Dr. John Ward passed away this past Tuesday, March 22, at the age of 92.
John’s career at LANL was long and distinguished. He started at LANL in the mid-1950s and he performed or led research for over 35 years. He was named a Laboratory Fellow in 1983 and retired in 1992. John was physical chemist with a particular research focus on the chemistry of the actinides. He was an international leader in actinide chemistry and performed seminal research in plutonium hydriding and plutonium corrosion. His work is the foundation for much of the research in this area up the present.
Following retirement John continued to contribute, even up to the past few years when he’d make the trip up from Tijeras. Throughout this period he would guide and advise with both historical knowledge and an eye towards developing new understandings. As distinguished as his research career was, John’s legacy may lie just as equally in his mentoring, teaching and encouragement of countless scientists over his career.
John had tenures as a guest scientist at the European Institute for Transuranium Elements in Karlsruhe, Germany, co-authored chapters in the "Handbook on the Physics and Chemistry of the Actinides" Vols 3 and 4 in 1985, and was lead author on the "Plutonium-Hydrogen System" chapter of the 2nd edition of the "Plutonium Handbook" in 2019. He was an accomplished musician and was both a member and a director of the Los Alamos Choral Society.
John’s quick mind, vast scientific knowledge, mentoring, and friendship will be missed.
Remembering Ret. Col. Hawkins, intelligence analyst and strategist
Over the course of his 30-year career at Los Alamos, Ret. Col. Houston 'Terry' Hawkins led a number of nuclear nonproliferation programs, delivered lectures about terrorism worldwide, and served as a valued mentor. He was an honored Senior LANL Fellow.
Terry Hawkins of Los Alamos, New Mexico—faithful disciple of Christ; devoted son, brother, husband, father, and grandfather; distinguished USAF veteran; Cold War patriot; and strategist and innovator—began his journey home early in the morning on June 14, 2021. Ultimately, he died from complications related to an immunotherapy treatment for metastatic kidney cancer that he had received in February 2021. At the time of his passing, his loving wife of 55 years, Martha Butts Hawkins, was by his side.
Terry was born in Seneca, South Carolina to the Reverend Thomas “Houston” and Mary Elaine Moore Hawkins. Shortly after his birth, his father enlisted in the US Navy and was deployed to the Pacific Theater during WWII. Terry’s paternal grandparents, Silas Drayton and Rular Ann McKee Hawkins, helped Mary raise him during Houston’s absence. Terry grew up in the tiny mill village of Newry, South Carolina, alongside his youngest uncle and aunts in a faith- and joy-filled family.
Terry was the eldest of three children born to Houston and Mary. He and his brother, Roger, and sister, Rachel, were taught to love God and to serve others in accordance with His will. Throughout his 80 years and following much professional and personal success, Terry was steadfast in his faith and unwavering in his commitment to the Lord. His success did not change him, and his kindness, humility, and gentle spirit were testaments to his faith. Terry always preferred to turn the spotlight into a floodlight to shine upon those who were fortunate to have met him along the journey. At the end of his life, he assured his family that God would take care of him and that he was looking forward to being reunited with those who have preceded him in death.
Terry graduated from Seneca High School in 1959 with honors and attended Clemson College (now, Clemson University) as a Chemistry undergraduate student and member of the ROTC program. He worked several part-time jobs and lived at home so that he could afford to attend college. He completed his BS in Chemistry in 1963 and was a Distinguished Military Graduate of Clemson. He was commissioned upon graduation and was stationed at Wright Patterson Air Force Base (AFB) in Dayton, Ohio. It was during his return home on leave that he asked Martha—the youngest daughter of Stephen and Helen Knox Butts, and whom he had known for most of his life—on a date. That date sparked a beautiful romance and Terry and Martha were married on October 3, 1965.
In 1967, Terry was deployed to Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan to serve in the Vietnam War. During his year of service in Southeast Asia, he led a reconnaissance avionics unit and was a technical advisor to the Commander of the 313th Air Division on reconnaissance matters.
Upon his return to the US, Terry and Martha moved to several different military installations as he advanced through the ranks as a USAF Officer. The couple were stationed at McClellan (Sacramento, California) and Patrick (Cocoa Beach, Florida) AFBs. During these years, the couple welcomed two daughters, Heather and Holly, and forged lifelong friendships with other military families. While at McClellan, Terry completed a degree program in law through the LaSalle Extension University. While at Patrick AFB, he developed his skills as a radiochemist with the Air Force Technical Application Center, performing thousands of radiochemical analyses of nuclear debris and developing new forensic technologies and methodologies. Terry was then promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and the family moved to the Washington, DC area, where he completed three consecutive assignments.
From 1979 to 1983, Terry was the leader of the Defense Intelligence Agency’s Nuclear Energy Division where he also served on the Joint Atomic Energy Intelligence Committee and co-chaired the Department of Defense’s Hard Target Kill Committee. He subsequently served as the Special Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Air Force Nuclear Matters until 1987. In this capacity, he advised Secretaries of Defense (SecDef) Caspar Weinberger and Frank Carlucci on decisions pertaining to USAF nuclear weaponry, prepared the SecDef position paper on nuclear winter, and led foreign assistance programs pertaining to hardening against nuclear effects. Finally, after transferring to the Defense Nuclear Agency in 1987, he led the formation and growth of the Defense Threat Reduction Office (now the Defense Threat Reduction Agency). He retired from the USAF as a Colonel after 25 years of service. Soon after, Terry joined the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) where he continued his service to the nation for more than 30 more years.
Terry was a senior-level manager and technical leader at LANL who led several organizations through challenges resulting from significant technical challenges and dynamic change. Throughout this stage of his career, he led major technical programs aimed at assessing, detecting, preventing, and reversing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the use of those weapons by international terrorists. He served as deputy and division leader of both the International Technology and Nonproliferation and International Security divisions at LANL. Additionally, he served as an acting director of the LANL Office of Counterintelligence.
At the time of his passing, Terry was a LANL Senior Fellow assigned to the Principal Associate Directorate for Global Security. He concurrently served on the Advisory Board of the American Center for Democracy, New York, New York; as a Distinguished Research Fellow with the Institute of Physical Science, McLean, Virginia; and as an advisor for the Marshall Institute for Interdisciplinary Research, Huntington, West Virginia. Terry was previously the Director of the LANL DoD Programs in the Office of the Associate Director for Threat Reduction.
As an internationally recognized expert on modern terrorism, particularly terrorism involving the potential use of weapons of mass destruction, Terry served on the Presidential Panel on National Infrastructure Protection. He delivered invited lectures worldwide on this topic. For his efforts, he received the Aviation Week & Space Technology 2000 Laurel Award and two Valley Forge Freedoms Foundation Medallions. Most notably, he received the Chief Justice Earl Warren Medallion, the highest honor granted by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to non-CIA persons, for his work in counterterrorism.
Terry received numerous awards and recognition for his work including two Defense Superior Service Medals, the Legion of Merit, two Air Force Superior Service Medals, the Air Force Commendation Medal, and numerous service medals, including the Humanitarian Service Medal, the Korean Defense Medal and the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm. From his tenure with the USAF, he holds patents in graphite fiber reinforcements and super hard-structures.
Terry was a Deacon and adult Sunday School teacher at White Rock Baptist Church in White Rock, New Mexico, for more than three decades. He served as a member of the J. Robert Oppenheimer Memorial Committee for many years. He and Martha traveled internationally with a close group of Los Alamos-based friends and enjoyed their time in the US with their four grandchildren.
Terry is survived by his wife, Martha, aunt Lucille Hawkins Sanders, aunt Jean Hawkins Roper, brother Roger Hawkins (Marcia), sister Rachel Hawkins Bolt, daughters Dr. Heather Hawkins Erpenbeck (Gregory) and Holly Hawkins Saporito (Nick), four grandchildren, Eli Erpenbeck and Charlotte, Sawyer, and Harper Saporito, and numerous cousins, nephews, nieces, and lifelong friends. Terry was preceded in death by his grandparents, parents, uncles, several aunts, in-laws, sisters and brothers-in-law, and grandson, James Christian Erpenbeck.
Services for Col. Houston T. "Terry" Hawkins will be conducted at 11 AM on Wednesday, June 23, 2021 at the Davenport Funeral Home Chapel, West Union, South Carolina. Visitation will be at 10 AM, one hour prior to the funeral service. The interment will follow at the family plot at Oconee Memorial Park, Seneca. Thereafter, friends and family are invited to Poplar Springs Baptist Church, Walhalla, for a reception honoring the memory of a son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, uncle, cousin, friend, and a true disciple of Christ.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks those wishing to honor Terry’s memory to consider contributing to the J. Robert Oppenheimer Memorial Committee (JROMC) in his name. A scholarship will be established in honor of Terry. Contributions may be sent to:
JROMC, P.O. Box 220, Los Alamos, NM 87544
Remembering Lab Fellow S. Peter Gary:
He was honored for his fundamental advances in space plasma physics
Laboratory Fellow Stephen Peter Gary, a highly regarded theoretical space plasma physicist, passed away on April 21, 2021, in Santa Fe. He was 81.
