Moscow Institute of Steel and Alloys in 1972 and moved to the Institute of Solid State Physics, Chernogolovka, Russia, where he received a Ph.D. in physics in 1979, working with Vladimir Kravchenko. He continued research there on dislocation physics, charge density waves, and vortices in high-temperature superconductors until 1990.

In 1990 Vinokur accepted his current appointment at Argonne National Laboratory. He has also held appointments as Visiting Scientist at CNRS, Grenoble (1987), Visiting Scientist at Leiden University (1989), Visiting Scientist at ETH-Zuሷrich (1990), and as Visiting Director of Research at Ecole Normale Superieure, Paris (1996). Vinokur has made foundational contributions in enriching our understanding of the vortex state in type II superconductors. With Lev Ioffe he developed a theory of glassy dynamics of extended topological defects (1987), laying the foundation for a theory of glassy vortex dynamics (developed with Dima Geshkenbein, Mikhail Feigelman, and Anatoly Larkin, 1989). In 1994 Vinokur put forth a theory of the dynamic melting (with Alexey Koshelev), which in 1998, enabled him to introduce a concept of the disorder-induced melting of the vortex lattice. With David Nelson he constructed a theory of the vortex Bose glass and predicted vortex Mott insulator (1993). In 2015 in collaboration with experimental group from Twente University, using a non-Hermitian Hamiltonian approach to non-equilibrium physics in dissipative systems, he constructed a theory of the dynamic vortex Mott transition.

In 2008 with Tatyana Baturina and experimentalists, Alexey Mironov and Christoph Strunk, he discovered and explained the new state of matter, superinsulator, the mirror dual to superconductivity, in disordered superconducting films.

In 2018 Vinokur (with Christina Diamantini and Carlo Trugenberger) constructed the topological gauge theory of the superconductor-insulator transition and the gauge theory of confinement in the superinsulating state and established the mapping of quarks in hadrons onto Cooper pairs. This mapping revealed that the mechanism of superinsulation is the linear binding of Cooper pairs into neutral mesons” by electric strings, in the same way as quarks are confined within hadrons. In 2003 Vinokur shared the International John Bardeen Prize for contribution to physics of the vortex matter and also received the Alexander von Humboldt Research Award. In 2017 Vinokur shared the International Abrikosov Prize for the development of pioneering concepts describing vortex matter in type II superconductors. In 2020 Valerii Vinokur shared the Fritz London Memorial Prize in recognition of his pioneering work on the theoretical investigation of superconductivity in disordered materials and type II superconductivity.


  • Distinguished Argonne Fellow, May 2009 – present
  • Senior Scientist, Consortium for Advanced Science and Engineering, Office of Research and National Laboratories, The University of Chicago, June 2018 – present
  • Senior Fellow, Computation Institute, The University of Chicago, 2010 – June 2018
  • Director of the Materials Theory Institute at the Materials Science, Division of Argonne National Laboratory, October 20012014
  • Senior Physicist, Argonne National Laboratory, March 1998 – present
  • Physicist, Argonne National Laboratory, September 1990 – February 1998
  • Senior Scientist, September 1987 – August 1992, Institute of Solid State Physics (ISSP), Ac. Sci. USSR
  • Scientist, January 1979 – August 1987, Institute of Solid State Physics (ISSP), Ac. Sci. USSR

Research Interests

  • Superconductivity; disordered superconductors: flux pinning, flux dynamics and related phenomena
  • Dynamics of disordered media and glasses and nonequilibrium stochastic dynamics
  • Nonequilibrium physics of dissipative systems
  • Quantum phase transitions; superconductor-insulator and metal-insulator transitions
  • Quantum coherence, noise and decoherence effects
  • Mesoscopic quantum systems, mesoscopic superconductivity and magnetism, hybrid nanostructures
  • Ultraquantum thermodynamics
  • Topological Quantum Matter

