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In Memoriam (Obituaries) Archive

Alvin Tollestrup
Sunday, February 9, 2020
Karl Gschneidner
Wednesday, April 27, 2016
Henry Blosser
Tuesday, January 1, 2013
Archie MacRobert Campbell
Thursday, November 21, 2019
Colmar Hinnrichs
Saturday, February 27, 2016
Gordon Donaldson
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
John Robert Schrieffer
Saturday, July 27, 2019
William E. "Bill" Keller
Thursday, December 31, 2015
Michael Wulf
Friday, November 16, 2012
Hans-Georg Meyer
Tuesday, December 25, 2018
Robert John Soulen, Jr.
Sunday, November 29, 2015
Rob McGrath
Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Kyoji Tachikawa
Friday, December 7, 2018
Herbert Bousack
Friday, November 13, 2015
Jens Müller
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Roger W. Boom
Wednesday, August 8, 2018
Harry (Henry) Jones
Monday, August 24, 2015
Carl Henning
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Fernand D. “Doc” Bedard
Thursday, June 21, 2018
William Brownfield Fowler
Sunday, May 3, 2015
Akira Tonomura
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Vincenzo (Enzo) Palmieri
Friday, March 16, 2018
Viktor Efimovich Keilin
Monday, November 24, 2014
Siegfried Wolff
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Meyer Garber
Thursday, December 14, 2017
Koichi Kitazawa
Friday, September 26, 2014
Milan Polák
Tuesday, January 31, 2012
James Nordman
Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Werner Weber
Thursday, July 3, 2014
Marty Lubell
Monday, January 16, 2012
Henri Desportes
Sunday, September 24, 2017
Hirosi Maeda
Saturday, May 24, 2014
Antonio Barone
Sunday, December 4, 2011
John Alcorn
Thursday, September 7, 2017
James H. Parker, Jr.
Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Shoji Tanaka
Friday, November 11, 2011
Edgar A. Edelsack
Friday, May 5, 2017
Olga L. Polushenko
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
Clyde Taylor
Sunday, October 16, 2011
Alexei Abrikosov
Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Hans Hillman
Thursday, February 6, 2014
Per Dahl
Saturday, October 1, 2011
David G. Hawksworth
Wednesday, March 15, 2017
Nicola Sacchetti
Saturday, February 1, 2014
Ernst-Helmut Brandt
Thursday, September 1, 2011
Peter E. Gifford
Sunday, January 29, 2017
Leo K. Kovalev
Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Igot Yanson
Monday, July 25, 2011
Carl Leonard Goodzeit
Wednesday, January 25, 2017
Alex Shikov
Saturday, October 26, 2013
Ray Sarwinski
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Mauricio (Mau) de Lima Lopes
Tuesday, January 3, 2017
Nikolai Kopnin
Sunday, October 20, 2013
Hisashi Kado
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Lev Petrovich Gor'kov
Wednesday, December 28, 2016
Jeffrey A. Stern
Friday, October 11, 2013
Gert Eilenberger
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Peter Komarek
Wednesday, November 23, 2016
Vladimir Pan
Friday, September 20, 2013
W. James Carr Jr.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Giovanni Volpini
Wednesday, October 12, 2016
Øystein Håkon Fischer
Thursday, September 19, 2013
Michael Tinkham
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Leszek Motowidlo
Wednesday, September 21, 2016
John Clem
Friday, August 2, 2013
Praveen Chaudhari
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Eric Gregory
Sunday, August 28, 2016
Klaus Irgmaier
Friday, June 28, 2013
Vitaly L. Ginzburg
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Eddie Man-Wai Leung
Monday, August 1, 2016
Joe Smith, Jr.
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Zdenek J. J. Stekly
Friday, April 3, 2009
Helen T. Edwards
Tuesday, June 21, 2016
Sergey Egorov
Sunday, March 24, 2013
Masaki Suenaga
Friday, February 13, 2009
Konrad H. Fischer
Tuesday, May 3, 2016
Kiyoshi Tsukasa
Friday, January 25, 2013
Hiromi Hirabayashi
Friday, April 11, 2008

Vladimir Pan

January 1, 1931 to September 20, 2013
Prof. Vladimir M. Pan (photo Feb. 2006)

Vladimir Pan Remembered

November 6, 2013 (PO23).  On 20 September 2013, Prof. Vladimir M. Pan passed away at 82. Vladimir was an Emeritus Professor at the Institute of Metal Physics (IMP) of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine and at the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kiev. Over four decades he successfully led the Department of Superconductivity, which he founded in 1970 at the Institute of Metal Physics in Kiev (USSR, now Ukraine).

