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Donald Arthur Glaser
1926 - 2013

 

Donald A. Glaser, who won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1960 for inventing, at 25, an ingenious device called the bubble chamber to trace the paths of subatomic particles, died on Thursday at his home in Berkeley, Calif. He was 86.

In creating the chamber, Dr. Glaser — a restless scientist who later turned to microbiology and developing cancer therapies — proved his most renowned skeptic, Enrico Fermi, a giant of 20th-century physics, wrong. “It was a very powerful technique,” said Nicholas Samios, a physicist at Brookhaven National Laboratory on Long Island. “It was very instrumental in that period of physics.”

In 1971, with two others, he helped found one of the first biotechnology companies, the Cetus Corporation, which developed the cancer therapies interleukin-2 and interferon. The company was sold in 1991 to Chiron Corporation, which is now part of Novartis.

In the 1980s, Dr. Glaser switched fields again, this time to study the neurobiology of vision. He began conducting experiments to understand how humans perceive motion and then developed mathematical models that mimicked that process.

Dr. Glaser’s first marriage, to Ruth Bonnie Thompson, ended in divorce. In addition to his wife, the former Lynn Bercovitz, he is survived by a daughter, Louise, and a son, William, both from his first marriage, and four grandchildren.

 

Robert Lin
1942 - 2012

 

Robert Peichung Lin, a former director of the Space Sciences Laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley, who designed and built dozens of instruments to study solar flares, the magnetic fields on the surface of the moon and Mars and the plasma environment of Earth, died suddenly of a stroke on Saturday, Nov. 17.Lin, 70, professor emeritus of physics, was working on at least four upcoming satellite and balloon experiments at the time of his death. He passed away at Alta Bates Medical Center in Berkeley.

According to Stuart Bale, UC Berkeley professor of physics and current director of the Space Sciences Laboratory (SSL), Lin essentially invented the field of high energy space physics after he and the late UC Berkeley physicist Kinsey Anderson accidentally discovered that solar flares emit high-velocity charged particles that can be observed from Earth.

Bale said that it is hard to pigeonhole Lin’s field of study, since he excelled in many. Lin built satellite instruments to detect the energy of electrons and then put these electron reflectometers/magnetometers aboard the NASA missions Mars Global Surveyor in 1997 and Lunar Prospector in 1998.

Lin was born in Kwangsi, China, on Jan. 24, 1942, but moved with his parents to London at a young age, and thence to Michigan. He obtained his B.S. from Caltech in 1962 and his Ph.D. in physics in 1967 from UC Berkeley. He continued his research at SSL, and in 1980 he was appointed a senior fellow at the laboratory. In 1988 he became an adjunct professor of astronomy at UC Berkeley, and in 1991 he was named a professor of physics. He served as SSL director from 1998 until 2008.

Lin is survived by his wife, Lily Lin, of Berkeley; and a stepson, Linus Sun, of New York City.

 

Stuart Freedman
1944 - 2012

 

Stuart Jay Freedman, a member of the UC Berkeley physics faculty since 1991, died suddenly on November 9 while attending a scientific conference in Santa Fe, NM. He was 68. Freedman was a nuclear physicist and a world-renowned investigator of fundamental physical laws. He held a joint appointment with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL).

“Stuart was a truly remarkable scientist, with extraordinarily diverse interests, and still very much at the height of his powers,” says James Symons, Director of LBNL’s Nuclear Science Division. “It is somehow fitting that he spent his last few days with close friends, actively engaged in discussing new ways to make a fundamental measurement requiring deep insight and ingenuity. We have lost a great physicist, but I can't imagine that he would have wanted to leave us in any other way.”

