Obituary: Alexander (Sasha) Gogolin
19 September 2011
“Sasha Gogolin, who died from lung cancer aged 45, was one of the very talented young Russian scientists who came to the West soon after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. He made important contributions to theoretical condensed matter physics, particularly in the fields of low dimensional systems and quantum transport. This work is of increasing importance for understanding new structures like carbon nanotubes and small semiconductor devices. Sasha’s work stands out for the power of his mathematical analysis combined with his deep physical insight. He is a co-author of the authoritative and much-cited book “Bosonization and Strongly Correlated Systems” (CUP 1998).
Sasha was born in Tbilisi, USSR (now Georgia), in 1965, the only child of parents who are both physicists. He began his studies at Lomonosov Moscow State University in 1982 and graduated with an M.Sc. in Physics in 1988. His Ph.D. at Lebedev Physical Institute, Moscow, followed in 1991 and, on the strength of that, he was appointed a Research Fellow at the Landau Institute, Moscow. Sasha left Russia in 1992 for an A.v.Humboldt Research Fellowship in Aachen, followed by a Research Fellowship in the group of Philippe Nozières at the Institut Laue-Langevin in Grenoble. He joined the Mathematical Physics section of the Mathematics Department at Imperial as an EPSRC Advanced Fellow in 1995. He had already established a formidable reputation in his field of condensed matter theory and was soon assured of a Lectureship to follow the termination of his Fellowship in 2000. Sasha was an excellent lecturer and was well-liked by the students. He was promoted to Professor in 2003.
In 2006 the Humboldt Foundation bestowed on Sasha a prestigious Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award which enabled him to collaborate with Reinhold Egger in Düsseldorf on several important projects, including an analytical solution of the bosonic three-body problem. Sasha had a very individual style of working. Sometimes he worked alone, producing some highly original papers. But much of his work was done with one or more of four special people, Michele Fabrizio, Reinhold Egger, Andreas Komnik and Sasha Nersesyan, who became his closest friends.
Outside physics Sasha was an avid reader and he liked nothing better than to enjoy his secluded garden in Ilford.
Sasha is survived by his wife Svetlana, daughter Katarina and his parents”
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