Born on 15 September 1931 in Kharkov, USSR, Vladimir earned his first degree (Master of Science) at the Kiev Polytechnic Institute in 1955. In the same year, he joined the Institute of Metal Physics, where he defended his PhD in 1961, working on phase diagrams of metals. This experience had allowed him later to merge the fields of Materials Science and Superconductivity and to establish a new research direction in Ukraine, the Science of Superconducting Materials.

Having published over 400 research papers and reports, Vladimir actively continued to work and energize his colleagues and students till the very last days of his prominent life. The worldwide recognition of his work in superconductivity followed his pioneering high-pressure synthesis of Nb3Si superconductor in 1978, as well as the design of Nb-based superconducting cables for high current applications. With great enthusiasm, he embarked on exploring Materials Science and Physics of High Temperature Superconductivity (HTS) from the first days of its discovery in 1986, making highly cited contributions to understanding of vortex pinning and structural properties of YBa2Cu3O7 thin films.

During his long scientific career, Vladimir has earned a lot of friends around the World, visiting different universities, research organizations and industries in Europe, United States, Japan and Australia. He was Visiting Professor at University of Goettingen and University of Leipzig (Germany), University of Wollongong (Australia), Ben-Gurion University (Israel), and many others.

His positive attitude towards life, inexhaustible enthusiasm and energy in every deed he initiated, endless optimism and sense of humor attracted a lot of young people into the field of science, including his own two sons.

Alexander Kordyuk for IMP and Alexey Pan


Øystein Håkon Fischer

March 9, 1942 to September 19, 2013
Leader in the study of superconductivity and pioneer in bringing science to youth, the public and industry: Øystein Håkon Fischer. Photo: Lionel Windels (2012).

Øystein Håkon Fischer Remembered

June 1, 2014 (PO28). Prof. Øystein Fischer, Honorary Professor at the University of Geneva, initiator and founding Director of the Swiss National Center of Competence in Research MaNEP - Materials with novel electronic properties - dedicated to exploring electronic materials of the future, passed away on 19 September 2013 at the age of 71. 

Øystein Fischer was born on March 9, 1942, in Bergen, Norway, where he went to school and grew up. His interest in science became obvious very early on when he set up a small chemistry laboratory under the stairwell in his parents’ house to mix various smelly and exploding cocktails. His scientific career started as a technical assistant at the research laboratory of Nera A/S in Bergen, Norway. In 1962, he moved to Switzerland to study physics at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich. There, he obtained a Diploma degree in theoretical physics in 1967, under the guidance of Prof. W. Baltensberger. He subsequently moved to the University of Geneva to join the group of Prof. M. Peter where he obtained, in 1971, his PhD degree in experimental physics. The same year he became an Assistant Professor in the Department of Condensed Matter Physics at the University of Geneva. He was promoted to full professorship in the same department in 1977. With characteristic humor, and with an ardent commitment to innovation, he then became one of the “gallopins” (scamps) in the department, a group of young professors with novel and bright ideas formed as a counter-weight to long established colleagues in the department. 

Øystein Fischer dedicated much of his career to studying superconductors, in an effort to understand their fundamental properties, and to develop new materials for applications. In 1975, he synthesized the first superconducting compounds (Chevrel phases) containing a regular lattice of magnetic ions (Europium) - a discovery which launched a decade of international research concerning the interaction between magnetism and superconductivity. This research culminated in 1984 with his discovery of magnetic field induced superconductivity in these same materials. This result was the first confirmed experimental evidence of the Jaccarino-Peter effect predicted in the sixties. 

