Well-known physics professor dies at 72

University professor Anatoly Larkin died while attending a workshop in Colorado.

Cati Vanden Breul

University professor and well-known physicist Anatoly Larkin died Aug. 4 while attending a workshop in Colorado.

Larkin, who was 72, grew up in the former Soviet Union and came to the University in 1995 after teaching at Moscow State University for more than 20 years.

During the course of his lifetime, he won numerous awards for his study of superconductivity, which is the ability of metals to conduct electricity at low temperatures without resistance.

“He was a giant in the field of superconductivity, and it will be a great loss not to have him with us anymore,” said Allen Goldman, head of the University’s School of Physics and Astronomy.

Despite all the prizes he won, including the World Congress of Superconductivity Award of Excellence, Larkin remained down to Earth, Goldman said.

“He was a very modest person, despite all of the accolades he received from the community,” Goldman said.

He was also passionately devoted to his work, said colleague and University physics professor Alex Kamenev.

“He was in his office at least 14 hours a day, including weekends,” Kamenev said.

Larkin was close to his students and very approachable for someone of his status in the physics community, Kamenev said.

“It was really amazing what he was doing because there was no barrier with students,” Kamenev said. “There was no distance between incoming students and those at the top of the pyramid (for him).”

He was one of the most effective mentors, Goldman said.

“His loss will be felt at the ‘U’ and by his collaborators around the world,” he said.

Larkin is survived by his wife and two sons and will be buried in Moscow.