Freedman was born in Los Angeles on January 13, 1944 and received his education at UC Berkeley, graduating with a BS in Engineering Physics in 1965, an MS in Physics in 1967, and a PhD in Physics in 1972. His teaching career took him from Princeton to Stanford, and then to a stint at Argonne, where he meanwhile became a professor in the University of Chicago’s Fermi Institute. In 1991 he came to LBNL and UC Berkeley, where he assumed joint appointments as Faculty Senior Scientist in the Nuclear Science Division and Professor in the Department of Physics, while maintaining his affiliation with Argonne and the University of Chicago. Since 1999 he held the Luis W. Alvarez Memorial Chair in Experimental Physics at UC Berkeley. His numerous awards and honors include election to the National Academy of Science in 2001 and the 2007 Tom W. Bonner Prize for Nuclear Physics from the American Physical Society. Freedman was a resident of Berkeley and is survived by his wife, Joyce, his son Paul, and two grandchildren.

 

Kinsey A. Anderson
1926 - 2012

 

Professor Kinsey A. Anderson, a pioneer and international leader in the research field that is now called space physics, passed away Monday June 11, 2012, surrounded by his wife Lilica, daughters Sindri and Danae, and his grandchildren. Kinsey was a professor of Physics at the University of California, Berkeley from 1960 and he was the second director of the Space Sciences Laboratory, one of its most prestigious research units. His research achievements resulted in his election as a Member of the National Academy of Sciences as well as his receiving a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Space Science Award from the American Institute of Astronautics and Aeronautics, a NASA Medal for Exceptional Scientific Achievement, the Alexander von Humboldt Award, Fellowships in the American Geophysical Union, the American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, as well as Docteur Honoris Causa de l’Universite de Toulouse. Upon retirement in 1990, Kinsey received the Berkeley Citation for distinguished achievement and notable service to the University. Kinsey was an author of approximately 200 papers in the refereed literature and he trained 24 graduate students on such diverse topics as instrument design; auroral, solar and cosmic x-ray emissions; energetic particles from the Sun, the Earth’s bow shock, magnetosphere, and tail; the plasma physics of the Halley’s comet; and remnant magnetic fields of the moon and Mars.

 

Kenneth Crowe
1926 - 2012

 

Distinguished nuclear physicist Kenneth Crowe, at Berkeley Lab from 1956 and a professor of physics at UC Berkeley from 1958 to 1991, died Feb. 1. Crowe was precocious and skipped his high-school senior year to attend Brown University, graduating in 1948. He received his Ph.D. from UC Berkeley in 1952, with Luis Alvarez and Wolfgang Panofsky on his committee, and in 1957 was co-author of the influential “Fundamental Constants of Physics.” His career focused on medium-energy experiments, in particular on the muon, the electron’s massive cousin. An enthusiastic cellist and sailor, Crowe is survived by his wife, Penny, and his six children.

 

Alan M. Portis
1926 - 2010

 

Alan Portis was born in Chicago, Illinois, on July 17, 1926. He attended the University of Chicago, obtaining the degree of Ph.B. in physics and general studies in June 1948. After this he studied at the University of California, Berkeley, earning the B.A. in physics in June 1949 and the Ph.D. in physics in 1953. After three years in the physics department of the University of Pittsburgh he was invited back to Berkeley to join the UC physics faculty in 1957. During the 39 years before his retirement in 1995 he acquired an extraordinary record of outstanding service to the University in a variety of important categories. To his great credit, with unstinted generosity he took on many duties of University administration and committees, and yet continued to make significant contributions in research and teaching. He was a director of the Lawrence Hall of Science; twice department vice chair; assistant to the chancellor; twice an Academic Senate ombudsman; and he served three times as associate dean (once of the Graduate Division and twice of the College of Engineering). University officials referred to his working hard, as ombudsman, "to defuse difficult situations-remaining calm when problems became overcharged-and then would start to deal with them at points where others have failed."

 

Gerson Goldhaber
1924 - 2010

 

Gerson Goldhaber, professor emeritus in the UC Berkeley Physics Department and an award-winning physicist with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, died at the age of 86 on July 19, 2010. He is remembered for his important discoveries in the fields of elementary particle physics and particle astrophysics and was an important member of this department for over 50 years.

