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In Memoriam (Obituaries) Archive

Vincenzo (Enzo) Palmieri
Friday, March 16, 2018
Harry (Henry) Jones
Monday, August 24, 2015
Rob McGrath
Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Meyer Garber
Thursday, December 14, 2017
William Brownfield Fowler
Sunday, May 3, 2015
Jens Müller
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
James Nordman
Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Viktor Efimovich Keilin
Monday, November 24, 2014
Carl Henning
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Henri Desportes
Sunday, September 24, 2017
Koichi Kitazawa
Friday, September 26, 2014
Akira Tonomura
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
John Alcorn
Thursday, September 7, 2017
Werner Weber
Thursday, July 3, 2014
Siegfried Wolff
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Edgar A. Edelsack
Friday, May 5, 2017
Hirosi Maeda
Saturday, May 24, 2014
Milan Polák
Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Alexei Abrikosov
Wednesday, March 29, 2017
James H. Parker, Jr.
Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Marty Lubell
Monday, January 16, 2012
David G. Hawksworth
Wednesday, March 15, 2017
Olga L. Polushenko
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
Antonio Barone
Sunday, December 4, 2011
Peter E. Gifford
Sunday, January 29, 2017
Hans Hillman
Thursday, February 6, 2014
Shoji Tanaka
Friday, November 11, 2011
Carl Leonard Goodzeit
Wednesday, January 25, 2017
Nicola Sacchetti
Saturday, February 1, 2014
Clyde Taylor
Sunday, October 16, 2011
Mauricio (Mau) de Lima Lopes
Tuesday, January 3, 2017
Leo K. Kovalev
Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Per Dahl
Saturday, October 1, 2011
Lev Petrovich Gor'kov
Wednesday, December 28, 2016
Alex Shikov
Saturday, October 26, 2013
Ernst-Helmut Brandt
Thursday, September 1, 2011
Peter Komarek
Wednesday, November 23, 2016
Nikolai Kopnin
Sunday, October 20, 2013
Igot Yanson
Monday, July 25, 2011
Giovanni Volpini
Wednesday, October 12, 2016
Jeffrey A. Stern
Friday, October 11, 2013
Ray Sarwinski
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Leszek Motowidlo
Wednesday, September 21, 2016
Vladimir Pan
Friday, September 20, 2013
Hisashi Kado
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Eric Gregory
Sunday, August 28, 2016
Øystein Håkon Fischer
Thursday, September 19, 2013
Gert Eilenberger
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Eddie Man-Wai Leung
Monday, August 1, 2016
John Clem
Friday, August 2, 2013
W. James Carr Jr.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Helen T. Edwards
Tuesday, June 21, 2016
Klaus Irgmaier
Friday, June 28, 2013
Michael Tinkham
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Konrad H. Fischer
Tuesday, May 3, 2016
Joe Smith, Jr.
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Praveen Chaudhari
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Karl Gschneidner
Wednesday, April 27, 2016
Sergey Egorov
Sunday, March 24, 2013
Vitaly L. Ginzburg
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Colmar Hinnrichs
Saturday, February 27, 2016
Kiyoshi Tsukasa
Friday, January 25, 2013
Zdenek J. J. Stekly
Friday, April 3, 2009
William E. "Bill" Keller
Thursday, December 31, 2015
Henry Blosser
Tuesday, January 1, 2013
Masaki Suenaga
Friday, February 13, 2009
Robert John Soulen, Jr.
Sunday, November 29, 2015
Gordon Donaldson
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Hiromi Hirabayashi
Friday, April 11, 2008
Herbert Bousack
Friday, November 13, 2015
Michael Wulf
Friday, November 16, 2012

Edgar A. Edelsack

June 24, 1924 to May 5, 2017
Edgar Edelsack at 90 (2014)

Remembering Edgar A. Edelsack

May 5, 2017 (PO58).  Edgar A. (Ed) Edelsack was a physicist in the fields of nuclear physics, solid state physics and applied superconductivity who, in the second half of the 20th century, distinguished himself as one of leading supporters of superconductivity in the United States. He died April 4, 2017, of pneumonia at the age of almost 93.

Ed was born on June 14, 1924, in New York City, where he also attended high school and the New York University (NYU, 1941 - 1943). He was inducted into the US Army in 1943. While in military service, he was trained in mechanical engineering at Washington State College (now the Washington State University). He then served in the European war theater--Ardennes, the Rhineland and Central Europe—as a gun crewman in the 11th Army Division, 491st Armored Battalion. An event that deeply marked him was his service in the newly liberated Mauthausen Nazi concentration camp, where for some days he assisted the starved and emaciated former inmates1.

After the war, Ed returned to the study of physics at the University of Southern California (USC) and graduated there with a BS in 1948. He continued with graduate study at USC until 1950 and completed the class work for a Ph.D. In 1950, he also spent some time at the Oak Ridge Institute of Nuclear Studies. 

From 1949 until 1953 Ed was employed at the Emery Tumor Institute in Los Angeles, CA where he constructed a 2 MeV electron accelerator used for the treatment of cancer patients and supervised a radioactive isotope laboratory capable of handling intense radioactive sources. Subsequently, 1953-1957, he worked at the Naval Radiological Defense Laboratory in San Francisco, CA. There, he managed the 2 MeV proton/electron accelerator and supervised physicists and engineers engaged in fundamental and applied nuclear physics and radiation biophysics research. Between 1957 and 1967, Ed worked for the Office of Naval Research (ONR) in San Francisco, where he was responsible for technical reviews and evaluation of over thirty Navy-supported physics and biophysics projects at academic and industrial laboratories.

