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Physics and Astronomy Department Mourns Death of Professor

Professor Zlatko Tesanovic, widely admired as a theoretical condensed matter physicist, died on July 26 of an apparent heart attack. He was 55. Tesanovic’s work primarily concerned high temperature superconductors and related materials. In particular, he worked on the theory and phenomenology of iron- and copper-based high temperature superconductors. He also studied quantum Hall effects and other manifestations of strong correlations and emergent behavior in quantum many-particle systems.

“Zlatko was an academic leader here,” says Katherine Newman, dean of the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences. “He was a man of great conviction, born of respect for his colleagues and for the university itself. He will be greatly missed.”

Tesanovic, born in Sarajevo in what was then Yugoslavia, earned an undergraduate degree in physics from the University of Sarajevo. He then received a Fulbright Fellowship and attended the University of Minnesota, where he earned a doctorate in physics in 1985. The National Science Foundation awarded him a postdoctoral fellowship that enabled him to conduct research at Harvard University for two years.

He was hired as an assistant professor at the Krieger School in 1987, but delayed his arrival in order to conduct research at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Tesanovic was promoted to associate professor in 1990 and to full professor with tenure in 1994.

“Zlatko was a brilliant colleague and a leader in the department,” says Daniel Reich, professor and chair of the department. “He was always doing whatever he could to attract good graduate students and faculty. He held his students to high standards, and they in turn held great admiration for him. Zlatko also had a great sense of humor. His death is a huge loss for us.”

Tesanovic published more than 125 papers, and his work was regularly supported by grants from the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation. He was the recipient of many academic honors, including a David and Lucile Packard Foundation fellowship. He is survived by his wife, Ina Sarcevic, a professor of physics at the University of Arizona; his daughter, Rachel Sarcevic-Tesanovic, who will graduate from the Krieger School in May; and his sister, Mirjana Tesanovic.