His scientific work took a sharp turn with the discovery of high-temperature superconductivity (HTS) in the cuprates in 1986. He was on a one year visit as a Theodore H. Geballe professor at Stanford University when Bednorz and Müller made their groundbreaking discovery. Realizing its importance, Øystein traveled tirelessly between Stanford and Geneva to steer the research of his team from Chevrel phases to HTS. Airplanes became his second home. He initiated a sustained effort growing the first artificial superlattices of HTS cuprates which contributed to the now rapidly developing fields of oxide thin film heterostructures and oxide interface physics. 

In 1986, Øystein Fischer introduced scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) and scanning tunneling spectroscopy (STS) to Geneva. The last two decades of his research mainly focused on applying this technique to studying HTS materials. He and his team succeeded in obtaining the first reproducible tunneling spectroscopy measurements in HTS. This enabled them to observe the vortex cores and pseudogap in cuprate high-critical-temperature superconductors, highlighting the unexpected differences between these novel systems and classic superconductors. In 2012, Øystein Fischer was awarded the prestigious Kamerlingh Onnes prize for “leadership in magnetic superconductors and pioneering scanning tunneling microscopy studies in cuprate high-Tc materials.”

We both met Øystein Fischer as a teacher and fantastic mentor. Today, we mourn the loss of a valued colleague and a very dear friend. He was a relentless and contagious enthusiast. Spending an hour in his office after frustrating times in the laboratory struggling with difficult experiments was the best medicine. He was a nearly inexhaustible source of ideas and had the art of making the most unlikely of all experiments look obvious. He was certainly the expert in motivating his team for scientific projects, conference organization or big plans for new developments in Geneva.

His engagement in the community has been truly remarkable. Between 1983 and 1989, he was Vice President of the physics section in Geneva and later President of the section for 3 years. Between 1998 and 2004, he was the Vice-dean of the Faculty of science. He has also been a member of the National Research Council of the Swiss National Science Foundation for many years. In addition to his remarkable activities in research, Øystein's relentless commitment to physics in Geneva, and condensed matter physics in Switzerland and internationally was known to all. His drive as the director of MaNEP led to a remarkable development of collaborations between scientists in industry and academia. Never short of ideas, he explored different avenues to share his passion for science. He has been the initiator of the PhysiScope - an amazing platform allowing school students of different ages to participate in a selection of scientific adventures - as a way to share an enthusiasm for research, and make known to the youngest the fabulous scientific challenges that we face. He teamed up with Swiss artist Etiennne Krähenbühl to create an artwork staging superconducting levitation. Presented alongside a scientific exhibition, this sculpture has proven a unique way to reach a new public normally not attracted to science.

Committed to promoting local community development, Prof. Fischer was the initiator of the Geneva Creativity Center, which aims to stimulate exchanges between the academic and industrial sectors and to find solutions for the most challenging technological issues modern society is facing. He was also head of the project for ‘The Centre of Astronomical, Physical and Mathematical Sciences’ in Geneva, one of the leading projects of the University of Geneva. His vision for the future and the energy that he was able to put towards causes he championed were clearly exceptional.

Øystein Fischer was a very talented and much-appreciated teacher. He trained many undergraduates, PhD students, and postdocs. He received numerous awards and distinctions for his research, including ‘Doctor honoris causa’ from the University of Rennes in 1990; the Gunnar Randers Research Award in 2005; ‘Doctor honoris causa’ from the University of Neuchâtel also in 2005; and the endowed ‘Tage Erlander’ Chair from the Swedish Council for Research in 2009. He became an honorary member of the Swiss Physical Society in 2010.

The involvement of Øystein Fischer, the numerous projects he launched, and the ones still to be completed are a fantastic legacy for his younger colleagues in Geneva. We will certainly continue pushing to further develop the initiatives proposed by Øystein Fischer and to convey as much energy, passion, and enthusiasm as he did.

Prof. Christoph Renner and Prof. Jean-Marc Triscone

MaNEP-DPMC of the University of Geneva

The obituary was provided by our colleagues from the University of Geneva. Two editors of SNF mourn Øystein as an exceptional colleague and friend with an ever-lasting impact in our field who always conveyed enthusiasm.