Gary was well known for his study of plasma waves and instabilities in the space environment. Early in his career he was one of the first to use linear Vlasov theory to derive dispersion equations for wave properties and solve them numerically without approximations. It remains a well-known methodology.
Over the years Gary used this technique to investigate a wide variety of electrostatic and electromagnetic waves in space. Particularly, he was known for his studies of ion-beam-driven instabilities in the Earth’s foreshock, various unstable waves in the solar wind and in the vicinity of comets, as well as low-frequency waves in the magnetosphere, especially the magnetosheath (a region of magnetic turbulence).
A summary of his methodology and early work are found in his monograph “Theory of Space Plasma Microinstabilities,” published in the Cambridge Atmospheric and Space Science Series in 1993. Overall, he authored and coauthored almost 500 journal articles.
Gary was born in Cleveland in 1939, graduated from Case Institute of Technology with a bachelor’s in physics in 1961 and obtained a doctorate in physics from Washington University in St. Louis in 1967. He was on the faculty at the College of William and Mary for six years.
He spent most of his career at Los Alamos National Laboratory in the space physics group, from 1977 until his 2012 retirement. He served as group leader from 1987 to 1992. For his many accomplishments, he was named a fellow of the Laboratory in 2002.
After retirement, Gary continued his work through the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colorado, as a senior research scientist. In these years he turned his attention to the global issue of solar wind turbulence, investigating plasma dissipation at short wavelengths.
When named a fellow of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) in 2018, his citation read: “For fundamental advances in space plasma physics and sustained contribution to understanding the implications of plasma physics in space observations.” He served as an associate editor of the Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics. He was also a fellow of the American Physical Society (APS).
He will be remembered for his sound theoretical work and physical insight as well as his boundless energy and enthusiasm. His legacy is reflected in the many students and postdocs he mentored, and the many colleagues and friends who benefited from his great generosity and kindness.
Outside of work, he was an energetic hiker, skier and member of several church choirs. He will be greatly missed in Northern New Mexico, as well as throughout the international scientific community.
Gary is survived by his wife, Carol Ann Mullaney, his two children and two grandchildren. Funeral arrangements are pending.
Freeman Dyson, an American intellectual giant with a long interest in nuclear deterrence, passed away on Feb. 28. He was 96 years old.
For more than 50 years, Dyson advised Los Alamos and the DOE and DOD on nuclear deterrence matters through his service on the JASON defense group. These annual studies include assessing our innovations in transformative defense technologies; assessing threats to the U.S. and our laboratory's science-based solutions to mitigate these threats; and advising on the laboratory's nuclear weapons and materials research directions. He was particularly valued for his ability to question received wisdoms and suggest unanticipated solutions.
He was a quiet and self-effacing man who loved to talk about his passions (visionary science and technology and history); a contrarian who enjoyed poking fun at received wisdom.
Dyson was born in Berkshire, England, in 1923 and studied mathematics at Cambridge. During the war, he analyzed Royal Air Force data from British air bombings and he would later talk and write on how militarily-ineffective were these campaigns.
After the war, Trinity College Cambridge appointed him as a Fellow (what we would call a professor) without him first getting a doctorate. “Why bother!” he said. He subsequently moved to Cornell on the advice of G.I. Taylor, the great mathematician and turbulence researcher who worked at Los Alamos during the war. It was there that he met leading scientists who had been at Los Alamos: Hans Bethe, Robert Wilson and Richard Feynman.
Dyson thought about and wrote on nuclear weapons throughout his career. He would say that he heard about the accomplishments made in the Manhattan Project “right from the horse’s mouth” — from Bethe, at the beginning of his career. In January 2020, he wrote an article in the New York Review of Books on Ted Taylor, a Los Alamos primary weapons designer from the 1950s. Scientists from that era, including Mel Thieme and Pat Cadenhead, were responsible for innovations leading to tactical weapon miniaturization that had an enduring influence on the stockpile.
Dyson was most famous for his 1949 work on quantum electrodynamics, explaining the equivalence of the theories of Schwinger and Tomonaga, and Feynman, and he was the first to emphasize the importance and use of Feynman’s diagrams.
His other contributions are extensive. He designed the first TRIGA nuclear reactor, a small and safe design in use in universities around the world. He would say how disappointed he was that the U.S. did not build and test a large variety of reactor concepts so as to optimize the best choices for different applications, and instead quickly focused on one design.
Another important work was his theoretical insights into the fundamental basis for the stability of matter. This topic arose at a recent JASON review of aging work at the labs: before discussing how certain materials can degrade over time, it is interesting to understand why matter is so stable in the first place (Pauli’s exclusion principle was his answer).
Dyson, like his old colleague Sid Drell, hoped that the world would abolish nuclear weapons. He advocated bold steps for unilateral disarmament of strategic weapons. He was encouraged by George H. W. Bush’s removal of tactical nuclear weapons from Europe and from ships at the end of the Cold War, followed by a similar response by Gorbachev.
Although he knew that others viewed such a future step as naïve, he remained self-confident yet courteous in these discussions. He said of our weapons designers that they “command your respect because they really know the stuff in a way I never will. They believe what they have been doing makes sense.”
(October 12, 1927-March 12, 2013)
Arthur Nelson Cox, noted astrophysicist, author and editor, beloved husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, died peacefully in his sleep on March 12, 2013 at St. Vincent's Hospital in Santa Fe. He was 85.
Arthur was born on Oct. 12, 1927 in Van Nuys, Calif. to Arthur H. Cox and Sarah Nelson Cox, he was the third of their four children. He was preceded in death by his younger brother Donald, his older sisters Marjorie-Jane and Priscilla, Joan Cox, his wife of 32 years, and Joan's son Bryan Johnson.
Arthur is survived by Charles Arthur Cox and Edward Jonathan Cox, two sons from his first marriage to Clarice W. Cox; and by Charles' wife Anna Ratner and their children Bryan and Maya; Edward's fiance Phillis Tyler; their children, spouses, grand and great- grandchildren from his second marriage to Joan Cox; Kay and Brian Newnam, their son Michael and his wife Catherine; Sally and Jeff Bustamante and their children Chris Hills and his wife Mar; Benjamin Hills and his daughter Audrianna and fiance Carla Fuenzalida; Amy Hills, Jeffrey Bustamante and his wife Katrina and young son Bryan; his wife for the last two years Margaret Jaramillo Cox and her son Anselmo Jaramillo.
After growing up during the depression era in Van Nuys, Arthur took an interest in Astronomy and Astrophysics, obtaining degrees from California Institute of Technology at Pomona and at Indiana University. Following a student internship starting in the late 1940's, he began a long career with the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory in 1955. Eventually he became a group leader for the Laboratory's nuclear weapons testing efforts. In later years Arthur researched at the Laboratory in more theoretical astrophysics where he prepared numerous technical research papers regarding stellar pulsations and related subjects. Among his many accomplishments, he became a Fellow of the Laboratory and continued to be involved with these activities even in his last days.
Arthur will be remembered for many things: his contributions to science, his endless desire for adventure, his sense of humor, and his appreciation of music and the arts. His steadfast work ethic produced many years of quality research that advanced the field of astrophysics. With enthusiasm and leadership, he mentored and inspired many young up-and-coming scientists and made significant contributions in the field of stellar pulsations. His kind and gregarious nature brought smiles to everyone's faces.
Arthur Nelson Cox will be missed; there will be a special place for him among the stars above as he departs this earth and leaves us with many fond memories.
Art (Arthur Nelson) Cox was born in Van Nuys, California in 1927 where he also received his early schooling. He attended the California Institute of Technology, receiving a B.S. degree in 1948. Art had his first association with the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory (now the Los Alamos National Laboratory) in his junior year when he took a job helping to assemble model 100 amplifiers with the (then) amazing rise time of 0.7 microsecond. He returned the summer after graduation to assist in the cyclotron group with measurement of thermonuclear reaction rates. These early connections with the lab continued through the remainder of his career.
Art went to Indiana University in 1949 to pursue an education in astronomy. In those days the Astronomy Department consisted of four faculty members and about six to eight graduate students. Art was the first to pursue and receive a Ph.D. in astronomy from the department in “modern times.” In this role, Art really served as the model for his fellow students. He was the archetypical hard working graduate student. Art served as research assistant to the late Professor John Irwin. Art went to the Cape Observatory with John for a number of months to make photometric observations of star clusters and variable stars. These observations served as the material for his doctoral thesis, A Study of the Galactic Cluster NGC 2287, and the photometry of variable stars set a precedent for his continuing interest in variable stars throughout his career.
