In memoriam: Anatoly Larkin

Anatoly Larkin Photo

Anatoly Larkin, University professor and world-renowned physicist, died unexpectedly Thursday, August 4, in Aspen, Colorado, where he was attending a workshop. He was 72.

Larkin was a major contributor to the fundamental understanding of superconductivity and the theory of phase transitions. His research was also instrumental to the study of the physics of one-dimensional systems and clusters used in the fields of nanoscience and nanotechnology.

He was born October 14, 1932, in the Moscow region of the former Soviet Union. He received his master’s of science degree from the Moscow Physical Engineering Institute in 1956, where he worked as a researcher for nine years. During this time he received his doctorate degree from the Kurchatov Institute of Atomic Energy. From 1966 to 1995, Larkin was a department head at the Landau Institute for Theoretical Physics. He concurrently worked as a Moscow State University professor for 21 of these years. Larkin joined the University of Minnesota physics faculty in 1995 as the William I. and Bianca M. Fine Professor at the William I. Fine Theoretical Physics Institute.

Larkin was one of the founding fathers of the famous Russian school of theoretical physics. Many of his former students hold leading academic positions at universities and institutes in Russia, the United Kingdom, Germany, the U.S., and Israel, and continued to work with Larkin up to his death. In the 10 years Larkin spent in Minnesota, he published more than 50 papers (five in the last year alone) and most recently, a 600-page book, Theory of Fluctuations in Superconductors (with A. Varlamov, University of Rome).