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Prof. Alexander O. E. Animalu

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Prof. Alexander O. E. Animalu, FSESN, FNMS, FAS, NNOM

Pioneer President, Solar Energy Society of Nigeria (1980 – 1982)


Professor Alexander O.E. Animalu is a Professor Emeritus of Physics at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He is a former President of the Nigerian Academy of Science, former Director of the National Mathematical Centre and Fellow of the Nigerian Mathematical Society, foundation Fellow and president of the Solar Energy Society of Nigeria, a recipient of the Nigerian National Order of Merit (NNOM) for Basic Science – Nigeria’s highest award for intellectual and academic achievement, and Member of Honorary Presidential Adviser on Science and Technology.

His PhD thesis work conducted at the Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge, UK, in 1965 and subsequently published in the Philosophical Magazine became a citation classic by 1983, having been cited more than 729 times between 1965 and 2001. Four years ago (2013) the article was listed by Thomson Reuters (at number 13) among the Top 100 cited Philosophical Magazine articles of all time (between 1900 and 2010). It is of interest to note that the Philosophical Magazine is one of the oldest scientific journals published in English and was the journal of choice for such physics luminaries as Faraday, Joule, Maxwell, J.J. Thomson, Rayleigh and Rutherford.

Between 1966 and 1976, he held various academic positions in the United States at Stanford University, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; University of Missouri, Rolla; and Drexel University, culminating with an appointment as a research scientist at the Lincoln Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). His research at MIT led to the publication of the book entitled “Intermediate Quantum Theory of Crystalline Solids” by Prentice-Hall in 1977. An Indian edition was published in 1978 and was translated into Russian language by the Russian Academy of Science in 1981, and the second edition was published in Nigeria by SNAAP Press (Enugu) in 2014.

Since 1976, he has been a Professor of Theoretical Physics at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, where he pioneered solar energy research in Nigeria and laid the foundation of the Solar Energy Society of Nigeria in 1980 for which 'Professor AOE Animalu Award for Exceptional Contribution to the Development of Solar Energy in Nigeria" was established by the National Solar Energy Society in 2016. His theory of high-temperature superconductivity called isosuperconductivity was published in the Hadronic Journal in 1991 for which he was nominated three times for the Nobel Prize in physics. He organizes an annual conference – the International Seminar on Theoretical Physics and National Development (ISOTPAND) – in collaboration with the National Mathematical Centre, Abuja and the International Centre for Basic Research, Abuja.

Professor Animalu has authored the biographies of famous Nigerians in the sciences and humanities – Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe (Political Science), Professor Chike Obi (Mathematics), Professor Kenneth Dike (History), Professor Samuel Okoye (Physics), Professor James Ezeilo (Mathematics), Emeritus Professor Chukwuedu Nwokolo (Medicine), Professor Ononogbu (Biochemistry), Professor Cyril Onwumechili (Physics), and Sir Emmanuel C. Ezekwesili (Education).

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