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In Memoriam (Obituaries) Archive

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

Henri Desportes

September 20, 1933 to September 24, 2017
Henri Desportes (2017)

Passing of Henri Desportes

October 20, 2017 (PO60).  It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Henri Desportes (aged 84) on the 24th of September in his village of Gif sur Yvette. Henri Desportes was the head of the CEA  Saclay Department STCM until his retirement in the mid-90s.

Since the 60s Henri Desportes was a pioneer of Applied Superconductivity for Physics experiments and accelerators. He rapidly became an internationally recognized expert for his role in the development of numerous accelerator and detector magnet systems for high energy physics.

In particular, he contributed to the creation of the first superconducting magnets  for polarized targets (HERA, installed at CERN and then in Protvino), the 15-foot bubble chamber at the Argonne National Laboratory, the magnet of the CERN hybrid spectrometer bubble chamber in 1972, the first thin-walled solenoid, CELLO, in 1978 at DESY, the ALEPH solenoid for LEP at CERN in 1986, and finally should be emphasized his primordial participation in the genesis and the design of the large magnets of the CMS and ATLAS detectors for the LHC collider at CERN.

Henri Desportes supervised numerous works at Saclay on the development of innovative superconducting magnets (solenoids, dipoles, quadrupoles, etc.), with a wide range of scientific, technical and medical applications. He was the main initiator of new techniques using helium indirect cooling, the stabilization of superconductor by aluminum co-extrusion and externally supported coils.

Henri Desportes worked on all these subjects with some great names in physics. It is partly thanks to him that 'Saclay', as international physicists say, has been involved in most of the magnets for large detectors built in Europe since the early 1970s.

For this work he received, in 2002, a prestigious IEEE Council on Superconductivity Award "for Continuing and Significant Contributions in the Field of Applied Superconductivity".

We will remember his courtesy, his humor and his unfailing involvement in these flagship projects that have contributed greatly to Physics experiments and to several fundamental discoveries.

It is to his family that we turn today to offer our support.


 

John Alcorn

February 29, 1932 to September 7, 2017
John Stewart Alcorn (around 1990)

November 22, 2017 (PO61).  John Stewart Alcorn was born on February 29, 1932, in Tulsa, Oklahoma. His family moved to Houston, Texas in 1935, where he grew up. He graduated from The Rice Institute (now Rice University) in 1955, with a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering. In the United States Navy Reserve, he was commissioned as Ensign.

As an engineer, he joined Aerojet General Nucleonics, San Ramon, from 1958 till 1961 and did transportation studies for laboratory scale, gas cooled, mobile reactors. From 1961 till 1965, he worked for William Brobeck & Associates in Oakland, designing electromagnets, dipoles, and quadrupoles for HEP research at the Rad Lab and at LLL. For the next 10 years, from 1965 till 1975, he was involved in the design, fabrication, and installation of the copper magnet for the 40-inch liquid hydrogen bubble chamber at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center. In this context, he worked also on the design and fabrication of various copper beam handling magnets and the design, construction, installation, and testing of the Large Aperture Superconducting Solenoid, (LASS).

In 1975, he joined the General Atomic Company, San Diego, for the next 14 years, till 1989, working there on the design and construction of a number of superconducting magnets for high energy physics, power fusion research, superconducting magnetic energy storage and power grid leveling. From 1989 on he had the oversight on design, manufacturing, testing and installation of the large superconducting dipole and quadrupole magnets as the Hall A engineer in charge.

Later, he was consultant and advisor to LANL with respect to the reactivation of the LASS solenoid in the MEGA configuration, and also to Indiana University with respect to the reactivation of the LASS - MEGA solenoid within the framework of Hall D at JLab, where he also advised with the reconfiguration for the purposes of GLUEX.


A Personal Memoir.