Finally, in 1967, Ed moved to Arlington, VA, to join the Physical Sciences Division of ONR. Once there, he soon started the ONR superconductive electronics program of which, in the role of a Senior Program Manager, he remained in charge until his retirement in 1986. During that time he served as a catalyst in starting the International Cryocooler Conference and actively supported newly established conference forums, such as the Applied Superconductivity Conference (ASC). In 1986, as that Conference Chair, he organized the ASC in Baltimore, MD, celebrating the 75th anniversary of the discovery of superconductivity.

While very active in the area of applied superconductivity, Ed considered it essential to also provide support to basic science. Although one may think that ONR should focus only on specific applications directly related to Navy’s needs, Ed understood that ONR, the oldest scientific agency in the United States, should have a vital interest in supporting the development of basic science. Ed interpreted his area of responsibility broadly, even though this was not always an easy task2.

One of Ed’s proudest achievements at ONR was his support and initiative for research in SQUID (superconducting quantum interference device) magnetometry, which created a bridge between superconductivity and biophysics. In 1969 at Ed’s suggestion, and with ONR support, a magnetically shielded room was constructed at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). In it, the research team of David Cohen and James E. (Jim) Zimmerman recorded the very first magnetocardiograms3 of the heart thanks to the use of a SQUID magnetometer newly developed by Jim. This led directly to the establishment of biomagnetism as a research area and clinical discipline. Ed authored and co-authored more than 50 papers, as well as co-edited a two-volume book edition on superconductivity (The Science and Technology of Superconductivity, Plenum Press, 1973).

Once retired, Ed served as adjunct professor in the School of Engineering at George Washington University (GWU) and as a consultant with the Institute of Defense Analysis and HYPRES, Inc., where he served later as Chairman of that company’s Scientific Advisory Board. He volunteered his time at GWU to enhance programs for science teachers in public schools, as well as directly in local schools themselves.

In 2002, Ed became the very first awardee of the newly established IEEE Max Swerdlow Award for Sustained Service to the Applied Superconductivity Community, one of the prestigious awards sponsored by the IEEE Council on Superconductivity.

Ed is survived by his wife of 35 years, Charlotte Nusberg, son and daughter-in-law, and two grandchildren.  As a WWII veteran, Ed will be interred at Arlington National Cemetery. 

We thank the widow, Mrs. Charlotte Nusberg, for providing and verifying many biographic details. Her help was invaluable.
Alex Braginski, Juelich Research Center
Vladimir Kresin, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Marty Nisenoff, formerly Naval Research Laboratory (retired)
Bruce Strauss, President, IEEE Council on Superconductivity

1 In his later years, he both lectured and was interviewed on what he witnessed there.  He is honored as a liberator by the US Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC.
2 Read more on Ed’s support for basic science
3 Slightly later, the first magnetoencephalograms of the human brain were also recorded by them.


Alexei Abrikosov

June 25, 1928 to March 29, 2017
Alexei Abrikosov (Photo: ANL, courtesy of APS News)

Albrikexei Aosov 1928-2017

May 3, 2017 (PO57U). Alexei A. Abrikosov, a world-renowned theorist in the field of condensed matter physics, and especially superconductivity, Nobel laureate, passed away after a long illness on March 29, 2017, at the age of 88.  He was the last still living of four Russian theory giants, who were among creators of the modern condensed matter theory.   The towering sum of their contributions to theory of low-temperature superconductivity is known as GLAG (Ginzburg-Landau-Abrikosov-Gor’kov).

Abrikosov was born on June 25, 1928, in Moscow, then Soviet Union (USSR), in a family of prominent medicine doctors1.  He graduated from high school in 1943 and was accepted as student of the Institute for Power Engineers.  In 1945 he transferred to the Physics Department of the Moscow State University and graduated summa cum laude with a diploma (M.Sc. degree) in 1948. After that, he was accepted as a Ph.D. student at the Institute for Physical Problems (now Kapitza Institute), where his adviser was Lev D. Landau. After defending in 1951 a dissertation on thermal diffusion in completely and incompletely ionized plasmas, Abrikosov received the Candidate of Science (Ph.D.) degree and became staff member of that Institute.

In 1951–1952 he worked with N.V. Zavaritskii, an experimentalist of the same institute, to experimentally verify the critical magnetic field of thin films predicted by the recently published Ginzburg-Landau phenomenological theory of superconductivity.  This work and its subsequent extension to bulk materials resulted in the Formulation of the concept of Type II superconductivity, the lower and upper critical fields, prediction of vortices and the vortex lattice.  This work, one of the most cited in the world scientific literature, proved invaluable for the development of practical conductor technology.

In the mid-1950's, Abrikosov worked also on several other topics, including the quantum electrodynamics at high energies, the subject of his Doctor of Science dissertation (a degree analogous to the Central-European habilitation), which he defended in 1955.  Towards the end of that decade, he then collaborated with Lev Gor’kov on theory of superconducting alloys and superconductors with magnetic impurities, in which they predicted the possibility of gapless superconductivity.  In collaboration with I. Khalatnikov they also studied the behavior of superconductors in high-frequency magnetic fields. Later, Abrikosov collaborated also with M. P. Kemoklidze on a related problem.

From the 1960's on, Abrikosov’s interests turned towards normal metals, semi-metals, and semiconductors.  We refrain from listing Abrikosov’s theoretical achievements in these and other areas not related directly to superconductivity but should mention that in 1961 he published with Lev Gor’kov and Igor Dzyaloshinskii the “Quantum Field Theoretical Methods in Statistical Physics”, the seminal textbook on the subject (see photo).  After the discovery of high-temperature superconductivity, Abrikosov got interested in high-Tc layered cuprates, jumped once more into the fray and developed his own version of cuprate superconductivity theory, which could explain a good part of their unusual behavior, including the isotope effect, neutron scattering, pseudogap and the metal-insulator transition.