Alex I. Braginski and Herbert C. Freyhardt


John Clem

January 1, 1938 to August 2, 2013
John R. Clem (photo of past decade)

John Clem Passed Away

August 7, 2013 (PO21).  Professor John R. Clem passed away on August 2, 2013, after a four year battle with mesothelioma. 

John was born in 1938 in Waukegan, Illinois; his parents were trained as teachers.  John received scholarships at the University of Illinois, where he obtained his undergraduate degree in engineering physics. John then earned his Ph.D. in superconductivity under John Bardeen.  After postdoctoral appointments in Maryland and München/Germany, John joined the Iowa State University Physics Department and Ames Laboratory in 1967 and enjoyed 46 years of collaboration with ISU and Ames Lab colleagues.  For the community of people dealing with a broad field of type-II superconductivity, John's name is and will always be associated with such hits as "pancake vortices", the term coined by John soon after the discovery of layered high-Tc cuprate superconductors.  John established and edited the tremendously successful and useful “High-Tc Update” from 1987 to 2000, well remembered by all participants in the high-Tc boom.  Among many other contributions to superconducting phenomenology, John’s papers on ac losses, edge pinning, flux-cutting, and recently on critical currents in superconducting thin-film strips of various shapes – a hot topic in superconducting electronics – will be remembered and cited in years to come.

John was also an avid vocalist, who enjoyed singing baritone on many occasions, conference banquets included. John is survived by his wife Judy Clem, his sister Caryl Clem, children Paul Clem and Jean (Clem) Latzke, and three grandchildren.  

By Vladimir Kogan, Ruslan Prozorov, and Doug Finnemore, Iowa State University, and Ames Lab

Two Editors of SNF mourn John as a good friend and source of inspiration. One of us (AIB) benefitted greatly from his advice and less-known theoretical work not mentioned in the obituary.

Alex I. Braginski and Herbert C. Freyhardt

Klaus Irgmaier

December 23, 1966 to June 28, 2013
Klaus Irgmaier (recent)

Klaus Irgmaier Met His Death in a Tragic Accident

July 19, 2013 (PO19).  On June 28, 2013, we lost our colleague and friend Klaus Irgmaier in a tragic accident at his home.

Klaus was born on December 23, 1966, in Munich. After graduating from school he studied physics at the Technical University of Munich where he graduated in 1996. During his PhD thesis, he designed and established test rigs for measuring the microwave surface impedance of HTS films with spatial resolution and characterizing the high frequency properties of HTS coatings as a function of composition.

In 2000 he joined THEVA and was responsible for the quality assessment of films and later for the entire infrastructure of the company, including IT, safety, and the production plant.

Joe Smith, Jr.

September 4, 1929 to May 7, 2013

Joe Smith, Jr. – Remembrance

May 28, 2013 (PO18).  We regret to report that Dr. Joseph (Joe) LeConte Smith Jr., the Samuel C. Collins Professor Emeritus of Mechanical Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology MIT) and retired Director of the MIT Cryogenic Engineering Laboratory, died on May 7, 2013, at the age of 83.

Born in Macon, Georgia on September 4, 1929, he attended Georgia Institute of Technology, receiving a BME degree in 1952, and an MS degree in 1953. He then served in the Signal Corps of the U.S. Army, before beginning his graduate work at MIT in thermodynamics and fluid mechanics. Starting as an instructor in MIT’s Department of Mechanical Engineering in 1956, he rose through the academic ranks to become Ford Professor of Engineering in 1991. In 1994, he was the first faculty member to hold the Samuel P. Collins Senior Faculty Chair, named after the founder of the MIT Cryogenic Engineering Laboratory, which Joe directed from 1964 until his retirement in 2008.

He was a consummate mechanical engineer who made innovative contributions to both education and research. In 1967, he introduced an innovative approach to undergraduate education in thermodynamics that prevails to this day. In graduate thermodynamics, he brought the thermodynamics subject into the 21st century.