 

Sumner P. Davis
1924 - 2008

 

Sumner Davis is fondly remembered by students, faculty and staff as a great scientist, an exceptional teacher, and a kind colleague and friend. Davis received his A.B. in physics at UCLA in 1947. From there, Davis went on to the University of Illinois, where he received his master’s degree in 1948. He promptly entered graduate school at the University of California, Berkeley where he earned his Ph.D. in 1952 for work with Professor Frances A. Jenkins, using measurements of atomic spectra to determine the nuclear spins of selenium isotopes. In 1952, he returned to MIT as an instructor, and then in 1959, he came back to the University of California, Berkeley to teach spectroscopy. He joined the physics faculty in 1960, and became a full professor in 1967. Cal was his home until his final retirement in 2004. Davis’ research life was devoted to the precise measurement of light emitted by molecules found in the sun and distant stars. In 1976, Davis’ research interest moved into Fourier transform spectroscopy. Davis was a natural-born teacher. He supervised 36 Ph.D. students and taught many undergraduates, both majors and non-majors. He was given the University’s Distinguished Teaching Award in 1980. After his first retirement in 1993, upon which he was awarded the Berkeley Citation, Davis returned to the Physics Department to direct the 111 Lab, the upper division physics teaching laboratory that helps students apply physics to the real world. He was considered the heart and soul of the 111 Lab.

 

Daniel S. Chemla
1940 - 2008

 

Born in Tunisia in 1940, Chemla received his undergraduate degree at l'École Nationale Supérieure des Télécommunications in Paris, France, and his graduate education at the University of Paris. In 1991, he accepted a joint appointment as Professor of Physics at the University of California, Berkeley and Director of the Materials Sciences Division and, in July 1998, Director of the Advanced Light Source at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He played an invaluable role in building connections between LBNL and the Physics Department, and he was an energetic teacher and mentor to many students. Chemla’s scientific interests were in diverse light matter interactions, and his investigations of the optical properties of quantum confined structures, other low dimensionality materials and strongly correlated systems are seminal. Chemla was known among colleagues and friends not only for his science, but also for the fact that he earned the rank of godan or fifth degree black belt in karate, the highest rank awarded in Shotokan Karate of America.

 

Owen Chamberlain
July 10, 1920 - February 28, 2006

 

Nobel Laureate Professor Owen Chamberlain joined the UC Berkeley Physics faculty in 1948, became an Emeritus in 1989. Owen Chamberlain was educated at Dartmouth College, the University of California, Berkeley, and at the University of Chicago. His scientific training was strongly influenced by Emilio Segre and Enrico Fermi. When the United States became directly involved in World War II he joined the Manhattan Project as an assistant to Professor Segre with whom he went to Los Alamos in 1943. There he witnessed the test of the first atomic bomb. In 1946 he returned to graduate study, but at the University of Chicago, where his doctoral research was sponsored by Professor Fermi. He and Emilio Segrè, both researchers at the former Radiation Laboratory that is now Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1959 for their discovery of the antiproton, the antimatter equivalent and negatively-charged mirror image of the proton.

 

August Carl Helmholz
May 24, 1915 - Oct 29, 2003

 

Professor Helmholz joined the UC Berkeley Physics faculty in 1943, became an Emeritus in 1980. On November 23, 2003, a reception in his memory was held at the Faculty Club on the Berkeley campus, hosted by his widow, Elizabeth Helmholz.

 

Frank Stevens Crawford Jr.
Oct 25, 1923 - July 28, 2003

 

Professor Crawford joined the UC Berkeley Physics faculty in 1958, became an Emeritus in 1991. A consummate physicist who was as intrigued by the physics of hot chocolate as by the workings of atom smashers and supernovas, died July 28 at the age of 79. Click here for the memorial article which appeared on the UC Berkeley News online.

 

Ronald Rickard Ross
Oct 25, 1923 - July 28, 2003

 

Ron was a professor of Physics at the University of California at Berkeley from 1963 to 1994. Consistently dedicated to his work and his love of Physics, Ron worked on projects at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory until June of 2003. He was a dedicated physicist, a determined educator, a loving husband, a wonderful father, a beloved grandfather, and a passionate champion of both the environment and a sustainable, peaceful society.