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John Clem

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