After receiving his doctorate in 1953, Art went directly to the Lab where he joined the J Division. J Division was the organization charged with conducting the field tests of atomic weapons as well as many aspects of the preparations and analysis of such work. Among Art’s early assignments was to assist in the design of the experiment that would test some of the first thermonuclear devices in the Marshall Islands. He subsequently became the leader of group J-15 and continued in that position for almost 18 years. Originally, J-15 consisted of about four staff members and four technicians. With Art’s astronomical background, he recruited several fellow astronomers over the years for the staff jobs. These included Robert Brownlee, Thomas Swihart, Paul Mutschlecner, and Charles Keller, all coincidentally with astronomy PhDs from Indiana University! This astronomy connection actually made a lot of sense, for much of the training in astronomy was appropriate to the needs of J-15. Art presided over an incredible diversity of research in the group. The work included, in addition to the test work, modeling of fireball effects, observation and modeling of underground nuclear tests, design and use of equation of state and opacity codes, and a program in the observation of oceanic tsunamis.
Along the way Art managed skillfully to include his interests in astrophysics. Art organized airborne solar eclipse expeditions to Samoa in 1965, Argentina in 1966, Mexico in 1970, Canada in 1972, Africa in 1973, and Montana in 1979. The marvelous approach to this work was that he was able to draw upon the theoretical and experimental expertise of a variety of scientists at the Lab and elsewhere, and to utilize the facilities of the U.S. Air Force, which was charged with support for readiness in any future nuclear tests. The eclipse campaigns helped them to maintain their readiness! Art also began his lifelong work on the modeling of various types of variable star models and of solar models. Here Art was able to exploit the ever-increasing computing resources of the Lab.
In 1975 Art joined T Division, the theoretical organization of the Lab, where he remained [until retirement and continued as an affiliate until his death in 2013]. In this new position Art was able to concentrate nearly exclusively on astrophysical problems. His interests that he pursued with a number of colleagues, both at the Lab and in the international community, have included stellar pulsation theory, stellar and solar seismology, astrophysical opacities and variable stars in general. Art has written and co-authored papers on all classes of variable stars. In recognition of his work Art served as the President of International Astronomical Union Commission 35 (Stellar Constitution) from 1982 to 1985. Art was recognized for his many contributions to science and to the Lab by being selected as a Laboratory Fellow in 1983, and he also served as coordinator of the Laboratory Fellows in 1986-1988.
Although Art retired from the Lab in the mid 1990s, he remained fully active in astrophysics. Recent activities have included the editing of the book The Solar Interior and Atmosphere, and editing a new, and badly needed, revision of Astrophysical Quantities.
Art has received many honors in recognition of his work. He served on numerous national and international committees and panels on astronomy. In 1968 he was a Senior NATO Fellow at Liege, Belgium and was a Fullbright Research Scholar from 1968 to 1969. He was awarded an honorary D.Sc. from Indiana University in 1973. He also served as NSF Astronomy Program Director from 1973 to 1974.
Written by J. Paul Mutschlecner and David S. King in 1997 for the conference, A Half Century of Stellar Pulsation Interpretations: A Tribute to Arthur N. Cox, eds. P.A. Bradley and J.A. Guzik. At the time, Paul Mutschlecner and David King had been friends and colleagues of Art Cox for a cumulative total of over 80 years.
Known by some as 'father of computational fluid dynamics, retired Laboratory Fellow and physicist Frank Harlow died July 1, 2016, in Los Alamos at age 88.
In a 50-year career at Los Alamos that began Sept. 1, 1953, as a staff member in the Theoretical Division, until his retirement on Sept. 4, 2003, as a Senior Fellow, Harlow was the inventor of numerous fluid dynamics techniques and came to be known to many associates as the "father of computational fluid dynamics." Harlow, in 1959, became group leader of the then Fluid Dynamics Group; the group was renamed Fluid Dynamics and Solid Mechanics in 2006. He was named a Laboratory Fellow in 1981.
"He was much more than a Lab scientist," said Mark Schraad of the Weapons Physics Group, noting that he first met Harlow during an interview for a postdoctoral position with the Theoretical Division. "I had the fortune to work with him on several technical topics over the course of my post doc and staff member tenures . . . Many have credited Frank with establishing computational fluid dynamics as it's own field of endeavor, and certainly Frank's 'technical fingerprints' can be found today in [computational fluid dynamics] codes all over the world."
Matthew Maltrud of the Theoretical Division said Harlow was his mentor when Maltrud came to Los Alamos in the early 1980s. "He set the course for my professional career because of his mentorship in fluid dynamics," said Maltrud. "He was so engaged in the world, and with students and he was so supportive and easy to work with."
Physicist Len Margolin of Methods and Algorithms Group said Harlow was the first person he met when he came to Los Alamos in 1969. Margolin was watching the Apollo moon landing at his 11th Street apartment. The Harlows lived nearby. "Frank was walking his dog and he stopped by and said 'do you mind if I listen? I don't think I'll make it home in time to watch,' " Margolin recalled. "That was the beginning of my relationship with one of the most creative persons I've ever met."
Harlow also became a leading authority on Pueblo Indian pottery. Harlow signed copies of a new book he co-authored, "Adventures in Physics and Pueblo Pottery: Memoirs of a Los Alamos Scientist" published by the Museum of New Mexico Press. In the memoir, Harlow describes his life growing up in Washington state, serving in the U.S. Army during World War II, his college years and his career as a physicist at Los Alamos. It was during his relocation to New Mexico that Harlow began studying pueblo pottery. Over the years, Harlow met and interacted with many living pueblo artists, including the famous San Ildefonso Pueblo potter Maria Martinez. Harlow amassed a remarkable collection of Pueblo Indian pottery, which is now in the permanent collection at the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture in Santa Fe.
A U.S. Army veteran, Harlow earned bachelor's and doctoral degrees in physics (minor in mathematics) from the University of Washington.
Harlow is survived by his wife Patricia; daughters, Catherine and Celia; a son Keith; and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by a daughter, Carol.
(March 20, 1939 - November 21, 2013)
World-renowned astrophysicist Dimitri Mihalas passed away in his sleep at his home on November 21, 2013 in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Dr. Mihalas retired from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1999 and from the Los Alamos National Laboratory in 2011. Dimitri, to his friends and family, has donated his body to the University of New Mexico Medical School and his library to New Mexico Tech.
Dimitri was born on March 20, 1939 in Los Angeles, California where he grew up. He received his B. A., with Highest Honors, in three majors: Physics, Mathematics, and Astronomy from the University of California at Los Angeles at age 20. Four years later he received his Ph.D. in Astronomy and Physics from the California Institute of Technology. He then joined the faculty of the Department of Astrophysical Sciences at Princeton University. In the following three decades, he was a professor in the Department of Astronomy at the University of Chicago, the University of Colorado at Boulder, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He was also a pioneer in astrophysics and computational physics and remained a world leader in the fields of radiation transport, radiation hydrodynamics, and astrophysical quantitative spectroscopy for most of his career. His broad knowledge and immense contributions earned him election to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences in 1981 (at age 42, fifteen years earlier than the usual age of entry) and many other distinguished awards. He was a Laboratory Fellow at the Los Alamos National Laboratory.
Dimitri had an exceptional record of both quantity and quality of work, and developed new and far-reaching methodologies yielding results of great importance. He made outstanding contributions to the field of Astronomy and Astrophysics. Besides many high-quality papers, he authored or co-authored seven books and co-edited three others. Among them, three of his books have been used as textbooks for both undergraduate and graduate students worldwide and translated into other languages such as Russian and Chinese. His book Foundations of Radiation Hydrodynamics has become the “bible” of the radiation hydrodynamics community, especially at Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories and the Naval Research Laboratory.
Dimitri’s colleagues and graduate students held him in high appreciation and expressed their admiration for him at the International Conference in Honor of Dimitri Mihalas for his Lifetime Scientific Contributions on the Occasion of his 70th Birthday held at Boulder in late March 2009. A symposium was published following the conference.
Throughout his long career, Dimitri gave generously of himself to all with whom he interacted. As an advisor, role model, confidant, and friend, he saw each person as an individual, acknowledging strengths, helping overcome weaknesses, giving encouragement, and enthusiastically praising their success. He touched the lives and careers of many students and colleagues and has left a lasting legacy to be cherished by those who knew him.
Dimitri Mihalas Bibliography (pdf)
- John Marshall
- Albert Petschek
- Jere D. Knight
- Gordon E. Hansen
- Edward Cashwell
- Harold H Rogers, Jr.
