In Memoriam: Nobel Laureate Alexei Abrikosov
It saddens me to share the news that an esteemed member of our Argonne community, theoretical physicist and Nobel Laureate Alexei Abrikosov, passed away March 29, 2017, at the age of 88.
Dr. Abrikosov joined Argonne in 1991 after a distinguished two-decade career in his native Russia. In 2003, he received the Nobel Prize in Physics, along with Vitaly Ginzburg and Anthony James Leggett, for theories on superconductivity and superfluidity. Dr. Abrikosov discovered the “type-II superconductor” and its magnetic properties, now called the Abrikosov vortex lattice.
Argonne’s materials scientists can tell you that Dr. Abrikosov’s achievements profoundly affected their work, laying a foundation for years of research and discovery to come. His name appears on one of Argonne’s Named Fellow positions and an international physics prize on superconductors.
Those of us outside materials science also have benefited from his work, instrumental as it was to common technology like MRI machines and cell phones. More than anything, Dr. Abrikosov was an inspiration and an exemplar to us all. We should aspire to his intellect, to the perseverance he showed in the face of criticism during his early days as a scientist, and to the longevity of his accomplished career.
During his tenure at the Lab, Dr. Abrikosov led the Condensed Matter Theory Group for eight years. He retired in September 2014. During a visit to campus in July 2015 for a ceremony to honor him for receiving the gold medal of the National Academy of Sciences of the Ukraine, Dr. Abrikosov praised the way Argonne’s materials science program naturally encouraged experimentalists and theorists to work together. He called his decision to come to Argonne “one of the best choices he could make.”
The feeling is mutual. We are thankful for Dr. Abrikosov’s contributions to materials science study and to our lives as researchers and people. Please share your personal and professional memories of Dr. Abrikosov in the comments section below.