In collaboration with Ernest Cravalho, he developed the textbook Engineering Thermodynamics. Joe was famous for his hands-on approach to engineering. He viewed the world as a problem in engineering design — so much so that when asked why any given natural phenomenon took the form found in nature, his standard reply was, “Because that’s the way I would build it.”

Smith’s research spanned fundamental areas of thermodynamics, heat transfer, electromagnetics, and cryogenics, and he was able to integrate these diverse fields to advance the practice of engineering. His success in this process was perhaps best manifested in his work with Gerald Wilson, on the development of the superconducting generator.  Stimulated by the first exploratory study by Woodson, Stekly et al., Smith and Wilson successfully demonstrated in 1968 a small vertical shaft alternator with a superconducting field winding and room-temperature armature.  The publication of this milestone work lead to multiple industrial efforts, which continue successfully until today, now with high-Tc windings.  In recognition of Joe’s many contributions to the practice of mechanical engineering, he was elected as a member of the National Academy of Engineering.  Among his other awards, he was also the Franklin Institute Laureate in Engineering (1987).

He served as a technical consultant to various corporations as well as start-up ventures. He also held many patents. After retirement in 2008, he continued to contribute his time to MIT and its cryogenic lab.  In addition to being an accomplished academic, he was also a skilled mechanic and carpenter. He will be remembered for always eagerly volunteering his knowledge and expertise.  At a recent symposium in his honor at MIT, many former students spoke of his influence on their careers.

Note: Cold Facts, the Newsletter of the Cryogenic Society of America (CSA) features tributes to Dr. Smith in their Summer 2013 issue.  Please click here to read these tributes.


Sergey Egorov

March 1, 1948 to March 24, 2013
Sergey Egorov, 2005 or 2006
Sergey Egorov Lost his Battle with Cancer
July 22, 2013 (PO20).  Sergey Egorov passed away on March 24, 2013, after a one-year long battle with cancer.  He was born on March 1, 1948 in Leningrad, USSR, which remained his hometown until end. Studies at the Leningrad Polytechnical Institute (now Saint-Petersburg State Polytechnical University) provided an excellent basis for the future carrier and scientific growth of Sergey as one of the leaders of the applied superconductivity in Russia.  At the same time the streets of Leningrad remember the rustling of tires when the cyclist Egorov rushed to victories in student bicycle races.  This hobby developed the qualities of a fighter, which armed Sergey for all future projects.
Sergei Egorov graduated as electrophysics engineer, and his all carrier was linked with the D.V. Efremov Institute of  Electrophysical Apparatus (NIIEFA). His start there in 1972 coincided with the beginning of the development of applied superconductivity at the Efremov Institute. His early activity contributed to the positive outcome of the design and manufacture of the combined solenoid КС-250 (1975) with the record 25 T magnetic field, the 1.2 m in diameter solenoid “Giperon” (1978, with the magnetic field of 6 T and stored energy of 24 MJ) and other superconducting devices.
Sergey received his PhD in 1984 and the degree of Doctor of Science in 2006, both from the Efremov Institute. Last thirty years his professional activity was focused on supporting analysis and R&D of different superconducting magnet systems, mostly for superconducting magnetic energy storage (SMES) and tokamak reactors.  As a project leader or an expert Sergey Egorov took parts in many international projects including tasks for MIT (USA), BWXT (USA), Jefferson Lab (USA), GHMFL (France), Ansaldo (Italia), DESY (Germany) etc. Sergey was a participant of L-star detector  (SSC, USA, 1991), INTOR and ITER projects. In the frame of the ITER activity he was well known as an expert on AC-loss and stability analysis of superconductors.  The valuable achievements of his activity included:
  • Development of the design concept of fast discharge 0.2 Hz pulse repetition rate epoxy impregnated SMES units. Up to now the pilot sample of these SMES is demonstrated in the Efremov Institute Museum.
  • Cost/efficiency optimization technique for SMES of various configurations and purposes. As a successful application of this technique, the charging magnet (2006) with 12.5 MJ stored energy for the floating coil of the joint Columbia University/MIT Levitated Dipole Experiment (LDX) experiment could be mentioned. 
  • Development of the AC-loss and stability calculation techniques for the composite strands and superconductors including ITER scale cable-in-conduit conductor (CICC). The Russian Federation’s largest experimental stand for the test and investigation of superconducting strands, cables, CICC and different kind magnets is the evidence of Egorov success in this field.
  • Development of semi-empirical techniques for CICC stability analysis, design of test specimens and generalization of the experimental data contributed to ample success in the manufacturing and test of the ITER Toroidal Field Conductor Insert (TFCI). During testing at JAEA (Japan) the TF CICC demonstrated the world record of the operation with 46 kA current in 13 T magnetic field without degradation of stability margins.
Egorov headed the Superconducting Magnet Systems Department of the Efremov Institute for many years. Thanks to him the laboratories of that Department provide a wide range of possibilities for scientific and engineering studies in the field of the low- and high-temperature superconductivity (LTS and HTS).  The PF-1 coil of the ITER poloidal system, the LTs solenoid and dipoles for different application, various LTS and HTS SMESs, HT superconducting current limiters, high-voltage insulating units for the cryogenic application, related stability, mechanical and thermal computation techniques are the incomplete list of the department activities which started and progressed under Sergey’s control and supervision. 
He was a very creative man. His colleagues appreciated his experience, deep and broad knowledge as well as friendship and sense for humor.  He loved life… All his friends remember the parties where poetry was recited and songs sung or collective gathering of edible mushrooms in the woods, with a lot of fun and chatting. All that gave Sergey necessary relaxation and energy to start new and new projects.
Sergey Egorov was author or co-author of about 100 publications.  In his last years he successfully combined research activity with teaching load.  He was appointed Professor of Saint Petersburg State University of Aerospace Instrumentation and read several training courses on nanotechnology and technical superconductivity. A lot of students owe him the necessary basis to start their carriers of scientist or engineer.
Since 1997 Sergey was a member of the Board of International Advisory Editors of Cryogenics. His professional reviewing helped many authors to publish important scientific and engineering results.
Sergey left behind a wife who supported him in the fight with the awful disease, and friends who will remember him and strive to finish projects that were Sergey’s lifeworks.  Let his memory be eternal…
Igor Rodin & colleagues, NIIEFA