In 1965, Abrikosov was one of the organizers of the Institute of Theoretical Physics of the Soviet Academy of Sciences (now the Landau Institute), where became Head of the Condensed Matter Theory Department, in parallel with various teaching appointments (see below). In 1988, Abrikosov was elected Director of the Institute of High-pressure Physics of the Academy in Troitsk, near Moscow.  In 1991, with the demise of Soviet Union, he moved to the United States where he accepted an invitation of the Argonne National Laboratory to become Distinguished Argonne Scientist and then head of the condensed matter theory group in the Materials Science Division, 1992 - 2000.  He continued to collaborate with that Division until his terminal illness.

Abrikosov’s teaching career started at the Moscow State University, where he climbed from Assistant to Associate and Full Professor, 1960-1969.  In 1970-1972 he was Professor at the State University of Gorky (now Nizhnyi Nowgorod), from 1976 to 1991 Chair of Theoretical Physics at the Moscow Institute of Steel and Alloys.  At the US, he was Adjunct Professor, University of Illinois, Chicago, and University of Utah.  He held also the Leverhulm adjunct professorship at the University of Loughborough, UK.

Prior to the Nobel Prize in 2003 (together with Vitaly Ginzburg and Anthony Legett) “for pioneering work on the theory of superconductivity and superfluidity”, Abrikosov received numerous other distinctions and prizes, in the Soviet Union, the US, and elsewhere.  Already in 1964, he was elected a corresponding member of the Soviet Academy.  In 1966, he received the Lenin Prize, together with Lev Landau, Vitaly Ginzburg and Lev Gor’kov, for the theory of superconductivity in strong magnetic fields.  In 1972, Abrikosov was awarded the Fritz London Prize in Low-temperature Physics, in 1982 the USSR State Prize, in 1987 he became a full member of the Academy, in 1991 received the John Bardeen Award, again together with Ginzburg and Gor’kov.  In 1992 Abrikosov became Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS), in 2000 member of the US National Academy of Sciences.   He was a foreign member of the Royal Society (UK), received honorary doctorates from the University of Lausanne (Switzerland, 1975) and Bordeaux (France, 2003).

Abrikosov has been remembered by his colleagues and collaborators as remarkably gifted writer, erudite and congenial story teller.  He had a strong personality and was very principled.  His deep sense of humor helped him to overcome many adversities he faced in his long and very eventful life.  In his free time, he loved to climb mountains.

This obituary is compiled based primarily on the autobiography Abrikosov wrote on the occasion of his Nobel Prize (in “The Nobel Prizes 2003”, Nobel Foundation, Stockholm, 2004), the article in his memory published by A. F. Andreev et al. in Uspekhy Fiz. Nauk (UFN) 187, No. 4, 463-464 (2017), and also on the obituary posted by Argonne National Laboratory on its website.  We especially thank A. A. Varlamov of SPIN-CNR and Rome University, Italy, one of the co-authors of the UFN memorial article, for his critical review of this SNF obituary.  Another UFN memorial co-author, V. Mineev of CEA, France, provided that article.  We also thank Vladimir Kresin, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and Bruce Strauss, Dept. of Energy, both of the USA, for their kind assistance.  Prior to publishing this obituary, we temporarily posted (with permission) the obituary published by APS News.

1His father was the chief pathologist of Soviet Union.


David G. Hawksworth

January 1, 1954 to March 15, 2017
David Hawksworth (January of 2015)

Passing of David G. Hawksworth

August 1, 2017 (PO56). It is with great regret that we report that Dr. David G. Hawksworth, former Managing Director of Oxford Magnet Technology Ltd., passed away on March 15th at the age of 63 after a short struggle with cancer.

Having completed an intern as a summer student in Martin Wilson’s Group at Rutherford, David became David Larbalestier’s first PhD student at the University of Wisconsin in 1976, carrying out pioneering work in increasing the upper critical field of NbTi and NbTiTa alloys, work still referred to today. Joining Oxford Instruments in 1981 as Project Engineer for the newly formed NMRI group, David became the Engineering Manager and later Director of Oxford Magnet Technology Ltd., (OMT) where he was instrumental in leading the team which developed the first high field whole body 1.0T, 1.5T and 4.0T active shield MRI magnets. Promoting a culture of quality and best practice, David lead his team to be the innovative world leaders in the production of cost and performance optimized MRI systems. After a two-year stay at Siemens Healthcare in Erlangen, Germany, David became Managing Director of OMT Ltd in 1995 until it became a wholly owned Siemens subsidiary in 2003.

During David’s technical leadership of OMT Ltd., the business received Queen’s Awards for Technology (UK) in 1985, 1991 and 1996, Export in 1985 and 1991 and Enterprise in 2001. David’s personal contributions to the superconducting industry were recognized by the conferring of the Max Swerdlow Award of the IEEE Council on Superconductivity at the 24th International Conference on Magnet Technology (MT24) in Seoul, Korea in 2015. Having been Managing Director of Oxford Biosensors followed by UK and Ireland Managing Director of Quest Diagnostics, in recent times he was enjoying being back in the world of superconductivity in an advisory capacity with Tokomak Energy.

David was very much a people’s person whose passion, dedication and friendship will be a great loss to his colleagues and our community. David’s professional legacy should be thought of not just in business terms, but also in human terms.  He developed younger generations of business leaders, within and beyond superconductivity, by providing an inspirational role model of how to build and manage complex teams working on the most demanding problems in a very cost-competitive market. He leaves us with many memories of an utterly positive and ethical engineer and manager who had an unusual empathy for all who worked with him.  For this, he will be missed but never forgotten, with so many happy memories and experiences shared. He is survived by his wife Judith, and children Matthew, Rebecca, and Elizabeth. A Special Memorial session dedicated to David is to be held at MT-25 in Amsterdam.