Honours, Awards, Fellowships, Membership of Professional Societies

  • Fellow of the American Physical Society, 1998
  • University of Chicago Distinguished Performance Award, 1998
  • Highly Cited Researcher among 98 most cited physicists worldwide (Institute for Scientific Information)
  • International John Bardeen Prize, 2003
  • Alexander von Humboldt Research Award, 2003
  • Foreign Member of the Norwegian National Academy of Letters and Science, 2013
  • Alexander von Humboldt Research Award, 2013
  • International Abrikosov Prize, 2017
  • Fritz London Memorial Prize, 2020

Member of the Nature: Scientific Reports Editorial Board, 2015 – present; member of the Central European Journal of Physics Editorial board, 2014 – present

Organizing Committee and Advisory Committees of LT conferences chain, Vortex Physics Workshops chain, Coma-Ruga International Workshops on Superconductivity and Magnetism chai, and Superstripes Workshops chain.

Major Accomplishments

  • A theory of glassy dynamics of the systems with internal degrees of freedom
  • A theory of dynamic melting and disorder-induced phase transitions
  • Discovery and the theory of the superinsulating state of matter dual to superconductivity
  • Non-Hermitian Hamiltonian approach to out-of-equilibrium physics in open dissipative gain-loss systems
  • Discovery and theory of the vortex dynamic Mott transition
  • Topological gauge theory of the superconductor-insulator transition and Bose metal DMR-1809188
  • Discovery of the possibility of the local violation of the second law of thermodynamics
  • A theory of the static negative capacitance
  • Experimental arrow-of-time reversal on the IBM quantum computer


Select Publications

Number of papers in refereed journals: 379; number of books/book chapters:  8; number of citations: over 22,000; h-index: 63

  1. F. S. Y. Zhao, N. Poccia, M. Panetta, C. Yu, J. W. Johnson, H. Yoo, R. Zhong, G. D. Gu, K. Watanabe, T. Taniguchi, S. V. Postolova, V. M. Vinokur, Sign-Reversing Hall Effect in Atomically Thin High-Temperature Bi2.1Sr1.9CaCu2.0O8+dSuperconductors. Phys. Rev. Lett. 122, 247001 (2019).
  2. M. V. Burdastyh, S. V. Postolova, I. A. Derbezov, A. V. Gaisler, M. C. Diamantini, C. A. Trugenberger, V. M. Vinokur, A. Yu. Mironov, Dimension Effects in Insulating NbTiN Disordered Films and the Asymptotic Freedom of Cooper Pairs. JETP Letters, 109, 795798 (2019).
  3. I. Lukyanchuk, Y. Tikhonov, Sene, A. Razumnaya & V. M. Vinokur, Harnessing ferroelectric domains for negative capacitance. Communications Physics, 2, 22 (2019).
  4. G. B. Lesovik, I. A. Sadovskyy, M. V. Suslov, A. V. Lebedev, V. M. Vinokur, Arrow of time and its reversal on the IBM quantum computer. Scientific Reports, 9, 4396 (2019).
  5. M. C. Diamantini, L. Gammaitoni, C. A. Trugenberger, V. M. Vinokur, The Superconductor-Superinsulator Transition: S-duality and the QCD on the Desktop. J. of Superconductivity and Novel Magnetism, 32, 4751 (2019).
  6. A. V. Lebedev, G. B. Lesovik, V. M. Vinokur, G. Blatter,Extended quantum Maxwell demon acting over macroscopic distances. Phys.Rev. B 98, 214502 (2018).
  7. M. C. Diamantini, L. Gammaitoni, C. A. Trugenberger, V. M. Vinokur, Vogel-Fulcher-Tamman criticality of 3D superinsulators. Scientific Reports, 8, 15718 (2018).
  8. I. Lukyanchuk, A. Sene, V. M. Vinokur, Electrodynamics of ferroelectric with negative capacitance. Phys. Rev. B 98, 024107 (2018).
  9. M. C. Diamantini, C. A. †rugenberger, & V. M. Vinokur, Confinement and asymptotic freedom with Cooper pairs. Communications Physics, 1, 77 (2018).
  10. A. Galda and V. Vinokur, Parity-time symmetry breaking in magnetic systems, PRB 94, 020408® (2016).