Kiyoshi Tsukasa

January 1, 1959 to January 25, 2013
Kiyoshi Tsukasa (photo of March 2008)
Kiyoshi Tsukasa, 1959-2013
December 13, 2013 (PO24).  Dr. Kiyoshi Tsukasa, the Group Leader of Magnet Development Group and the Office Chief of Planning and Coordination at the National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS) in Tsukuba, Japan, passed away on January 25, 2013, at the age of 53. He left behind his wife and son.
Kiyoshi was born in Hiroshima, Japan. He received his B.S. in 1983, M.S. in 1985, and Ph.D. in nuclear engineering in 1988 all from the University of Tokyo. In 1988 he joined the National Research Institute for Metals (now NIMS) and started research activity in high-field magnet technologies. His first research achievement was the development of 20 T large bore superconducting magnet (1992) that was cooled with saturated superfluid helium.
He was also in charge of the hybrid magnets at Tsukuba Magnet Laboratory (TML) and succeeded in achieving a series of world records for the highest steady magnetic field; 36.5 T in 1995 and 37.3 T in 1999. He was promoted to Group Leader of TML in 2001 and Director of TML in 2006. His research areas had covered both the superconducting materials (metallic and oxide) and superconducting magnets. His group attained the highest magnetic field of any superconducting magnet by successful generation of 24.0 T using HTS/LTS magnet (2011).
Since the late 1990s, he devoted his efforts to the high-field superconducting NMR magnets. Successful fabrication and operation of a series of high-field NMR magnets: 920 MHz (2001), 930 MHz (2004) and 1.03 GHz (under development) will be always remembered as pioneer work. In addition to achievements in the generation of highest magnetic fields, other Kyoshi’s research achievements included the development of high magnetic-field gradient magnet to form protein crystals in quasi-microgravity environment (2004) and the development of a magnetic flux concentrator using bulk superconductor as a magnetic lens (2009).
He served Applied Superconductivity and Magnet Technology communities as a member of program committees of Applied Superconductivity Conference (ASC) and International Conference of Magnet Technology (MT), was a member of Management Committee of the International Superconductivity Symposium ISS), a member of Iseult/Inumac Magnet Advisory Committee, and a vice-chairman of nomination committee of Cryogenics and Superconductivity Society of Japan for best presentations.


