Russian Nobel Prize winner & prominent physicist Zhores Alferov dies at 88

Russian Nobel Prize winner & prominent physicist Zhores Alferov dies at 88
Zhores Alferov, the only Nobel laureate in physics to reside in Russia, has passed away aged 88. One of his inventions revolutionized mobile phones and helped to develop LEDs, barcode readers, and CDs.

Alferov, born in 1930, died of pulmonary heart insufficiency on Saturday, Russian media reported. He was hospitalized in November last year after feeling unwell during a meeting at Russia’s Academy of Sciences.

Named after French socialist Jean Jaures, Alferov is best known for winning a Nobel Prize in 2000 – along with an American physicist Herbert Kroemer – for developing a type of semiconductor that effectively revolutionized mobile and satellite communications.

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Alferov’s invention was of enormous practical significance compared to other laureates, who tended to focus on theoretical research. Hermann Grimmeiss of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, which awards Nobel prizes, said in 2008 that, without Alferov, “it would not be possible to transfer all the information from satellites down to the Earth or to have so many telephone lines between cities.”

In the 2000s, he also became a politician, having been elected to the State Duma as a member of Russia’s Communist Party.

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The prominent physicist was the only Russian Nobel Prize winner to reside in Russia. Alexey Abrikosov and Vitaly Ginzburg, the 2003 laureates, died in 2009 and 2017 respectively. Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov, the 2010 winners, are based in the UK.

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