- James A. Phillips
- Clarence Max Fowler
- Robert L. Mills
- H. Ralph Lewis
- Paul P. Whalen
- Charles J. Orth
- Richard C. Slansky
- Robert G. Keepin
- Walter B. Goad
- John W. Taylor
- P. O'Dean Judd
- James Rayford Nix
- Nicholas S. Nogar
- Gerald Myers
- D. Hywell White
- Aloysius Arko
- George A. Cowan
- Nicholas Metropolis
- Louis Rosen
- George I. Bell
- Neel W. Glass
- Herbert L. Anderson
- Darragh E. Nagle
- Wildon Fickett
- Mark Bitensky
- Peter A. Carruthers
- Edward A. Knapp
Nicholas S. P. King was selected as a Laboratory Fellow for his outstanding and sustained contributions to the Nuclear Weapons Programs at Los Alamos over the past 20 years. He is internationally recognized as the developer of PINEX (Pinhole Imaging Neutron Experiment) that allowed, for the first time, the imaging of nuclear reactions in flight in underground nuclear tests. His work pioneered a series of imaging techniques that have revolutionized measurements in the nuclear weapons program.
In memoriam (Dec. 19, 1944–June 30, 2019)
When this mathematical physicist died June 30 in Manhattan at age 74, he was remembered for his contributions to the revolutionary field of chaos — and his fruitful time at Los Alamos. He earned his bachelor’s in electrical engineering degree from the City College of New York in 1964 and his PhD in elementary particle physics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1970. Feigenbaum was a staff scientist at the Lab from 1974 to 1982. He received a Los Alamos Distinguished Performance Award for his seminal work in chaos, and he was appointed a Laboratory Fellow in 1981. Subsequently, he received the distinguished Wolf Prize in Physics in 1986 and was a recipient of a MacArthur Foundation Award.
The term “maverick” is thrown around quite a bit these days, but few people actually embody it. Mitchell J. Feigenbaum was one such man, as his willingness to see things differently, combined with the gutsy confidence to walk his own path, would enable him one day to make sense of chaos.
Having worked short postdoc stints at Cornell University and the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Feigenbaum took on his first real job as a staff scientist for the Los Alamos Theoretical Division in 1974. He was supposed to be solving an age-old and still-unsolved question about the origin of turbulence — that swirling, violent confusion found in the likes of thunderstorms, boiling water and explosions — but the weird and enthralling results he was getting on his first programmable pocket calculator piqued his interest in stranger things.
Not long after having found himself immersed in the realm of what would become known as chaos theory, Feigenbaum one day picked up the phone to confide what he was thinking with his parents. “…I called my parents that evening and told them that I had discovered something truly remarkable that, when I had understood it, would make me a famous man,” he recalled.
Feigenbaum was inventing numerical algorithms that would be important for explaining the instability of mathematical and physical systems, such as the solar system, that had long been held to be orderly and predictable. Chaos theory would become one of the main advances in 20th century science (and even get a few minutes of fame in the movie “Jurassic Park” through the character of Ian Malcolm).
His hunch was correct: he would eventually become a famous man.
(Taken from LANL Inside article: https://int.lanl.gov/news/news_stories/2019/august/0801-remembering-mitchell-feigenbaum.shtml )
Retired Laboratory Fellow Donald W. Barr passed away on February 23, 2020 at his home in Jemez Springs, NM. Don spent his entire professional career at Los Alamos, arriving from Glenn Seaborg's group at UC-Berkeley in 1957 as a Staff Member in J-11 (now C-NR). He retired in 1990 as INC (Isotope and Nuclear Chemistry)Division Leader. He returned as a Lab Associate immediately after his retirement, and continued as an active researcher and mentor until2011. Don served in a number of advisory roles outside the Laboratory, on expert panels and as a member of the original APS/AAAS Working Group on Nuclear Forensics.
Don was the archetype of the national security scientist: technically brilliant, able to move with facility in all disciplines of weapons science, and completely committed to and focused on the Laboratory mission. He was blessed with a nearly encyclopedic memory, and an ability to see through myriad information to recognize and extract that which was truly important for understanding weapons performance.
Don advanced and refined the use of radiochemical detectors during the transition period from atmospheric to underground nuclear testing, and was a leader (both during his active career and in retirement) in the standardization of nuclear test yield determination via radiochemistry between LANL and LLNL. Tools and techniques pioneered by Don are used to this day in C-NR to support Science Based Stockpile Stewardship and Global Security missions. His contributions were recognized by DOE in 1980 with the E. O. Lawrence Award for his "keen and imaginative insight into the complex relationship between radiochemical test data, fundamental physical and chemical phenomena, and the detailed behavior of...test devices."
Don was in the first group of Los Alamos scientists named Laboratory Fellows in 1981. At that time it was customary for Staff Members to resign from the Fellows if they took a long-term position in management; Don stepped down as an active Fellow when he became INC Division Leader in 1984.
It would be difficult to overstate the pervasive and profound impact Don had on the field of radiochemical diagnostics. His expertise was recognized throughout the US Weapons Program, and his influence was felt in the international community as well. Former LANL Director Sig Hecker said of Don: "He served this country and the laboratory well - and helped make the world a better place."
(Thanks to Chuck Wilkerson (ALDX) for this submission)
Harold Curran Britt, 84, passed away on Thursday, February 28, 2019 in Easton, Maryland. Harold, known as “Chip”, was born on September 14, 1934 in Buffalo, NY. He was the son of the late Harold W. Britt and Mary C. Britt.
He grew up in small towns in the Finger Lakes region of New York State. After high school he attended Hobart College. He was awarded a Master’s Fellowship to attend a physics program at Dartmouth College. During this time he married the former Donna Case. After completing his Master’s degree at Dartmouth he was accepted to a number of Ivy League graduate schools. He chose to attend Yale on a research scholarship because they had a new kind of nuclear accelerator just coming on line and he wanted an opportunity to work in completely unexplored territory. He finished his PhD in three years with two major papers published in leading journals.
During his career he worked for major national laboratories including Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore. In his early years he was working on the fundamental physics of the fission process. As his career progressed he often managed research groups and accelerator complexes interfacing with colleagues around the world. He and Donna traveled frequently to many countries, including Germany, Denmark, Russia, and China, where he offered his expertise. He also served as a program manager in the Nuclear Physics Office at the Department of Energy, followed by running the nuclear science division at Lawrence Livermore. He then worked for the National Science Foundation in Washington, D.C. and eventually retired in 1995. After retirement he did consulting work for DOE and Livermore.
After moving to St. Michaels, Chip volunteered as a docent at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, and was recognized for serving over 1000 hours. He was also involved with the Academy for Lifelong Learning, where he taught scientific courses. He also served on the board of the St. Michaels Museum and led historical walking tours in St. Michaels.
Chip and Donna had one child, Beth, who was diagnosed with leukemia at age 4, and remarkably survived until the age of 11. He was predeceased by his sisters Sally L. Wilson and Marilyn Merchel Harding. Late in life he was blessed to meet Barbara Anne MacInnes. They were married in January 2018 and made their home in Londonderry in Easton. They had four wonderful months together in their new home. Barbara passed away unexpectedly in May 2018.
Charles Mader, 88, a Los Alamos National Laboratory Fellow since 1982, passed away on August 18th, 2018.
He was a Banning Scholar at Oklahoma City University and earned his BS and MS degrees in chemistry from Oklahoma A & M, continuing his graduate studies at University of Kansas.
In 1955 he became a staff member for the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory, starting in the Explosive Division (GMX) from 1955-56 and continued in the Lab’s Theoretical Division until his retirement in 1986. Even after retirement, he continued to conduct research and publish, establishing Mader Consulting Company, working with government and industrial organizations, including Los Alamos Laboratory.
His research involved the study of the physical chemistry of detonations, explosives and propellants, atmospheric and underground testing and numerical modeling. His first book, “Numerical Modeling of Detonations” (1979), surveys two decades of numerical modeling of the detonation process for condensed explosives and describes the numerical methods and reactive dynamics of these materials. His later book “Numerical Modeling of Explosives and Propellants” (2007) became a standard text on the chemistry and fluid dynamics of chemical explosive devices.
Charles applied his expertise of fluid dynamics to research the numerical modeling of tsunamis and other water waves, modeling landslide tsunami hazards and determining areas of evacuation. His book: “Numerical Modeling of Water Waves” (2004) is cited as a comprehensive treatise and valuable reference for the computer modeling of waves. He later became the editor of the Journal of the International Tsunami Society: The Science of Tsunami Hazards for over 20 years. He won an award for contributions to Tsunami Science by the International Tsunami Society in 2012.
During his tenure at Los Alamos National Laboratory, he won a Distinguished Performance Award in 1980, as well as organized and became the first coordinator of the Lab Fellows in 1982. In addition, Charles was also a Fellow of the American Institute of Chemists in 1983 and listed in “Who’s Who in America” as well as the World. He was the program manager and author of four of the Los Alamos Series on Dynamic Material Properties. Those volumes included Shock Hugoniot Data; Shock Wave Profile Data; Explosive Property Data; and Explosive Performance Data; Peremx Data (Volumes I, II and III).