Henry Blosser

January 1, 1928 to January 1, 2013
Henry Blosser in 2007
Henry Blosser, 1928-2013
August 4, 2014 (PO34).  Henry Blosser passed away in March of 2013 at the age of 85.
Henry received his bachelor’s degree, master's degree, and his PhD from the University of Virginia.  From 1954 to 1958 he worked at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He served as founding director and co-director of the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory (NSCL) at Michigan State University (MSU) from 1958 until his retirement in 1989.  He was also an adjunct professor in the Wayne State University Department of Radiation Oncology in Detroit. He was a Guggenheim Fellow in 1973-74. In 1994 the American Physical Society awarded him the Tom W. Bonner Award for his contributions to nuclear physics. In 1984 the Detroit News named him "Michiganian of the year."
Henry was an innovator who supervised the construction of two superconducting cyclotrons at NSCL beginning in 1978 and into the 1980’s.  These cyclotrons are still accelerating heavy ions at MSU.   He also built a superconducting medical cyclotron for neutron therapy for use in a Detroit-area hospital.  This cyclotron was used to treat patients from 1992 until 2012.   It was the only such facility in the United States.

Gordon Donaldson

August 10, 1941 to November 28, 2012
Gordon B. Donaldson (Photo from 1990's)
Gordon Donaldson
(PO17U). Gordon Bryce Donaldson was born in Edinburgh, Scotland on August 10, 1941 and died in Glasgow on November 28, 2012 at the age of 71. 
Gordon was an undergraduate student at Christ's College, Cambridge from 1959 to 1962, when he received his BA. He and Christine were married in 1962, shortly after his graduation. Subsequently, he was a research student at the Royal Society Mond Laboratory, Cambridge from 1962 to 1965, when he received his Ph.D.
Under the supervision of John Adkins, Gordon measured the energy gap in Zn-ZnO-Zn tunnel junctions and investigated the subgap quasiparticle resistance of Al-AlOx-Ag tunnel junctions as an ultralow temperature thermometer. Immediately after receiving his Ph.D., Gordon became a Lecturer in the Physics Department at the newly created Lancaster University. He spent 1974 1975 on sabbatical leave at the University of California, Berkeley where, together with Mark Ketchen, Wolf Goubau and John Clarke, he developed the first thin-film, planar gradiometer based on a dc SQUID (Superconducting QUantum Interference Device).
In 1975, Gordon retuned to Scotland as a Lecturer in the Department of Applied Physics at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow. In 1985 he became Professor of Applied Physics, a position he occupied until his retirement in 2006. On his arrival in Glasgow Gordon quickly established a new research group to make SQUIDs for useful applications. From modest beginnings with two staff and one tiny laboratory, the group grew steadily until, at its peak, it had approaching thirty members, plus a host of collaborators worldwide.
He and colleagues at Glasgow University and the city's Southern General Hospital secured substantial funding from the Wellcome Trust to set up a new biomagnetism facility in 1988 on the hospital campus, using SQUID gradiometers made at Strathclyde for measurements on patients and volunteers. Studies over ten years included fetal, stereopsis and spinal and peripheral nerve measurements.
Another of his main research interests was the use of SQUIDs for non-destructive evaluation (NDE), targeted at defects in aluminum and carbon-fiber aircraft components. This started long before the discovery of high temperature superconductors (HTS), initially with wire-wound gradiometers and niobium SQUIDs, but soon progressed to miniature thin-film niobium integrated SQUID gradiometers, made in the dedicated facility at Strathclyde. This was followed by major programs to develop and demonstrate HTS gradiometers for NDE, supported by a pulsed laser deposition system developed in the Group to grow HTS films and bi-crystal junctions.
Notable advances included the development of semi-portable NDE systems for use on curved surfaces and the application of neural nets to the interpretation of defects in carbon fiber composites. Gordon was very active within the superconducting community. He organized the International Superconductivity Conference (ISEC) at the University of Strathclyde in 1991. He was Coordinator for the UK Committee on High-Transition Temperature Superconductivity.
In 1991 he founded the Cambridge Winter School in Superconductivity to train junior researchers from the UK and overseas. He was Chair of the Low Temperature Group of the Institute of Physics, London. He spent productive sabbatical leaves at the University of Virginia in 1982 and at CSIRO in Sydney in 1999. His many achievements were recognized by his election as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1991.
Gordon is survived by his wife, Christine, by his children, Ian and Anne, and by two grandchildren.
We are grateful to Ian and Anne Donaldson for their help in preparing this remembrance.