Peter E. Gifford

January 1, 1949 to January 29, 2017
Peter E. Gifford (2015)

Peter E. Gifford Remembered

March 20, 2017 (PO55). Peter Gifford, 68, of Syracuse, New York, passed away at home surrounded by family and friends on January 29th, 2017, after a courageous battle with esophageal cancer. 

He was the president of CRYOMECH, which is a world-leading manufacturer of Gifford-McMahon (GM) and pulse tube cryocoolers. The company was founded in Syracuse in 1963 by his late father, William Gifford, the inventor of the Gifford-McMahon cryocooler and the first version of a pulse tube cryocooler.

Peter was born in Washington, DC, in 1949. He moved to many places with his parents before finally settling in Syracuse in 1961 when Peter was 12 years old. He was a tennis champion in high school and played on the city championship high school football team. He studied physics and math at Syracuse University before graduating with a Liberal Arts degree. In 1973 he began working with his father at CRYOMECH, which at that time had only two full-time employees.  Peter took over full leadership of the company and its handful of employees in 1980 after his father became ill with cancer and later passed away.  Peter and his employees, whom he treated as part of his family, were able to grow the company into one of the world’s best-known cryocooler companies, which now employees about 130 people. The company designs and manufactures cryogenic refrigerators for use in cutting edge research and production from agriculture to aerospace.

Peter’s success in growing the company partly stems from his keen insight into the need for a niche market catering to the needs of researchers in a wide variety of cryogenic cooling applications. Whereas his competitors focused mostly on large mass production markets, Peter found an important need for the development of cryocoolers for many new applications. CRYOMECH has been especially successful after the development of the first commercial 4 K pulse tube cryocooler, which has become an important tool for researchers who previously used liquid helium in experiments, but are now switching to cryocoolers as the helium price has greatly increased and its availability has become erratic. Peter made CRYOMECH successful by doing things no other company could do.  His physics background helped him understand the scientific challenges his customers faced.  He enjoyed challenges and developing new things.

The company also became successful because of his contagious, outgoing personality. He always had a smile and a knack for making you feel appreciated. His laughing, joking and storytelling would put you at ease immediately.  One of the highlights of my trips to conferences was a chance to talk to Peter, usually at the CRYOMECH booth in the exhibit hall. His enthusiasm made me feel good and I could enjoy a few laughs with him.  He was very kind to his employees and treated them as part of his family, often hosting informal get-togethers for the whole company.

After being diagnosed with cancer, he began to plan for the long-term future of the company. Instead of selling out to some larger company or venture capital firm, whom he feared might strip the company and move it away from Syracuse, he decided to offer it to his employees through an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP).  He wanted it to remain in Syracuse because of his employees and because of the supportive nature of the business community in upstate New York. The company went ESOP in 2014. In an interview with the Syracuse newspaper in 2015, he explained that his approach to dealing with employees and customers followed the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

When not at CRYOMECH or interacting with attendees at conference exhibits, he most often could be found alongside some stream somewhere in the world enjoying his favorite pastime of fly fishing. He built a house in the Catskills on the bank of the West Branch of the Delaware River in Hancock, NY, where he could fish, relax, and enjoy the environment in the presence of his family and many friends. He is survived by his wife and partner of 37 years, Lorraine Koury; sisters Jenni Shone (Robert) of Strafford, NH; Hilary Gifford (Ben Guthrie) of Trumansburg, NY; and brother Robert Mac Gifford of Syracuse, NY.

Peter, rest in peace and catch lots of fish.

In the early 80's, as a PhD student, I learned about “Gifford” as the guy who had invented the GM-cooler together with MacMahon. I used these GM coolers in my PhD research, and I recall that later in my career I had the opportunity to meet Gifford’s son Peter at one of my first EUCAS conferences at a booth of CRYOMECH. What an impressive personality and what a pleasure to sit and talk with him, totally different from what at that time I had in mind as typical company leaders. Following that first meeting, I took the opportunity at all cryogenic conferences to go and look for Peter, for a quick chat or a longer discussion on what we would need for our specific applications. I do recall the visit to CRYOMECH at the 2014 International Cryocooler Conference and the last words I then had with Peter. I did not know at that time that he was already seriously ill.

The cryo-world lost a great personality, a great innovator, and stimulator.

We express our deepest sympathy to family and friends and to the CRYOMECH team for the loss of Peter.

On behalf of the International Cryogenic Engineering Committee and the Cryogenic Society of Europe, Marcel ter Brake.

Obituary written by Ray Radebaugh with a personal note by Marcel ter Brake.


Carl Leonard Goodzeit

March 19, 1928 to January 25, 2017
Carl Leonard Goodzeit (March 2016)

Carl Leonard Goodzeit, 88, of DeSoto, Texas, passed away on January 25, 2017. Carl was a very important contributor to the design of superconducting magnets for both Brookhaven National Laboratory and the Superconducting Super Collider.

February 21, 2017 (PO54). Carl was born on March 19, 1928, to Morris and Ruth Goodzeit in Newark, New Jersey. He was valedictorian of the Millburn High School class of 1946 and went on to earn a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Rutgers University in 1950, and an M.S. in Engineering Mechanics from Brown University in 1955.

His first position was as a senior research engineer at General Motors in Detroit.  He joined Brookhaven National Laboratory on Long Island, New York as a Senior Engineer in the Physics Department (1959-1982) and then Magnet Division (1982-1989). From 1990-1994, he was a Senior Engineer and Group Leader for the Magnet Division of the Superconducting Super Collider Lab in Texas. Most recently he has worked as an engineering consultant in Texas. He holds several patents, and in November 2016, he delivered a paper on a dual armature design for advanced electric motor technology at the Electric and Hybrid Aerospace Technology Symposium in Cologne, Germany.