Besides his scientific achievements, he was an accomplished mountaineer, becoming the 65th mountain climber by 1959 to have climbed 54 peaks in Colorado over 14,000 feet as well as the Matterhorn and other Swiss Mountains. He was also an avid skier along with his wife, Emma Jean Mader, with whom he skied the continents from New Zealand to Alaska. Charles was also a longtime scoutmaster, leading the Los Alamos Boy Scout Troop 122 at the Los Alamos First United Methodist Church from 1974 to 1985. During that time, the Troop had 48 scouts that completed their Eagle Awards. He was awarded the Scouting Silver Beaver Award and the Methodist Church’s Cross and Flame award for his work with youth and Scouting.
Charles Mader’s complete Obituary at De Vargas Funeral Home at: https://www.devargasfuneral.com/notices/CharlesLavern-Mader
or at the Los Alamos Monitor at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/lamonitor/obituary.aspx?n=charles-lavern-mader&pid=190036340
John “Jack” Gosling, a LANL physicist and Lab Fellow who pioneered the field of Heliophysics as well as worked on a number of NASA sponsored space missions, died on May 10th at the age of 79.
Jack grew up in Akron, Ohio, where he graduated magna cum laude from Ohio University in 1960 with a major in physics. While there, he was selected for Phi Beta Kappa and won the A.A. Atkinson Award in physics his senior year. He received his PhD from the University of California Berkeley in 1965 in Physics. His doctoral thesis was the result of high altitude balloon flights launched near Fairbanks, Alaska, carrying scientific packages. These packages were designed and built by Jack to study energetic X-rays that were associated with particle precipitation from the Earth’s magnetosphere.
He worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory first as post doc from 1965 to 1967 and then came back for 30 years from 1975-2005, where he was honored as a Lab Fellow in 1992. He later worked at the University of Colorado’s Laboratory for Space Physics in Boulder, Colorado from 2005-2018.
During his career, he published more than 450 scientific papers in a field of science that has become to be known as Heliophysics. His research emphasized the physics of the solar wind and its interaction with the Earth’s magnetosphere. His research continues to be highly cited, including his least favorite paper “The Solar Flare Myth.”
He was in very high demand for reviewing professional papers for various scientific journals, being well known for “Gosling-izing” that provided such great detail, the reviews could often times be longer than the actual paper itself.
Jack was bestowed with many honors throughout his life along with his Fellow status at Los Alamos National Laboratory. He was also a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In addition to serving two years as President of the Space Physics and Aeronomy section of the American Geophysical Union, he was a member of numerous National Science Foundation and NASA science panels. In addition, he was awarded the American Geophysical Union’s John Adam Fleming Medal and the National Academy of Sciences’ Arctowski Medal.
Friends describe Jack as being bright, interested and interesting, thoughtful, respectful, honest, patient, steady, kind, funny, with a memory like a steel trap. He will be missed by many.
Full obituaries can be found in>Los Alamos Monitor: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/lamonitor/obituary.aspx?n=john-gosling-jack&pid=189037908&fhid=6730
A Laboratory Luminary: Nerses “Krik” Krikorian
Terry Wallace, Director of Los Alamos National Laboratory, writes “ Many of you knew and worked with Krik—he was a giant in the world of national security science and the Los Alamos community. He contributed enormously to the mission of the Laboratory, and I can say with confidence it’s a better place because of him. As we celebrate our 75 years as a Laboratory, few people have been more impactful on our history than Krik. He leaves an enduring legacy that will continue far into the future.”
Nerses (Krik) Krikorian was born in 1921 on a Turkish Roadside. Fleeing the Armenian genocide, he and his family moved to several countries for the next four years, finding refuge in Canada and eventually settling in Niagara Falls, New York. It was there that he graduated in 1943 with honors and a Bachelors of Science in Chemistry from Niagara University.
In 1943 -1946, Krik began his career as a uranium chemist working for the Manhattan Project at Union Carbide in New York from. After World War II in 1946, he was asked to join the Manhattan Project at Los Alamos. He told the Los Alamos Monitor: “I went from working with kilograms of uranium at Union Carbide to micrograms of highly radioactive polonium. I went from the sublime to the ridiculous.” Los Alamos was also the place where he met his future wife, Katherine “Pat” Patterson, who was a member of the Women’s Army Corps (WACs) and worked as a secretary for the Manhattan Project.
In the mid-1950s, he began working on Project Rover, a joint effort between the Atomic Energy Commission and NASA. He succeeded in building a thermal nuclear rocket for space applications. He was responsible for ensuring that materials used in the rocket would support the rigorous demands of nuclear propulsion at high temperatures. This was especially challenging since there was little research done in this field at the time. He continued to work on this project until it was canceled in 1972. It was at this time when Los Alamos National Laboratory Director Harold Agnew asked Krikorian to join a newly developed intelligence community. He was one of six original staff members assigned to this unit and eventually became the group’s security officer. While serving in this position, he had the opportunity to meet with representatives of the Soviet Union’s nuclear research program.
Krik retired from Los Alamos National Laboratory in 1991, with many accolades bestowed to him. He was named a LANL Fellow and received the Los Alamos Medal; the CIA’s Intelligence Community Medallion, and two honorary doctorates. In September, 2009, Krikorian was named to Niagara Legacy’s Alumni of Distinction. Throughout his career, Krik had six patents and published numerous technical papers. The topics ranged from laser isotope separation and high-temperature reactor materials to directed-energy nuclear weapons.
Krik also had a great influence in the Los Alamos Community, working on the County Charter and a founding member of the J. Oppenheimer Memorial Committee.
Information obtained from: The Los Alamos Monitor and the Atomic Heritage Foundation:
Haskell Sheinberg, a resident of Santa Fe, died on May 31, 2017. He was born in 1919 to Leona and Max Sheinberg in Houston, Texas. Beatrice Freeman Sheinberg, his wife and life and love of 53 years, died in 2000. He was also preceded in death by his older brother Morris, his sister Evelyn Finkelstein, and his dear friend Lillian Bristol. He is survived by his deeply loved and admired sons Michael (wife Raya) and Art (wife Colleen), his brother Ed (wife Pauline), nine grandchildren and many great-grandchildren. He is also survived by dear friends Harold and aj Melnick and Erika Sanders, all of whom he deeply loved. Sue Ann Holmes and Lindy Mendonca, who were very loved family angels to Beatrice and Haskell for over twenty-five years, also survived them.
Haskell was the first in his family to attend and graduate college, earning a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from Rice University. He was proud of his brief service in the Army, which after infantry posted him at Los Alamos, where his first assignment was in the plutonium group led by Art Wahl, co-discoverer of plutonium. He subsequently worked in powder metallurgy and particulate materials, fields in which he became internationally known and respected. He gave presentations in England, the U.S.S.R., Austria, Poland, Czechoslovakia and the U.S.
Haskell was a Fellow of Los Alamos Laboratory, a Fellow of the American Society for Materials, International, and a Fellow of the American Powder Metallurgy Institute, International. The 2005 dedication of the Haskell Sheinberg Conference Room in a secure area at the Lab recognizes his contributions to many diversified programs.
View a video interview with Dr. Sheinberg for the Voices of the Manhattan Project.
EastBayRI.com · Friday, June 16, 2017
Jimmie Dave Doll was born on Oct. 19, 1945 in San Diego, Calif. His father, Dave Dean Doll, was stationed there in the Navy. His mother was Margie Elizabeth (Carpenter) Doll. The family moved to Carl Junction, Mo. when Dave’s stint in the service was completed. Jim’s mother was the first in her family to finish high school; Jim was the first in his family to go to college. Jim passed away on Sunday, June 11, 2017.
By the time that Professor Jimmie D. Doll, the Jesse H. and Louisa D. Sharpe Metcalf Professor of Chemistry was persuaded to join the Brown chemistry department in 1989, he was a figure nationally recognized for his fundamental contributions to computational physics and chemistry. His specialty, what he once called “randomly exact methods” in a paper with that title he wrote for Science in 1986, is the creative use of statistical and probability ideas to solve problems in chemical dynamics.
Jim Doll obtained a B. S. in chemistry from the University of Kansas in 1967 and a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from Harvard University in 1971. After a National Science Foundation postdoctoral fellowship at Berkeley, he joined the chemistry faculty at SUNY, Stony Brook in 1973, receiving tenure within two years. In 1977, Los Alamos National Laboratory recruited him to join its own strong contingent pursuing basic science. There Jim remained for 12 enormously productive years before coming to Brown, rising to the level of Laboratory Fellow, being awarded an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellowship, and being named one of “America’s 100 Brightest Scientists under age 40” by Science Digest.