Michael Wulf

May 9, 1978 to November 16, 2012
Michael Wulf (February 2009)
Michael Wulf Belatedly Remembered
July 7, 2014 (PO33).  Michael Wulf was born on May 9, 1978 in Hamburg and died unexpectedly at 34, presumably on November 16, 2012.  
He studied physics at the Hamburg University, Germany (1997-2000), the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, USA, (2000-2001) and University of Rochester, NY, USA,
where in 2002 he earned his M.A. Subsequently, he worked there until 2006 towards a the field of qubits and quantum computing control circuitry (RSFQ) utilizingsuperconducting devices.  In particular, together with colleagues from Rochester, he published a very interesting paper about possible application of underdampedJosephson junctions in RSFQ comparators for the Josephson qubit readout (IEEE Trans. Appl. Supercond. 13, 974, 2003). His Ph.D. dissertation was planned that time to be on the subject of Steps Towards Superconducting Quantum Computing utilizing superconducting electronics.
In 2006 he moved to PTB Braunschweig, Germany (the German National Metrology Institute), to work in the Quantum Electronics Department on adaptation of cryo-electronic devices for qubit manipulation. He was involved in several EU research projects on superconducting quantum computation. Parallel to this research, he was very much engaged in the study of single electron circuits for application to electrical standards, especially the error statistics in networks of such devices.  Eventually, he conceived the brilliant error accounting concept for practical realization of the quantum standard of electric current based on single electron tunneling (Phys. Rev. B 87, 035312, 2013 – the paper appeared after his death).  Practical realization of this idea became the main and quite ambitious goal of his scientific life and, suddenly, the new theme of his PhD work. His first attempts to make such experiment using all-metallic circuits (Al electron pumps integrated with Al single electron transistors operated as electrometers) were not as successful as expected.  Consequently, to implement this idea, Michael moved in 2012 within PTB to the Semiconductors and Magnetism Department to work on GaAs single-electron pumps for the future quantum current standard.  The experimental work within that group, supported by his colleagues from Quantum Electronics Department (they complemented the semiconductor circuits with Al single electron electrometers) relatively soon resulted in a successful practical implementation of the concept, with Michael as a posthumous co-author (Phys. Rev. Lett. 112, 226803, 2014).  That work was in 2014 awarded the prestigious Helmholtz Prize. Unfortunately he hadn't lived long enough to share this prize with the other awardees.
Not much is known about Michael’s private life and hobbies, probably because science itself was his main hobby. Still, we remember that he was an avid cyclist and had multiple interests, ranging from classical music and literature to economics and politics.  His friends and co-workers remember having with him many discussions on such subjects during the ongoing measurements.  At the same time he disliked unavoidable bureaucracy and boring paperwork, today an inseparable supplement of every active scientist’s research.  He was interested in people, treated others with interest, respect and in a friendly manner, sometime with fine humor, while not hesitating to express his convictions and put right questions at the right time, thus moving things forward.
Michael Wulf (or Mike, as he liked to be called by colleagues) will always be in our memory as a brilliant minded and technically very gifted person.  It is tragic that sudden death extinguished justified hopes for his many significant accomplishments yet to come.
His PTB colleagues