Carl loved tennis, cooking, sailing, cats, the Bahamas, and spending time with his family. He is survived by his wife of nearly 55 years, Connie Goodzeit, and his four children, Neil, Alison, James, and Carolyn, his five grandchildren, Elliot, Emma, Olivia, Michael, and Victoria. Carl was one of a kind, and his family adored him for his humor, intelligence, and his unique personality.

At Brookhaven, Carl worked on the design, construction, and operation of Bubble Chambers when these devices were a principal tool for detecting elementary particles in the physics research being done at the Brookhaven accelerators. This work was mechanically challenging because these detectors used liquid hydrogen, magnetic fields, and forceful pressure pulses to reveal tracks in the chamber. Liquid hydrogen is a very volatile and flammable substance so safety was a foremost consideration. In 1982, be began work on superconducting magnets and made numerous valuable contributions to the development of these difficult magnets for the CBA, SSC, and RHIC Colliders. His focus was always on ways to contain the large forces in these magnets, forces that act to break the magnet apart. To that end, he perfected a collar design for the SSC that would have been used for industrial production of those magnets had the project continued. The unique design of the RHIC magnet collaring system, using the magnet’s steel yoke as a collar while still respecting its needed magnetic properties, was largely his invention and has served well in that machine for the many years is has been in operation. To achieve the necessary understanding of the mechanics at work, and to guide the collar development, he developed a strain gauge measuring system that allowed unambiguous analysis of the forces at work in the magnet.

Carl joined the SSC laboratory in 1990 and became the reference engineer for all the newly hired and not very experienced people in the magnet development group. He organized a Technology Transfer Program for the companies selected for dipole industrialization.  He was fundamental in transferring to them the accumulated knowledge, but also in warning them about possible design misinterpretations and possible problems in going too far in industrial assembly lines without considering the intrinsic specificity of superconductor magnets. He participated in the task force in charge of the revision of the SSC dipole design when its aperture was increased from 40 to 50 mm. His remarks and suggestions were extremely pertinent, permitting a rapid convergence for the launch of the prototyping program based on FNAL and BNL proposals. In the meantime, he collaborated on the design of a fifteen-meter long superconducting quadruple for the interaction regions, the first magnet to be ever designed and built wholly by the SSC laboratory. His contribution was paramount in defining a novel and innovative mechanical structure fulfilling robustness, manufacturing simplicity and costs. Two two-meter-long models were built and demonstrated the soundness of the design, reaching short sample limits in very few quenches, well above operating current and with no retraining. After more than two decades of oblivion, this structure is again strongly being reconsidered for new generation quadrupoles.

After the SSC project was canceled, Carl continued technical work as a consultant. From 1994 through 1998 he was a co-developer of a CD-ROM tutorial ‘Superconducting Accelerator Magnets’ that was funded by a US Dept of Energy SBIR award to MJB Consulting (later MJB Plus) in DeSoto, TX. When that project was completed, he was a consultant on several magnet development projects for the Advanced Magnet Lab, Florida. In January 2001, he presented “An Introduction to Mechanical Design and Construction Methods, a segment of the Superconducting Accelerator Magnets course at the US Particle Accelerator School at Rice University.  He then spent several years developing his concept for a dual armature topology to almost double the specific power of a radial field electrical machine. From 2010-2013 he collaborated with Florida Institute of Technology on an NSF funded project for the design, construction, and testing of a dual armature prototype generator. His final interests were related to application of the dual armature electric machine topology for aircraft propulsion.

Info from his family & colleagues.

Technical content for BNL by Erich Willen (BNL/retired), SSC by Giancarlo Spigo (now at CERN), consulting projects by Millicent (Penny) Ball (consulting colleague).


Mauricio (Mau) de Lima Lopes

July 20, 1975 to January 3, 2017
Lima Lopes (photo taken in 2015 or 2016)

Mauricio Lopes Remembered

February 8, 2017 (PO53). Mauricio (Mau) de Lima Lopes, a scientist in the Fermilab Technical Division, passed away on January 3, 2017. He was 41 years old.

In January 2005, while completing his Ph.D. research, Mau was hired to work on the ALBA Light Source in Barcelona as a magnet designer. Mau was responsible for the design of room temperature magnets for the storage ring, booster ring, and transfer lines. Mau completed his Ph.D. in December 2005 and continued to work at ALBA through early 2007.

In 2007 Mau came to Fermilab, starting as a postdoc, then later promoted to staff scientist, in the Fermilab Technical Division Magnet Systems Department. Mau spent the next ten years expanding his considerable talents as a magnet designer to superconducting magnet technology. Mau worked on magnet designs for several projects important to the Fermilab and the greater High Energy Physics (HEP) community, such magnets for International Linear Collider interaction region and Muon collider cooling channels. His body of work is documented in numerous publications and conference proceedings.

Arguably, his most important contributions were made to the Fermilab muon to electron (Mu2e) experiment. Starting in 2010, Mau took on the important task of the magnetic design of the Mu2e Transport Solenoid (TS) magnets. As the name implies these solenoid magnets are responsible for the transport of muons from the production target to the stopping target. TS has a unique “S” shape geometry. The magnetic design had to strictly adhere to field requirements in curved and adjoining straight sections. The design had to meet these field requirements under all construction tolerance scenarios. To facilitate these studies, Mau developed his own suite of analysis programs called SolCalc.  With its user-friendly interface and graphic interface, these programs allowed him to construct and analyze in a straightforward manner hundreds of magnetic models within the design systematic and random fabrication tolerances. This analysis, in turn, enabled him to identify for the project those tolerances that were key to the TS fabrication.

Mau continued to expand his contributions to the Mu2e project. Along with the TS design, Mau was given responsibility for overseeing the magnetic model for the entire Mu2e experiment.  Mau worked closely with the Mu2e collaboration, generating field maps for studying beam transport and background studies, as well as conducting beam transport studies on his own.

