Igor Mazin received his Ph.D. from P. N. Lebedev Physical Institute in Moscow in 1984. After that he worked in the V. L. Ginzburg’s Theoretical Department of the same institute, at the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research in Stuttgart, Germany, and at the Carnegie Institution of Washington. Since 1996 he has been at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, DC. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and is serving on the Editorial Board of Physical Review B. His research is in the first-principles calculations of magnetic, superconducting, and other functional materials, and in the theory of superconductivity. In 2008 he was recognized as an Outstanding Referee by the American Physical Society.
A new class of high-temperature iron-based superconductors lacks features in its electronic band structure that, based on current theoretical understanding, were considered essential. In a field that has produced quite a few surprises, this is the biggest yet.