Alexander Animalu

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Alexander Animalu
Alexander Animalu.jpg
Born (1938-08-28) 28 August 1938 (age 76)
Oba, Nigeria
Citizenship  Nigeria
Fields Theoretical Physics
Institutions University of Nigeria, Nsukka
University of Cambridge
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Stanford University
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Drexel University
University of Missouri, Rolla
Alma mater University of Ibadan
University of Cambridge
Doctoral advisor Volker Heine
Known for Superconductivity, Isosuperconductivity
Influences Chike Obi
James Ezeilo
Notable awards Shell-BP Scholarship, University of Ibadan (1959 - 1962)
Crowe's Prize on Abstract Algebra & Theory of Numbers (1962)
Department Prizes in Mathematics (1961 & 1962)
University of Ibadan Postgraduate Scholarship at University of Cambridge (1963 - 1965)

Alexander Obiefoka Enukora Animalu, PhD is Professor Emeritus of Physics at University of Nigeria, Nsukka.

He holds a B.Sc. (London), M.A. (Cantab.) and Ph.D. (Ibadan), FAS, NNOM, IOM [1]

A pioneer of solar energy in Nigeria, Animalu is a physicist of international repute, member of the highest advisory body on Science and Technology to the Nigerian government, Honorary Presidential Advisory Council on Science and Technology (2001–2003) and former Director National Mathematical Centre, Abuja.

The only African member till date of the Advisory Board of the Euro-Journal Physica(B)[2] and the only African member of the Editorial Board of the Hadronic Journal, he is also the founding editor of the Nigerian Journal of Solar Energy and one of the pioneering editors of the Bulletin of the Nigerian Institute of Physics. Foundation President of the Solar Energy Society of Nigeria, foundation editor, Nigerian Journal of Solar Energy, foundation member, United States Energy Research and Development Administration and Foundation member and former President of the Nigerian Academy of Science, Animalu is author of 28 books in both the sciences and the humanities, including the famous Intermediate Quantum Theory of Crystalline Solids and biographies of Rt. Hon. Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Professor Chike Obi, Professor Kenneth Dike, Professor Samuel Okoye, Professor James Ezeilo, Professor Chukwuedu Nwokolo, Professor Cyril Onwumechili among others.


He was born on August 28, 1938, the fifth child to Michael Animalu Nwakudu and Josephine Nkenwa in Okuzu, Oba of Idemili South L.G.A. of Anambra State of Nigeria, and attended St. Paul’s CMS Church School, Isu-Oba (1943–44); St. Thomas’s CMS Church School, Okuzu (1944–45), CMS Central School, Isu-Oba (1945–51), Dennis Memorial Grammar School (1952–56) for secondary education and (1957–58) for Higher School Certificate. He then attended University College, Ibadan (1959–1962) where he was taught by Professor Chike Obi and Professor James Ezeilo. Animalu graduated with B.Sc. (Maths) and won the Faculty of Science Prize for the best performance for two consecutive years. He also won the Crowe's Prize on Abstract Algebra and Theory of Numbers and the University College Postgraduate Scholarship.

It was this College Scholarship that saw him through the University of Cambridge in the UK between October, 1962 and December, 1965 when he obtained the M.A. (Cantab) and Ph.D. (Maths) in Theoretical Solid State Physics. The high quality of his Ph.D. thesis was attested to, when the main results were published in the Philosophical Magazine in 1965 and included in W.A. Harrison's book entitled "Pseudopotentials in the Theory of Metals".[3] The book contained the model potential tables which were in such high demand by researchers in the field of metal physics and semiconductor electronics that the Ph.D. thesis work as published in Philosophical Magazine became by 1983, a citation classic, having been cited more than 729 times between 1965 and 2001.[4] He is the only African in Physics to have earned such a record of citations, his paper being the best among the best twelve cited papers from the University of Cambridge in fifty years (1930–1980). It is of interest to note that four of these twelve most cited works from Cambridge have subsequently won the Nobel Prize in Physics.

Early career[edit]

Between January, 1966 and December, 1967, Animalu was Research Associate in Division of Applied Physics, Stanford University and between January, 1968 and August, 1968, he was a visiting scientist at the Department of Physics, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. In September, 1968, he was appointed Assistant Professor of Physics at the University of Missouri, Rolla. His research work was in solid state and elementary particle physics. In 1970, he moved to Drexel University in Pennsylvania, as Associate Professor of Physics. A major breakthrough in his career came in April 1972 when he was appointed a research physicist, at the Lincoln Laboratory of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) working under H.J. Zeiger and J.B. Goodenough on research projects related to development of computer core memory and primarily on the development of the transition-metal model potential, thus extending his Ph.D. thesis area to now include all elements of the periodic table. It was within this period that he completed his principal book, Intermediate Quantum Theory of Crystalline Solids published by Prentice-Hall in 1977. It became a world-wide classic with an Indian Edition published by Prentice-Hall of India in 1978. It was also translated into Russian by the Russian Academy of Science in 1981, reprinted in US in 1994 and is currently on the World Wide Web.