In 2013 he became the deputy project manager for the Mu2e TS and a year later became the TS manager.  As the TS leader, he was responsible for both the technical design and cost and schedule for this part of the Mu2e project. As such he was the technical interface with between the Mu2e project and the vendor responsible for the fabrication of the TS coils and was pivotal in establishing our ongoing TS fabrication campaign.

In addition to his contribution to the field of magnet technology, Mau often talked about his passion for teaching. Mau taught and co-taught several classes at the United States Particle Accelerator School (USPAS) in the field of magnet technology. In 2014 he received recognition for exemplary performance as a USPAS instructor from both USPAS and Fermilab. Over the years he mentored and supervised many summer students from various Fermilab student programs.

Those who worked with Mau or who were mentored by Mau fondly remember his warm personality, his generosity towards others and his wonderful sense of humor. He will be deeply missed. 

Giorgio Ambrosio, Andy Hocker, Jeremiah Holzbauer, Michael Lamm, Vito Lombardo, Ron Ray and Bruce Strauss


Lev Petrovich Gor'kov

June 14, 1929 to December 28, 2016
Lev P. Gor’kov, on his 80th birthday, © Uspekhy Fiz. Nauk (2009).

Lev P. Gor'kov, 1929 - 2016

January 20, 2017 (PO51). Lev Petrovich Gor'kov, professor of physics and world-renowned theorist in the field of condensed matter physics, and especially superconductivity, died on December 28, 2016. He was a student of the famous Nobel laureate Lev Landau, and belonged to the group of prominent Russian physicists known as the “Landau school”.

Gor’kov was born in Moscow, then the Soviet Union, on June 14, 1929.  In 1947 he started his studies in technical physics, initially at the Moscow State University (MGU) and obtained his diploma (M.Sc.) in 1953 at the Institute of Physical Problems (IFP). Subsequently, he started his doctoral studies while working in the theory department of IFP headed by Landau. In 1956 Gor’kov defended there his PhD1 dissertation and stayed until 1963 when he transferred for a couple of years to Chernogolovka2 as the head of the theory department at the Institute of Chemical Physics. In 1961 he earned the degree of D.Sc., the Soviet/Russian equivalent of European habilitation. In 1965, he moved to the new Institute of Theoretical Physics of the Soviet Academy of Sciences3, of which he was one of the organizers, and headed the Chair “Problems of Theoretical Physics”.  He was active there until 1991, the last three years as the Deputy Director when he left Russia and moved to the United States. After a short stay as a visiting professor at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, he moved to the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory (NHMFL or “MagLab”) at Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL, of which he was one of the founding scientists and the leading theorist (Program Director in Condensed Matter). He remained there until his demise.

Gor’kov’s interest in superconductivity was stimulated by the publication of the BCS theory in 1958. A few months later he developed and published the Gorkov’s equations, a strong theoretical tool, which became the base contemporary theory of superconductivity. He then proceeded in 1959 to develop microscopic foundations of the phenomenological Ginzburg-Landau theory, today known under the acronym GLAG (Ginzburg-Landau-Abrikosov-Gor’kov), which eventually became the most universal approach to study electromagnetic properties of superconductors. In 1958-1960, Gor’kov together with A. Abrikosov developed the theory of superconducting alloys and predicted the possibility of gapless superconductivity. In the early 1970s, Gor’kov, together with G. Eliashberg, established the foundations of the theory of non-stationary and nonequilibrium effects in superconductors, describing their behavior in alternating fields, nonlinearity, and the vortex dynamics. In the late 1970s and 1980s he then consecutively worked on theories of A15 alloys, organic 1D superconductors, and heavy fermions. We don’t mention here his more general and towering contributions to condensed matter physics.

In the US, Gor’kov continued his creative activity in a variety of areas of condensed matter physics and superconductivity. Alone in the period of 1998 to 2016, he authored or co-authored well over 50 papers and four book chapters. His most recent interests in superconductivity included a variety of subjects such as superconductivity at interfaces, superconductivity in sulfur hydrides under high pressures, cuprates, pnictides and others.

Gor'kov had been the recipient of many prestigious awards and honors throughout his illustrious career including the Lenin Prize, Soviet's highest award for scientific achievement in 1966, the Landau Award in 1989, the Bardeen Award in 1991, the Humbolt Research Award in 1998, the Eugene Feenberg Medal for advancing the field of many-body physics in 2004 and in 2015 the Ugo Fano Prize awarded by the Rome International Center for Materials Science.  He became a corresponding member of the Soviet Academy of Sciences in 1966, a full member in 1987 and a member of the US National Academy of Sciences in 2005.  He achieved Fellow of the American Physical Society (1997) and held honorary doctorates at the City University of New York (1989) and the University of Illinois (1992).

The MagLab Director, Greg Boebinger, wrote in early January 2017: "Lev was a man whose scientific accomplishments are known and admired by the physics community and whose gentle personality and keen sense of humor are equally appreciated by those fortunate enough to have known him personally".

This obituary is based to a large extent on the material published by A. Abrikosov et al. on the occasion of Gor’kov’s 80th birthday, Uspekhy Fiz. Nauk 179, No. 6, 695-696 (2009), and also on Gor’kov’s short obituary now posted at the MagLab website.  We thank A. Golubov, Univ. of Twente. M. Feigelman of Landau Institute, Moscow, and V. Mineev of CEA, France, for their help in accessing, especially Russian, sources of information.  A comprehensive remembrance of Lev P. Gorkov is in preparation by Russian and other colleagues for possible publication in Physics Today. This obituary replaces the previously posted PO51 temporary text.

