Gert Eilenberger Passed away at 74
January 14, 2011 (PO2). German theoretical physicist, Prof. Gert Eilenberger, passed away on November 21st, 2010, after a severe short illness. His rather sudden departure at 74 came as a sad surprise to his colleagues. He has been well-known to the superconductivity community as the originator of Eilenberger equations, which are applicable to BCS-like superconductors. These equations are a simplification of Gor’kov equations and are useful especially for superconducting alloys (1968).
Gert Eilenberger was born in 1936 in Hamburg, got his Ph.D. in 1961 under the well-known Friedrich Hund, and the habilitation (D.Sc.) in 1965, both at Göttingen. Soon after a postdoctoral stint at Cornell (1965-1967) he became affiliated with the Cologne University and was appointed full professor in 1970.
Eilenberger made significant contributions both to superconductivity, and to nonlinear dynamics. For over 30 years he was active in the Research Center Jülich (KFA later FZJ, Jülich, Germany) and founded there the present “Institute of Quantum Theory of Materials”. His activity included not only purely scientific work, but also various leading roles in the FZJ Senate, an advisory role at the DFG, the German equivalent of NSF (the US National Science Foundation), was Chairman of the Board of Europhysics Letters, member of the Academy of Sciences of NRW (Northrhine-Westphalia), etc. As a DFG advisor he was particularly helpful in supporting effective reorganization of science in Dresden, East Germany, after the German reunification. Once officially retired from FZJ, he became also quite active and successful in the communal politics of the City of Jülich.
Gert was a very engaged and passionate colleague with a strong instinct for what is right and beneficial to the community. His colleagues and collaborators appreciated his deep and broad knowledge as well as his warm heart and sense of humor. For this Editor it was a special privilege to know him and be able to interact with, also in matters of FZJ science policy of 1990s.
Alex I. Braginski