After a period of teaching and research in the UK and US between 1962–1976, he returned to Nigeria in 1976. Within a year of coming back, he began to make contributions to the development of Nigeria.

Later Career in Nigeria[edit]

He was invited to become a Professor of Physics in 1976 in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Nigeria, Nsukka by his former lecturer and the then Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Emeritus James Ezeilo. The former Nigerian President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, presented him with the Nigerian National Order of Merit (NNOM) [5] award for Basic Science in 2000. He rose in academic positions becoming Head of Department of Physics, UNN in 1981 and 1994 and Dean, Faculty of the Physical Sciences, UNN. His proposal to the Federal Government of Nigeria led to the establishment of a Centre for Energy Research and Development in the UNN in 1980. He became the first substantive Chairman of its Governing Board in 1989. The idea for a National Mathematical Center in Nigeria was hatched by Professor Emeritus Ezeilo and Animalu. He was the 1990 Ahiajoku lecturer, the highest Igbo academic privilege given to such scholars as Professor Chinua Achebe and Professor Onwumechili. His theory of high-temperature superconductivity based on the novelty of the pairing mechanism for electrons was published in Hadronic Journal in 1991. He has trained many Nigerians in the field of theoretical physics and solar energy and established two youth organizations, Society for Promotion of Indigenous Inventions and Creativity (SPIIC) and Century-21 Club.

He is interested in using geometry to investigate African culture and system of thought, thus with Willy Umezinwa, he coauthored From African Symbols to Physics. He has worked with one of his biographers, Jeff Unaegbu, on ICT as the lost but renascent and evolved language of African system of thought in the 21st century and the dialogue between western and African worldviews. He is currently using geometric thought processes to investigate African multilingualism and Igbo artifacts, origins and system of thought, especially as seen as ancestral to Adam in the works of Professor Catherine Obianuju Acholonu. Animalu has more than 80 scholarly articles to his credit.

In the First International Seminar on Theoretical Physics and National Development (ISOTPAND) which was held at the Merit House (Abuja, Nigeria) from August 25–29, 2008, Animalu was honoured and his birthday was celebrated. He turned seventy on August 28, 2008. During the seminar, Animalu presented a compendium of research output in physics in the past four decades (1965–2005) from 36 Nigerian Universities founded before 1999. His biography written by Dr G.E. Akpojotor and Jeff Unaegbu were also presented at the seminar. Animalu was honoured with Emeritus Professor of the University of Nigeria in 2006.

Animalu is Chairman/CEO, Institute for Basic Research (Nigeria Division) and Knight of St. Christopher (KSC).

Selected publications[edit]

Technical Papers[edit]