1Soviet/Russian degree “Kandidat Nauk“, i.e., Science Candidate.
2Now a Russian “Science City“, less than 45 km northeast
from Moscow.
3Now the Landau Institute of Theoretical Physics.


Peter Komarek

November 1, 1941 to November 23, 2016
Peter Komarek speaking at his retirement ceremony, 2006

Peter Komarek Passed Away

December 16, 2016 (PO49). Peter Komarek, a very well-­‐known European leader in the field of applied superconductivity, was born in Vienna, Austria, on November 1st, 1941 and passed away on November 23rd, 2016 at the age of 75.

In 1965 he received engineering diploma from the Technical University of Vienna and one year later he earned a PhD in Technical Physics at the same university. From 1967 until 1973 Peter worked at the Institute for Technical Physics at the Nuclear Research Centre (KFA) in Jülich, Germany and was soon promoted to a division head. In 1973, he joined the Nuclear Research Centre in Karlsruhe (FZK), Germany, as Head of the Division of Cryo-­‐energy Technology. His main research topic at the time was the magnetic energy storage. 

In 1974, Peter earned his Habilitation (venia legendi, the equivalent of D.Sc.) at the University of Graz, Austria, and in the same year he started his first course on superconducting magnets in energy technology. In 1979, the Austrian Ministry of Science and Research appointed Peter as an honorary professor and in the same year he was promoted to Deputy Director of the FZK Institute of Technical Physics (ITEP), heading the superconductivity division.

Peter’s extraordinary management skills were soon recognized and in 1981 he was appointed to the FZK Scientific and Technical Board. In 1986, Peter Komarek was officially appointed as the Director of the FZK ITEP and he earned another honorary professorship at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Science at the University Karlsruhe, Germany.

During his work at ITEP, Peter initiated and supported many groundbreaking activities in the field of applied superconductivity for high current applications. Among them were the successful tests in the TOSKA facility of the EURATOM LCT coil, the POLO coil, the ITER and the W7X prototype coils, the development of HTS high current leads for Fusion, the development of high field NMR coils and first SMES (Superconducting Magnetic Energy Storage) demonstrators.  Immediately after the discovery of high-temperature superconductivity (HTS), he supported applied materials research in his institute and HTS energy applications such as fault current limiters.

Peter devoted substantial time to serve the research community in fusion and cryogenics. He was also active in IEEE, serving for many years as Head of the Europe Technical Committee, IEEE Council on Superconductivity (IEEE CSC). Furthermore, he served many years as Editor of the journals “Cryogenics” and “Fusion Engineering and Design” and was president of the IEA (International Energy Agency) Agreement on the Assessment of High-­‐ temperature Superconductivity. As director of ITEP, he became member of the Board of the European Society of Applied Superconductivity (ESAS), for which he served as President from
2002 – 2006.

For his outstanding achievements in applied superconductivity, Peter received many awards, among them the Heinrich Hertz Prize of the Baden-­‐Württemberg Energy Foundation, the Mendelssohn Award of the International Cryogenic Engineering Committee and the Austrian Wilhelm Exner Medal.   In 2001, he also became the third awardee worldwide of the IEEE Award for Continuing and Significant Contributions in the Field of Applied Superconductivity, Large Scale Applications

In his private life, Peter devoted time to his loving family, played soccer and tennis in summer, and enjoyed winter skiing in the Austrian Alps. Very sadly, his two children passed away before him.  Although gravely ill for several years, Peter never lost his positive attitude and was attempting to follow the progress in his institute and research field. He is survived by his wife Gertrud.

Karlsruhe, Germany, November 2016

Prof. Mathias Noe, Director, Institute of Technical Physics, KIT, Germany

Prof. Bernhard Holzhapfel, Co-Director, Institute of Technical Physics, KIT, Germany, and President of ESAS

Antonio della Corte, President, IEEE Council on Superconductivity


Giovanni Volpini

July 16, 1963 to October 12, 2016
Giovanni Volpini (2014)

In memory of Giovanni Volpini

July 24, 2017 (PO59). Giovanni Volpini passed away prematurely on the 12th of October 2016, after a three months battle with a subtle and rapidly evolving cancer. He was Senior Researcher of INFN (Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare), leading the superconducting magnet group of INFN - LASA laboratory in Milan (Italy).

Giovanni obtained his “Laurea” in Physics in 1989 at the University of Milan, with a thesis on particle physics in the UA2 experiment. He then turned to applied superconductivity, obtaining the PhD from the University of Milano in 1993 with a work on the “Transition of multifilamentary composite superconductors” studying the meaning of the n-index and other subtle effects. He then investigated properties of the first LHC superconducting cables, designing and commissioning a sample holder for testing LHC cable up to 30 kA in the LASA lab.

In 1998, he moved to detector magnets, working on the superconducting toroid of the ATLAS experiments. He designed various measuring and testing systems for critical current and joint resistance of the aluminum super-stabilized conductor (rated for 60 kA at 5 T) and followed the industrial production of the conductor, in collaboration with CEA-Saclay.

In 2001, he became responsible for the LASA superconducting magnet group, taking over the responsibility for the construction of the 25 m long superconducting coils for the ATLAS Barrel Toroid. He worked in close collaboration with CEA-Saclay and ATLAS magnet team. He also took care of the thermal shield of the barrel toroid magnet as well as of some critical components for the magnet protection, like the dump system. The success of the ATLAS magnets is due also to his much-appreciated competence and hard work.

At the end of LHC construction in 2008, with the colleagues of INFN-Genoa and in collaboration with the GSI team, he contributed to the design, construction, and test of the first prototype of the SIS-300 pulsed dipole for the FAIR project, which was successfully tested in 2013.

From 2013-2016 he was a member of the EuCARD2 collaboration, for which he started to design and build a variable temperature test facility for the magnet prototype.