Fall of 1964. A meeting took place in Building M1 at the Stanford University, then still known as the Farm, at which the need for someone to design and build a magnet for the planned hydrogen bubble chamber was recognized as essential. A young engineer, John Alcorn by name, was recruited a little later from the engineering pool at the fledgling Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, SLAC, and assigned to do just that in the nascent Hydrogen Bubble Chamber Group where I met him for the first time. John was magnets, I was cryogenics, different interests, yes, but somehow, we gravitated together. John professed to be a runner, I claimed to be a bicyclist, we both played tennis, we both loved to hike in the mountains of the Sierra Nevada. We both loved a good discussion, political or technical, which was not important. John was not a reticent character by any means but it took me quite some time before I found out that he was a highly talented artist who expressed the newsworthy events of the day in elaborate pencil compositions somewhat in the manner of Diego Rivera but on a much smaller scale and much more delicately. I also found that John had a fiery temper, just like that artist, offset by an impish sense of humor. He claimed that the reason for his manner was that he was born on the 29th of February and thus was deprived of three birthdays every four years! Not only was John an artist, he was a superb craftsman, a builder of solid models of aircraft, of aircraft of one kind: the fighter planes of the Battle of Britain time. As we were both students of that particular period, we had both opinions about the hardware on a daily basis. While we were building the bubble chamber, John found the time to make an absolutely fabulous scale model of the Spitfire, which is now in the Smithsonian. A decade or so later he produced Daisy Mae, the Douglas A-20 Havoc bomber, which also landed in the Smithsonian. (John is holding the model in the photograph)

The bubble chamber construction proceeded well and John and I began to mesh: I needed more space for my pipes, which he was loth to give as it “reduced the field”. The bubble chamber was commissioned successfully and began to participate in the physics program, John disappeared to make more copper magnets and I to explore this new phenomenon of high field superconductivity. As the 12 foot superconducting magnet for its bubble chamber had just been completed at the Argonne National Laboratory, the confidence in superconductivity rose at SLAC with the result that a complex, multi-coil solenoidal spectrometer was planned. This brought John and me together again to design, build, test, and argue. The project, the Large Aperture Superconducting Solenoid, LASS, was and is a testament to John’s engineering talent. Apart from the field analysis, every component in that assembly of four separate solenoidal coils in iron shells was analyzed with a slide rule and meticulously documented. John guided the design, procurements, construction, the coil winding and insulation, with an eagle eye. When I recall now how limited the resources were at the time, everybody had at least two other obligations, I marvel that LASS was ever finished. But John willed it and it became the forefront of an extensive physics program.

During the construction of LASS, John was often in contact with John Purcell at ANL and established a well-knit collaboration at a distance. So, when LASS was completed and no further superconducting magnets were planned at SLAC, John decided to leave its fractious physicists, and defect to the calm of commerce, to the General Atomic Company in San Diego to be with JP as co-head of the new Superconducting Magnet Group. At that time G.A. was deeply involved in designing the PGFR, a power generating fusion reactor, with superconducting ‘D’ coils. In in the years following John participated in a number experimental programs such as the 10-tesla high field test facility, the 12-tesla model coil cooled with helium II and numerous studies and coil concepts toroidal field magnets for the Engineering Test Facility and fusion power research, GA’s primary mission. He was also involved in the design of the 30 MJ energy storage coil for the Bonneville Power Administration, a project he was particularly proud of and which had interesting consequences for both of us.

John was a unique individual endowed with the ability to make his friends and colleagues participate in his adventures in which common sense was not always immediately obvious. So, it came to pass that the fruits of the 1982 Applied Superconductivity Conference hung by a thread or more correctly on a few sheets of plastic. In Knoxville John divulged a secret to me: his great desire to find a 1956 Chevrolet hardtop coupe and he thought that in the hillbilly country around the town he might find one. Instead of attending the meeting he wandered around the countryside and indeed on the third day announced success. Would I help him get it home? Of course, I would as long as I could take the conference papers with me. I was the editor at the time, and I was not going to let the scientific effort of the past two years out of sight. Agreed, and all we had to do is to chase the resident chickens and get the black vehicle out of the mud. A day later the engine was sputtering, the wheels were turning shod with new tires, the trunk declared unusable and the precious boxes with manuscripts carefully wrapped in many sheets of plastic on the back seat. We visited a car wash but gave up when we noticed that the windows were leaking and the more we washed the weaker the insulation on the wiring became.

