October 7, 2003

Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham's Statement
on the 2003 Nobel Prize for Physics

"On behalf of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), I congratulate Alexei A. Abrikosov of the Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory, Vitaly L. Ginzburg of the P.N. Lebedev Physical Institute, and Anthony J. Leggett of the University of Illinois, Urbana, for being recognized today by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences with the 2003 Nobel Prize in Physics.

"The pioneering scientists' contributions to the theory of superconductors and superfluids have yielded deep understanding of physical phenomenon that were once both mysterious and perplexing to the scientific community. Through their efforts, tremendous strides are being made in understanding these processes, leading to the development of new superconducting materials and technologies that have great promise to benefit the entire world.

"I am particularly pleased that a researcher at DOE's Argonne National Laboratory has been recognized. Since coming to Argonne in 1991, Dr. Abrikosov has continued to contribute to a wide range of fields in addition to superconductivity, including theories of particle interactions, astrophysics, plasma physics, the quantum behavior of materials, and many other areas of interest.

"Dr. Abrikosov's Nobel Prize, and his continuing work across a spectrum of scientific challenges, is illustrative of the powerful scientific talent and capability of the department's science laboratories and has helped win a place at the forefront of scientific and technological challenge.

"Dr. Abrikosov and his associates recognized by this year's Nobel Prize in Physics have my warmest congratulations and wishes for continued success."

NOTE TO REPORTERS: The Office of Basic Energy Sciences in DOE's Office of Science has supported Abrikosov as part of the Materials Science Division of Argonne National Laboratory since 1991, where he has worked extensively on the mechanism of high temperature superconductivity. Amongst the myriad applications of superconducting materials are superconducting magnets that are used to produce powerful magnetic fields for the standard body scanning technique called magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI. Researchers hope to harness superconductivity for such applications as power lines that can conduct current without any loss in energy and high-speed trains that would be suspended or float above their tracks.

Media Contact:
Jeff Sherwood, 202/586-5806

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Number: N-03-151

Last Modified: 10/07/2003