The research areas that Jim has made an impact on over the years span quite a range of fields, but among his most famous contributions are those dealing with how molecules move around on, and scatter off of, the surfaces of materials, and how countably small clusters of atoms behave similarly to (and differently from) the larger collections that chemists are more accustomed to. He has also been a pioneer in developing statistical (“Monte Carlo”) methods, many of them while at Brown, for thinking about specifically quantum mechanical aspects of molecular motion and for simulating hard-to-study rare events. Throughout each of these efforts Jim’s work has been distinguished by a level of whimsical creativity that is unmistakably his signature: He entitled one paper “A Time for Noise,” and wrote other papers in which he pointed out how playing with such normally sacrosanct concepts as the values of fundamental physical constants and whether our world is really three-dimensional, could yield practically useful devices for solving vexing computational problems.
In addition to his scientific research, Jim was an outstanding teacher and mentor, a great friend, and a devoted husband and father.
Jim’s survivors include his wife of almost 51 years, Margaret Ann (Schreiber) Doll; his son, John Michael Doll; his daughter-in-law, Lesley Dalrymple Doll; and his grandson, Ryan David Doll.
The scientific summary was provided by the Chemistry Department of Brown University.
Richard A. "Dick" Keller, a Fellow at Los Alamos National Laboratory, died on September 1, 2015, in Los Alamos, NM. He was 80 years old. His death was related to his long struggle with Parkinson's disease.
Born in Pittsburgh, PA, Dick lived with his family in Los Alamos since 1976 where he distinguished himself in the field of analytical chemistry, earning an international reputation. Among his contributions to science, the most notable was his pioneering of single molecule detection, a technique he and his collaborators applied to DNA sequencing as part of the Human Genome Project. In 2008, he was invited to speak at a Nobel Symposium on single molecule detection in Stockholm, Sweden. This technique continues to have applications in medical diagnostics and biology among other fields and has spurred further innovations.
Dick received the American Chemical Society Division of Analytical Chemistry Award for Spectrochemical Analysis in 1993, among other prestigious awards. Much of his important work was the result of interdisciplinary collaboration, at his initiative, between physical and biological scientists. While highly accomplished in his field, Dick had "a wonderful aversion to the pomp that often accompanies successful people," in the words of one close colleague.
Dick was a gifted mentor to post-doctoral ("post-doc") fellows, a key aspect of his scientific legacy. During his time at Los Alamos, Dick recruited, supervised, and guided dozens of post-docs who in turn have made significant contributions to diverse fields.
Dick was a dedicated husband and the father of three children. Known for his humor and unfailing optimism, his passions were family and science. His personal and professional integrity and his strong work ethic will continue to inspire family, colleagues, and friends. He enjoyed playing tennis, hiking and backpacking, and watching professional football and college basketball. One of his great pleasures was hosting an annual Super Bowl party for dozens of colleagues and friends.
He died peacefully in the presence of his loving wife of 59 years, Mary Keller. He is also survived by daughter, Natalie Keller of Boston, MA, son and daughter-in-law, Bruce and Tanny Keller of Santa Fe, son and daughter-in-law, Alan and Meg Keller of Arlington, VA, grandchildren, Katie, Shea, and Will, great-granddaughter, Shaylee, and brother, Gary Keller of Pittsburgh, PA.
Ray Gurley, age 82, died at home April 19, 2017 in Sarasota, Florida. The family moved to Los Alamos in the 1960s when Lawrence joined H-Division as a Scientific Staff Member.
Lawrence enjoyed a distinguished, fulfilling career collaborating with numerous colleagues and mentoring high school, undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral students. Lawrence was selected as a Los Alamos National Laboratory Fellow in recognition of his pioneering discoveries pertaining to histone phosphorylation during the growth cycle. Subsequently, he also served as Acting Division Leader of the Life Sciences Division for several months during a change of division leadership.
Lawrence was a graduate of North Carolina State University where he earned two degrees in Chemical Engineering; later he attended the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, earning a Ph.D. in Biochemistry. Following his career at Los Alamos he was active in mission work helping to build a school in Kenya, teaching in Haiti and facilitating water projects in Kenya and Haiti.
Lawrence enjoyed many hobbies and continued to research areas of interest in science and psychology. He loved his family, friends, nature and the church and was an a backyard birdwatcher.
Michael M. Nieto has made significant contributions to several areas of physics including particle physics, quantum mechanics, and astrophysics. His work has influenced both theoreticians and experimentalists and is nationally and internationally recognized. In addition to his personal scientific contributions, Nieto also has contributed to the Laboratory by encouraging numerous collaborations and inspiring a league of young scientists.
William Davis, Los Alamos Guest Scientist, LANL Fellow and former Laboratory staff member, 91, of Los Alamos died April 5, 2017. Bill was born in Manchester, New Hampshire on December 22, 1925, to Chester T.C. Davis and Eleanor Scamman Davis. He attended the public schools, and enlisted in the wartime United States Navy the week he graduated from high school in 1943. His service took him to the rank of RT1c, and the Asiatic Pacific ribbon with 2 stars and the Philippine Liberation ribbon with one star. After the war he attended Tufts College and received the degree Bachelor of Science in Engineering summa cum laude. He then went to Johns Hopkins University and received the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in 1954. Bill was employed by the Los Alamos National Laboratory full time from 1954 to 1987, and then part time until the present. His assignment was to study the details of the processes in high explosives.
It’s been rumored that when asked why he came to the Laboratory, Davis said, “because I didn’t have to wear a suit!” Davis was a giant in the field of high-explosive research, who was never satisfied until every last detail of any of his experimental records was fully understood. Early in his career, his work led to a substantial improvement in resolution from rotating mirror smear cameras, in its day, the high-resolution optical diagnostic used to study detonation. Working together with “Bud” Winslow, Davis developed the first, high-speed, electro-optical framing camera. When the Los Alamos high-energy x-ray facility, PHERMEX, first came online, working with Doug Venable, Davis found ways to use PHERMEX to reveal the physics of explosive pre-shock (the desensitization of plastic-bonded explosives by weak shocks), the equation of state of explosive products and reaction-zone effects in a striking way.
Davis’ curiosity led him to ask probing questions concerning the detonation community’s established views of explosives. “Failure of the CJ Theory for Liquid and Solid Explosives,” published in 1965, demonstrated that CJ theory did not provide an adequate description of detonation. As a founder of the Los Alamos, “Fundamental Research in Explosives Program,” Davis knew that more than empirical knowledge was needed to truly understand high explosives. That program led to our improved understanding of the high-pressure equations of state and detonation propagation in liquid nitric oxide explosive, which brought with it a new understanding of high-explosive detonation. That work led to his developing the WSD equation of state for explosives, published in 1985 and 2005. Davis' book, Detonation, published in 1979 and coauthored with Wildon Fickett, remains the go-to source for explosive detonation theory and experiment. His work on explosives was as much an avocation as a vocation.
He also wrote two chapters of the book Explosive Effects and Applications edited by J. A. Zukas and W. P. Walters. He wrote many papers and reports, and found his work enjoyable and rewarding. He never felt that he had to work, just entertain himself by finding how things operate. Both experiment and theory were part of his effort. Director Donald Kerr appointed him a Laboratory Fellow in 1982.
Bill made the most of the outdoor activities. He skied in winter, both downhill and cross country. He was on the ski patrol for a dozen years, and on winter search and rescue teams. In summer there was backpacking with children from three years old to ones much older, in Bandelier backcountry, Pecos wilderness, San Pedro Parks wild area, Peralta Canyon, and canoe trips to Shoshone Lake in Yellowstone National Park.
He is survived by his children Jim Davis (Nancy Morgan), Jack Davis (Cathy), Bob Davis (Clarity Kjis), Anne Davis (Patrick "Red" Howard), and his stepchildren Shelly Cross (Troy Matevia), Katy Cross, and Doug Cross, as well as 6 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren, and his beloved sister Marjorie D. Lane. He was revered and loved by his family, his many friends and colleagues. His kindness, wit, and great generosity will be deeply missed.
It is with great sadness that we bring you the news that Phil Young passed away this morning in Chicago. Phil was the leader of the applied nuclear physics group, T-2, and a Los Alamos National Laboratory Fellow. He was greatly instrumental in introducing model-based nuclear data evaluation methods into the group (and in the ND community at large), and was a generous mentor to several present and former members of the group. He continued to contribute to the field long after his retirement, and has his name associated with a significant fraction of the nuclear data in the Evaluated Nuclear Data File (ENDF) that is used in applications world-wide.
Phil set the highest standards for technical rigor and hard work, while also exhibiting a passion for nuclear reaction physics and data. He had a special combination of depth in experimental work, reaction modeling, and statistical analyses, and possessed an uncanny intuitive ability to know which measurements, and theory, to trust, when making evaluation decisions. Los Alamos National Laboratory’s capabilities in nuclear simulation have benefited greatly from his contributions.
Phil also recognized the importance of international collaborations for advancing applied nuclear physics, and served on numerous IAEA, and NEA, international steering committees that led successful collaborative efforts relevant to nuclear energy. Many of us saw him as a great ambassador for the US (and Texas!) as it engaged with international partners. Phil often reflected on the enjoyable times he spent with his family on long-term exchanges with colleagues and friends at the CEA.