In 2014, he joined CERN as Associate to the High Luminosity LHC Project, on leave from INFN, while maintaining the position of group leader at LASA laboratory.  He designed and successfully tested the first of the super-ferric magnets, a new design that will be used in HiLumi LHC for all high-order corrector magnets. This success gained him the confidence of CERN and resulted in assigning to INFN-LASA the construction of all types of super-ferric magnets for the HiLumi LHC project. He could only draw the first plan to accomplish that project; sudden illness took him away for his loved ones, his friends, and colleagues.

Prof. Lucio Rossi

High Luminosity LHC Project Leader

CERN – Accelerator & Technology Sector


Leszek Motowidlo

February 5, 1951 to September 21, 2016
Lesh Motowidlo (2015)

Leszek Motowidlo, 1951 - 2016

December 19, 2016 (PO50).  Dr. Leszek (Lesh) Motowidlo, 65, of Southington Connecticut, ended his battle with cancer, September 21, 2016, in Connecticut, USA.  He was the husband of Diane Motowidlo.

Born on February 5, 1951, in Chambon-Feugerolles, France, he was the son of Gracjan and Jeanine Motowidlo of New Britain. His family immigrated with him to the United States in 1955. Lesh began his journey in applied physics with studies at Central Connecticut State University (CCSU). He then went on to the University of Connecticut and received his M.S. in Physics in 1976 and his Ph.D. in Metallurgy in 1981 under the supervision of Dr. James Galligan. Leszek received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the UCONN School of Engineering in 1996 for his outstanding contributions to both the science and engineering applications of superconducting materials. He gave the DeVivo Lecture in Materials Science 1993 at Northeastern University. He was a member of Sigma Xi Research Society, the New York Academy of Science 2000, and the Academy of Distinguished Engineers 1996.

Lesh contributed over 35 years to research, development, and manufacture in the superconductivity and low-temperature communities. He first joined Varian Associates and served as Visiting Scientist at MIT working with John Williams on superconducting magnet development. He maintained ties to Connecticut throughout his career, starting from work at the University of Connecticut on mechanical properties of lead at liquid helium temperature, and continuing through his association with Intermagnetics General Corporation (IGC), Supercon, and his subsequent venture as founder and CEO of SupraMagnetics.  His body of work reflects an understanding of solid state physics, which he applied to produce numerous innovations in practical superconducting wires. His achievements as an innovator and entrepreneur are matched well by his contributions as a scientist.

Working in the late 1980s with Mike Walker and Bruce Zeitlin, Lesh pioneered artificial pinning-center (APC) conductors by co-fabricating niobium and Nb-Ti into homogeneous multi-component nanostructures. The concept of assembling the intended nanostructure by hand at a much larger size provided control over the fraction and arrangement of flux-pinning centers, whereby significantly higher critical current could be achieved than by random precipitates. This work continued through the 1990s and 2000s and expanded to include other metals, including magnetic components such as nickel. An undulator magnet for a Brookhaven National Laboratory light source project was fabricated from one of the final APC conductors. Working with Mark Rudziak and Terence Wong at Supercon, an APC conductor using magnetic nickel-copper alloy pinning centers endures as having the highest measured critical current density of any Nb-Ti wire at the common benchmark of 5 T field and 4.2 K temperature, reaching above 5000 A/mm². For comparison, conventionally processed strands with α-Ti pinning centers achieved only up to 4000 A/mm while those used for magnets for the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) achieved less than 3200 A/mm².

The advent of high-temperature superconductors motivated Lesh to take on challenges of conductors based on Bi-2212 and Bi-2223. Working in collaboration with Showa of Japan he developed 1st generation HTS wires with state-of-the-art Jc.  At IGC, Supercon, and SupraMagnetics, Lesh developed new approaches to powder-in-tube (PIT) technologies, where he developed innovations in milling, re-stacking, wire-drawing and other conductor processing. By the mid-1990s, Lesh and coworkers at IGC and the University of Wisconsin demonstrated Bi-2212 round wires with high current density using a partial melt process. A key insight noted that current density increased with reduction of the powder core diameter. Rutherford cables were manufactured from these conductors in the late 1990s by collaborators at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Processing improvements also led to long-length Bi-2223 conductors and prototype coils at IGC by 1993.

Through Supramagnetics, Lesh produced a hallmark Nb3Sn product with a novel octagonal geometry. The design allowed the introduction of high-strength components at interstices, making it the only internally reinforced Nb3Sn wire. He also successfully pioneered the use of Cu5Sn4 as a low-cost alternative to NbSn2 powders typically used to make Nb3Sn by the PIT route. The combination of uniform high-quality Cu5Sn4 powders and the PIT design provided as an excellent test bed for exploring alloying additions that could help increase the high-field performance of Nb3Sn for future accelerator magnets beyond the field range of the LHC. In his final program supported by the US Department of Energy, he successfully showed that mixtures of SnO2 and Cu5Sn4 powders could be used to form ZrO2 precipitates in Nb-1Zr alloy tubes, which later resulted in Nb3Sn layers with ultra-fine grain size and improved flux-pinning properties at high fields. In conjunction with successes at the Ohio State University, this final design contributes a scalable route to APC-Nb3Sn, and it should continue to provide an economical test bed for the development of future low-cost high-field Nb3Sn conductors. He was the author or coauthor of over 120 papers and was awarded 10 patents in superconducting materials.

Throughout his career, Lesh was an enthusiastic contributor to the High Energy Physics and Energy Efficiency conductor communities. He stood out for his positive, can-do attitude which inspired others to do their best. He was extremely creative as indicated by his patents and research ideas.  His regular presentations at the annual High Field Superconductor Workshops will be greatly missed.

Lance Cooley, David Larbalestier Peter Lee, Hem Kanithi, Bruce Zeitlin