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Markus Büttiker


(July 18, 1950 – October 4, 2013)

Markus Büttiker, professor at the Department of Theoretical Physics at the University of Geneva passed away in the morning of October 4, 2013 at the age of 63.

In 1974, Markus Büttiker obtained his degree in theoretical physics at ETH Zurich. In 1978, he was awarded a doctorate at the University of Basel under the supervision of Prof. H. Thomas. He stayed for another year as an assistant of Prof. H. Thomas. After that, he became a postdoctoral assistant for Rolf Landauer at IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center. From 1981 to 1994, he was a scientific assistant of the research department at the same institution. In 1987, he received together with Yoseph Imry, Rolf Landauer and Alfred Douglas Stone the IBM prize for outstanding technical achievements for the prediction of the Aharonov-Bohm effect in small conductors.  Two years later, he obtained the same prize for “the multi-terminal formulation of the Quantum Hall effect and the prediction of simultaneously quantized longitudinal resistances and Hall resistances”. In 1990, he became a member of the American Physics Society. Since 1994, he was a professor of theoretical physics at the University of Geneva. From 1998 to 2007, he was also the director of the Department of Theoretical Physics. Markus Büttiker was a founding father of mesoscopic physics. The Landauer-Büttiker formalism is named after Rolf Landauer and him.

Markus Büttiker was dearly loved by his colleagues and students, and he was a great man.  He was an extraordinary scientist who made an incredible impact in many areas of physics. His current and former group members are all very thankful for the mentoring and devoted attention he gave them during his life.  He was a wonderful teacher and advisor. He inspired many people with his deep insights into physics, his keen intuition, and his prolific activity.

A memorial ceremony was held in the honor of Markus Büttiker on October 15, 2013 at the Department of Theoretical Physics at the University of Geneva. The ceremony was attended by his family and colleagues as well as by representatives of the scientific community in Switzerland, Europe, and North America.

Christian Flindt, on behalf of the Büttiker group

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