Above all else, Phil was a true gentleman, a valued friend and colleague, whom those of us fortunate enough to have known him will miss greatly. We reflect with happiness on how his life touched, and impacted, us.
Phil was born on July 21, 1937, in Beeville, Texas, to Phillip (Sr.) and Allie B. Young. He was raised in Refugio, Texas with his brothers and sisters, Allie, John, Martha “Moye” and Michael Young.
Phil and Kay moved to Chicago in 2014 to pursue his cancer treatment at Loyola University Medical Center and to enjoy the amenities of city life. Phil fought a long battle with cancer with courage and grace. He will be remembered for his kind heart, generosity, and the big smiles he had for everyone.
Phil is survived by his wife Kay, his son Michael and wife Diane; daughter, Katie and her husband C.J. Pierce; daughter, Patty and her husband Bill Blake.
Norman A. Kurnit passed away in Santa Fe on February 6, 2019.
He received his Bachelors from Columbia College in 1961 and then attended Columbia University where he received both his MA (1962) and PhD (1966) in Physics.
His thesis research resulted in the first observation of photon echoes and their application to the study of relaxation processes. He remained at Columbia as a research associate and instructor until 1968, when he joined the Optical and Infrared Laser Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) as a research associate.
While at MIT, he served as assistant professor of physics from 1969 to 1975. His research interests included other coherent transient phenomena, as well as the application of continuous wave nonlinear saturation techniques to the study of molecular relaxation processes and to laser stabilization and precision wavelength measurement.
In 1975 he became a staff member at LANL, where he worked on applications of Raman and Brillouin scattering, four-wave mixing, and phase conjugation, primarily for CO2 and excimer laser development. He was inducted as a Lab Fellow in 1983.
Dr. Malcolm Andrews was an expert on Rayleigh-Taylor mixing and unstable or turbulent fluid flow processes that are critical to the predictive quality of the nation’s stockpile stewardship. He was group lead for XCP-4 (Methods & Algorithms), ASC project lead for Mix & Burn & National Security Fellow at LANL. He was Executive Advisor to the NNSA in Washington DC over the past few years. Andrews received an E.O. Lawrence Award in 2007 “For pioneering contributions in the area of fluids instabilities and turbulent mixing with expertise spanning the realms of theory, numerical simulation, and experiment.”
Dr. Andrews was born in 1958 in Coventry, England. He received his B.A. and M.A. degrees in Mathematics from Oxford University in 1980, and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Imperial College, London, in 1986. Andrews was a lecturer at Princeton University from 1986 to 1991, and a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Texas A&M University for 15 years. Malcolm joined LANL in 2005, and resided in CCS-2 as a Scientist 5, leading and performing projects related to mixing until 2010 when he joined XCP. He has published more than 200 papers &holds four patents. He was Chief Editor of the American Society of Mechanical Engineer’s Journal of Fluids Engineering, Fellow of ASME & Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics. Over the past four decades Andrews has made a broad and penetrating set of contributions in buoyancy driven mixing by Rayleigh-Taylor in ICF capsules, oil-trapping salt domes, turbine blade cooling, Bridgeman crystal growth, fuel spray disintegration, and micro-encapsulation of active agents. He spun many insights lead to significant contributions across several allied fields, including heat transfer (heat exchangers, radiators) and multiphase flows, sprays and deposition.
He is survived by his wife, Dr. Farzaneh Jebrail of Santa Fe, NM and his daughter Miss Nasim Andrews of Los Angeles, CA. He was a brilliant, warm and generous human being and a wonderful husband and father. He enjoyed skiing, hiking, and traveling and made uniquely positive contributions to many lives as a mentor, colleague and friend. His brilliance, wit, and love will never be forgotten. He is sorely missed by his family, friends, and colleagues.
Llewellyn (Lew) Jones, pioneer in the Vibrational Spectroscopy Field, died June 7, 2014, at his home in Albuquerque. He was 94.
A Laboratory Fellow and U.S. Army veteran, Jones was a postdoc at the University of Rochester before joining the Laboratory in 1951 in the former Chemistry-Metallurgy Fowler Division. He retired in 1986 from the former Isotope and Nuclear Chemistry Division. He returned to the Lab as an associate, working in various organizations through 2000.
Jones was named a Laboratory Fellow in 1983. He was a renowned expert in molecular vibrational spectroscopy and the study of vibrational dynamics and bonding in inorganic molecules. Using the molecules vibrational frequencies and their isotopic shifts, Jones was able to determine general force fields that provided the most complete description of the bonding forces in many important inorganic molecules. Jones' early work on actinide metal complexes and later on transition metal complexes was instrumental in determination of their structures and intra-molecular forces.
Jones published more than 170 manuscripts and articles in peer-reviewed journals and also wrote a book, "Inorganic Vibrational Spectroscopy." Jones earned his bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from the University of Michigan and master's and doctoral degrees in physical chemistry from the University of Buffalo and the California Institute of Technology, respectively.
Raymond N. Rogers, retired chemist who pioneered in the use of thermal analysis to characterize explosives, died on March 8, 2005 at the age of 77 after a long illness.
Rogers was born July 21, 1927, in Albuquerque, NM, but his family soon moved to California to find work. When his father died in an industrial accident on young Rogers' thirteenth birthday, he and his mother were left in Bakersfield with no means of support in the depression years. Rogers took on a number of odd jobs to bring in money: playing the horn in a dance band, ushering at the local theater, and working in a print shop.
In 1945 he enlisted in the U.S Navy and served as a radar technician during World War II. Thanks to the GI bill, Rogers was able to complete his education at the University of Arizona, majoring in chemistry. Upon graduation in 1948 his first job was with the Arizona Agricultural Experimental Station. There he built a thermal analysis instrument to study soils, and this experience brought him to Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) in late 1951.
At LANL Rogers became a group leader of an explosives research-and-development group and was elected Laboratory Fellow in 1981. He later worked for the International Technology division, retiring in 1988. He served on the Department of the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board from 1987 until 1992 with the equivalent rank of Lt. General, receiving their Distinguished Service Award. He received other awards and recognitions from LANL and professional organizations.
Although much of Rogers' research at LANL had military applications including the characterization of exotic explosives for munitions, he was always concerned with explosives safety and chemical hazards. One of his published research results has been incorporated into a standard method for the screening of reactive materials (ASTM method E698). Today this method is used worldwide to obtain reaction rate constants for energetic materials, a necessary first step in avoiding thermal explosions.
Until he retired Rogers was an editor for the two scientific journals, Thermochimica Acta and the Journal of Energetic Materials, and throughout his career he participated in conferences and symposia related to his chosen field. His ground-breaking work in thermal analysis—particularly differential scanning calorimetry—demonstrated the effectiveness of these techniques for characterizing energetic materials with only a few milligrams of sample.
Rogers was also an accomplished amateur archaeologist who did research on the chemistry of deposits and artifacts of interest in archaeology and geochronology. In 1978 he was invited to become Director of Chemical Research for the Shroud of Turin Research Project (STURP), whose primary goal was to determine the scientific properties of the image on the Shroud of Turin, and what might have caused it. The shroud was a linen fabric purported to be the burial cloth of Jesus of Nazareth.
For many people the shroud study proved disappointing when the initial carbon dating results placed the production of the fabric at between 1260 and 1390 AD, indicating that the shroud was a fake. However, about a year before his death Rogers found evidence that challenged the carbon-14 dating results. Although weakened by illness, he performed forensic work (Thermochimica Acta 425 (2005), 189-194) revealing that the material used in the carbon dating was not sampled from the original fabric, but from a part of the shroud that had been rewoven in medieval times. Rogers' work also indicated that the original shroud was much older than the age determined through carbon-14 analysis; but the question remains open as to whether it was in fact the burial cloth of the historic Jesus.
After retiring from LANL Rogers continued to work on the Shroud project, and with his wife Joan he also found time to enjoy hiking in the great outdoors as well as to train dogs for search and rescue operations. He is survived by his wife Joan; daughter Amy Canzona and her husband Tony; step-daughters Dawn and Lauren, many grandchildren and his and coonhound Clancy.
A classic Ray Rogers essay on "the Classical Scientific Method Does not Mean Atheism," from 1997:
Classic Scientific Method does not Mean Atheism Ray Rogers 17jan1997.pdf
Physicist James D. Louck passed away on November 21, 2018, just shy of his 90th birthday.
He was a staff member at Los Alamos National Laboratory, where he became a Lab Fellow in 1983. He retired from the Laboratory, but continued working there as a guest scientist in T- Division from 1963 – 2006.
Jim held a great fascination in the field of combinatorics, writing a book titled Unitary Symmetry and Combinatorics that has been described as a “masterpiece” by reviewers. Conferences in this field have recently been held in his honor in Poland and China. Gian-Carlo Rota called him a “gold mine for mathematicians.”