The departure from Knoxville was very slow, the supposedly moving parts of the car did so only reluctantly, but we had plenty of time. As the mud fell off our speed would increase in mini-quantum leaps, rather disconcerting, but by the time we reached Memphis we were moving quite nicely. I should mention that we were the sight of the day for the locals: a 1956 Chevy! At the Tennessee border, John declared that he needed to find the original hubcaps and so for the next few hours we cruised the junkyards in the states of Mississippi and Arkansas finding nothing. As we were crossing the Mississippi River, we ran into a tornado, at least we ran by it but could not escape the rain. The car leaked like a sieve. The manuscripts were safe but we were soaked to the skin. The hospitality of the folks in Little Rock fixed all that, after all, we drove a 1956 Chevy and her name was DoraBella as befitted a Southern Dame!

We made it to the Rockies, as we were about to cross, naturally, it started to snow and the temperature fell like a rock, no heat in the car. Imagine the comfort of that ride, but we made the West.  The papers were published, John and DoraBella disappeared in San Diego, to reappear some years later, DoraBella superbly restored in a red and cream livery, bearing the vanity plate ‘Rice 56’, John’s alma mater.

En route John displayed yet another one of his accomplishments: he recited Chaucer’s ‘Canterbury Tales’ of what we both fondly believed to be the Original English as she was spoken then. Heard once, super, heard twice, ok, heard three times, a walk home became preferable.

Thirteen years of commerce taught John the arcana of schedule and budget, an art not unknown but not necessarily practiced by the physics community so when he was invited to CEBAF he was well equipped to assume the role of Hall A engineer to create a pair of High-Resolution Spectrometers, each consisting of a superconducting dipole and three quadrupoles. His dipoles have an interesting design, the coils have a positive-negative winding profile and the limited cryostability of the superconductor owes much to the concept he pioneered in LASS.

A talented, experienced engineer as John always finds someone who needs help. And so, in his case also, even at a distance. On the West Coast, the fates decided to involve John again in local intrigues. LASS had ceased physics activities and was essentially abandoned but a group of physicists at Los Alamos National Laboratory decided that the solenoid would be suitable for their program. About this time, I learned that the Bonneville Power Administration’s energy storage project was winding down and with it the associated 1 kW helium refrigerator. While the need for such a machine at SLAC was not immediately obvious, an ‘exchange’ seemed opportune. LANL received LASS, SLAC a large refrigerator, and John became a participant once again. With his help and advice LASS became MEGA and more physics followed.

Some time at the beginning of this century I heard that MEGA had been retired, as a result of some inquiries from one Alex Dzierba of Indiana University who asked whether the magnet was operational and whether it could be transported to CEBAF, by now JLab, for experiments in the new Hall D. The interested parties, including John, met at Los Alamos, found a well maintained three coil MEGA and the fourth coil in the crate in which it left SLAC fifteen years ago, burried in the desert sand outside the laboratory fence. In due course, the magnet was shipped to Indiana and subjected to further indignities which led to numerous electrical and instrumentation problems. MEGA became GLUEX, the coils and iron were reconfigured as also was the cryogenics. Ultimately GLUEX, or at least its solenoid, became a working magnet once again.

It is a huge tribute to John’s engineering skills that so complex a device as the LASS solenoid quartet should, after more than forty years and countless miles of travel and major modifications become operational once more. As soon as I received the news, I attempted to inform and congratulate him. I was too late.

Steve St.Lorant, October 2017.


 

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


 

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