  • A. O. E. Animalu, "Non-local Dielectric Screening in Metals" Phil. Mag. 11, 379 (1965).
  • A. O. E. Animalu and V. Heine, "The Screened Model Potential for 25 Elements" Phil. Mag. 12, 1249-1270 (1965).[4]
  • B. Vasvari, A. O. E. Animalu and V. Heine, "Electronic Structure of Ca, Sr and Ba under Pressure" Phys. Rev. 154, 535-539 (1967).
  • A. O. E. Animalu and R. M. Santilli, "Nonlocal isotopic representation of the Cooper pair in superconductivity" International Journal of Quantum Chemistry. Quantum Chemistry Symposium, 29: 175-187, 1995.[6]
  • A. O. E. Animalu, "Isosuperconductivity: A nonlocal-nonHamiltonian theory of pairing in High-Tc Superconducitivity" Hadronic Journal, volume 17, 349-427 (1994)
  • A. O. E. Animalu, "Some Implications of Non-Unitary Transformations of Planck's Quantum Hypothesis in Physics" Hadronic Journal, volume 31, 271-316 (2008)
  • A. O. E. Animalu, "Iso-Feynman Propagator and Iso-smatrix of Hadronic Mechanics" Hadronic Journal, volume 31, 317-350 (2008)
  • A. O. E. Animalu and T. L. Gill, "Visual Image of Cooper Pairing in Superconductors" Hadronic Journal, volume 29, 233 (2006)
  • A. O. E. Animalu, "Dirac Equation in Five Dimensions and Consequences" Hadronic Journal, volume 28, 119 (2005)
  • A. O. E. Animalu, "On the Difference between Conventional and Hadronic High-Tc Superconductivity" Hadronic Journal, volume 28, 693 (2005)
  • A. O. E. Animalu, "A Gauge-Invariant Relativistic Theory of the Rutherford-Santilli Neutron" Hadronic Journal, volume 27, 599 (2004)
  • A. O. E. Animalu, "A New Theory on the Structure of the Rutherford-Santilli Neutron" Hadronic Journal, volume 26, 637 (2003)
  • C. M. I. Okoye, A. O. E. Animalu and G. C. Asomba, "Nonlocal Twoband Model of Cooper Pairing in High Temperature Superconductivity as Predicted by Hadronic Mechanics" Hadronic Journal, volume 20, 585 (1997)
  • A. O. E. Animalu, "Lie-Santilli Isoapproach to the Unification of Gravity and Electromagnetism" Hadronic Journal, volume 19, 255 (1996)
  • A. O. E. Animalu, "Quark Approach to Santili's Conjecture on Hadronic Structure", Hadronic Journal, volume 5, 1964 (1982)
  • A. O. E. Animalu, "Possible Identification of Quarks with Leptons in Lie-Isotopic SU(3) Theory", Hadronic Journal, volume 7, 1964 (1982)
  • A. O. E. Animalu, I.R.N. Awachie and J.C. Obodo, "Measurement of Solar Insolation at Nsukka", Nigerian Journal of Solar Energy, volume 1, 45 (1980)
  • A. O. E. Animalu, "Mass Ratio of Quarks", Phys. Rev. D3, 1106 (1971)
  • A. O. E. Animalu, "Charge Spectrum of Four-Component Fields with 0(4.2) Symmetry", Phys. Rev. D4, 1922 (1971)
  • A. O. E. Animalu, "Bound States and Mass Spectra of Hadron Currents in the Quark Model", Nuov. Cim. Letters 2, 677 (1971)
  • A. O. E. Animalu, "Scale Symmetry", Phys. Today, 76 (1972)
  • A. O. E. Animalu, "Lepton and Hadron currents in 0(4.2) Current Algebra", Nuov. Cim. Letters 3, 729 (1972)
  • A. O. E. Animalu, "Relativistic Model of Quark-Quark Strong Interactions", Nuov. Cim. Letters 6, 504 (1973)


  • Intermediate Quantum Theory of Crystalline Solids, (Prentice Hall, 1977) ISBN 0-13-470799-0 [7]
  • Zik of Africa: An Epitaph (Ucheakonam Foundation, 1996) ISBN 978-2919-35-7 [8]
  • Life and Thoughts of Professor Kenneth O. Dike (Ucheakonam Foundation, 1997) ISBN 978-34207-1-2 [9]
  • Professor Chike Obi: A biography of the foremost African mathematical genius of the 20th Century (National Mathematical Centre, Abuja, Nigeria, April 2001) ISBN 978-049-049-3 [10]
  • Biography of Sir (Dr.) Emmanuel Chukuka Ezekwesili, B.A. (Hons), Dip. Ed., Hon. LL.D (Ucheakonam Foundation, 1997) ISBN 978-34207-0-4 [11]
  • A Memoir on Physics and Solar Energy Research (Ucheakonam Foundation, November 2001) ISBN 978-34207-5-5
  • Education, Science and Technology Agenda for Nigeria in the 21st Century (Nigerian Academy of Science, March 2000) ISBN 978-2162-16-7
  • Science Today in Nigeria 2002 (Nigerian Academy of Science, 2002) with S.A. Adekola (Eds.) ISBN 978-2162-17-5 [12]
  • Science Today in Africa 2002 (Nigerian Academy of Science, 2002) ISBN 978-2162-18-3
  • Nelson Mandela and Barack Obama African World Challenge, Art and Science in the Reconstruction of the Consciousness of Africans in the 21st Century, A Dialogue of Western and African Worldviews (Ucheakonam Foundation, 2009) with W.A. Umezinwa, G.I. Achufusi and Jeff Unaegbu ISBN 978-049-951-2 [13]
  • A. O. E. Animalu and Jeff Unaegbu, "ICT as Language for Governance in Africa in the 21st Century", pp. 228–250 (Contributions to Governance in Africa in the 21st Century, edited by E.J. Otagburuagu, published by the Institute of African Studies, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, ISBN 9784859493X) (2009)


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