Jim is well known by physicists as the editor with author Larry Biedenharn, of the classic book Angular Momentum in Quantum Mechanics, published in 1981. Google Books describes this work as “developing the theory of angular momentum from the viewpoint of a fundamental symmetry in nature and shows how this concept relates to applied areas of research in modern quantum physics.”
Jim wrote that he: “loved his family, his friends and colleagues, loved science and mathematics.”
(written with input from Peter Milonni, LANL T-4)
Full obituary can be found in the Santa Fe New Mexican:
Robert Cowan, a Los Alamos National Laboratory Fellow since 1982, and a pioneer in the field of atomic spectra, died July 26, 2018.
He was born in Lincoln, Nebraska and received his Ph.D. degree in physics from Johns Hopkins University in 1946 and an honorary doctorate degree from Lund University, Sweden, in 1984.
After teaching for several years, Robert and his family moved to Los Alamos in 1951 and started his career with the Lab in 1951. He spent his career working in the Theoretical Physics Division, primarily in the field of atomic structure and spectra. While working at the Lab, Bob developed computer programs that successfully calculated the quantities of atomic structure and their respective spectral measurements, widely used by researchers throughout the world.
He was one of the earliest users of automated computers at Los Alamos and his codes and algorithms are still used extensively at the Lab. His textbook, The Theory of Atomic Structure and Spectra” is still in print after 35 years in publication and is considered the bible of modern atomic physics.
Even though Bob retired from Los Alamos National Laboratory in 1985, he continued to work for several years afterwards, not only for LANL and other various collaborators in the US, but also with researchers from England, the Netherlands and Sweden.
In addition to being selected as a LANL Fellow, he received several scientific awards, including a Fellow of the American Physical Society and the Optical Society of America (OSA-William F. Meggars Medal recipient). In 2008 he won the Los Alamos Medal and was recognized from an International standing as the “Father of Atomic Structure Calculations.”
Besides his outstanding scientific career, Bob was active in the Los Alamos Mountaineers. He succeeded in climbing over 100 of the highest peaks in Colorado, including all 54 of mountains that are over 14,000 ft. in elevation; as well as many of the high mountains in Northern New Mexico, the three highest peaks in Mexico, and a 17,600 foot peak in Nepal. He was also active in Los Alamos youth organizations, serving as an umpire in the girls’ Lassie League softball games and as a leader of a Boy Scout Explorer Post.
Terry Wallace wrote in a special message “From the Director’s Desk” that Bob was an extraordinary “amplifier” for all others who sought out his expertise.
Dr. Hywell White, a LANL researcher and Lab Fellow, who pioneered significant research in the area of sub-atomic research, passed away June 20th from a brief battle with lung cancer at the age of 87 in his Santa Fe home.
Hywell was born in Cardiff, Wales and graduated from Cardiff University and went on to receive his PhD in Physics from the University of Birmingham. He came to the United States in 1959 and taught Physics at the University of Pennsylvania from 1961-1964 and Cornell University during the years of 1969-1978.
In 1978 he left Cornell to become a senior physicist and head of the experimental facilities division on the Isabelle Project at Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, Long Island, New York until 1982.
While at University of Pennsylvania and Cornell, he was awarded the National Science Foundation senior postdoctoral fellow in 1970 and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science fellow in 1981.
Dr. White started working at Los Alamos in 1986 when he started the P-25 Neutrino group and served as its group leader. He was an internationally recognized expert in the field of neutrino physics; especially in the field of low-energy neutrino interactions. His experimental work using liquid scintillator neutron detectors in neutrino oscillation experiments is highly cited and noted potentially as one of the most important neutrino experiments of the modern age.
He was honored as a LANL Fellow in 1998.
The full obituary can be found on the Rivera Funeral Home, Santa Fe, NM:
Michael Martin Nieto of Los Alamos, NM passed away on Saturday, June 8th. He was 73. Michael was born in Los Angeles, CA in 1940 and made the decision at age 10 to become a physicist. He graduated from Mt. Carmel High School in 1957, earned his Bachelor's Degree from the University of California - Riverside in 1961, and received his Ph.D. in Physics from Cornell University in 1966.
He began his employment with Los Alamos National Laboratory in 1972. During his career he received numerous accolades, including the Alexander von Humboldt Senior Research Award in 1994, a Distinguished Alumnus Award from UCR in 1999, and the Star of Carmel Award in 2010. He retired as a Fellow of LANL in April of 2011.
Michael was an avid soccer fan, having both played and refereed the sport in his younger years. His favorite MLS team was the Los Angeles Galaxy. He loved to travel the world, and among his favorite destinations were India, Australia, and South America. He always won at Trivial Pursuit, and of course to those who knew him best, he was never wrong.
Michael is preceded in death by his father, Jose Nieto; his mother, Delphine Nieto; his sister, Connie Nieto; his father-in-law, Viktor Henriksen; his mother-in-law, Gudrun Henriksen; his sister-in-law, Inge Henriksen; and his nephew, Lars Henriksen. He is survived by his wife of 40 years, Merete; his daughter and son-in-law, Katrina & Leon Trujillo of Albuquerque, NM; his son and daughter-in-law, Mikkel & Amy Nieto of Portland, OR; his three grandchildren, Ashley, Taylor, & Lucas; his sister, Dee Marie Nieto of Beverly Hills, CA; his brother-in-law, Paul Sandorff of Seal Beach, CA; his brother-in-law, Peter Henriksen of Nykøbing S., Denmark; his nephew Jesper Henriksen of Copenhagen, Denmark; his niece, Dorte Henriksen of Copenhagen, Denmark; his great-nephew, Alexander Henriksen of Copenhagen, Denmark; and numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins.
George Allen Baker passed away at home on July 24, 2018. He attended the California Institute of Technology where, as a Junior, he came in 4th place in the National Putnam Mathematical Competition. He completed his PhD in Physics from UC Berkeley in 1956. George then completed a year of post-doctoral study at Columbus University in New York City, and in the summer of 1957 started working for the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory. In the years following from 1962 -1975, George worked and took sabbaticals to San Diego Scripps Institute, Kings College in London, England, Brookhaven National Laboratory and Cornell University.
After returning to Los Alamos in 1975, he visited and worked half time for the Center for Nuclear Studies outside of Paris, France, as well as half time for Princeton University.
His scientific expertise was in the area of Pade Approximates and their application to Ising Models, which are used to measure ferromagnetism in statistical mechanics. Throughout his career, he published more than 100 technical papers and three books. As a result of his distinguished national and international research, he was bestowed with the honor of Los Alamos National Laboratory Fellow in 1983. George retired from LANL in 1995.
Besides his scientific research, George traveled extensively, visiting all continents except for Antarctica. Music was also a great passion for George, playing the trombone and singing in the Church choir.
More information on George’s family and full obituary can be found at:
Thomas (Tom) Patrick Wangler was born August 2, 1937 in Bay City Michigan to Frank and Florence Wangler. He graduated from Resurrection High School in Lansing, MI in 1955. He earned his B.S. degree in Physics, in 1958 from Michigan State University, followed by a Ph.D. in Physics in 1964 from the University of Wisconsin.
He started his professional research career in high energy physics at the Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois where he worked from 1966 to 1979. After joining Los Alamos National Laboratory in 1979, he devoted his entire career in the field of Accelerator Physics. Tom is internationally known and recognized for his pioneering work in and foundational contributions to the development of high brightness particle linear accelerators. When colleagues brought him a new problem, he was known to always go back to first principles so that it was clear what assumptions were being made. He became a Laboratory fellow in 1993. He was an excellent teacher and gained world-wide reputation for the accelerator physics courses he taught at various national and international universities such as Harvard University and Beijing University on behalf of the US Particle Accelerator School. Apart from his voluminous number of publications, he is best known for his book titled “RF Linear Accelerators” (John-Wiley) that has become the standard text-book across the graduate schools around the world. After retirement from the laboratory, Tom taught a graduate accelerator course for a year at Michigan State University.
Tom was an avid runner. He competed in the Boston Marathon in 2005 at the age of 68, and the Marine Corps Marathon in 2007 at the age of 70, as well as many other marathons, half-marathons and triathlons. He was also an outdoorsman trekking the mountains of New Mexico and a polymath with interests in world history, religions of the world, science and natural history, constantly reading to learn more about topics that interested him. He taught himself how to sail in graduate school, by getting in a boat during a sailing race and just following the other boats. He was known as a great traveling companion by co-workers because of his ability to find excellent restaurants in any city. He was also a sports fan cheering for his beloved Michigan State Spartans, as well as the Chicago Bulls, the Chicago Bears and the Houston Astros.
Tom loved his family and music. He was an exemplary father to his children. He lived for over 40 years in Los Alamos. He spent many an hour coaching soccer (a sport he never played and had to learn from books) and traveling with his wife and children. He enjoyed playing the banjo and singing for his grandchildren. He was an active member in the Catholic church and enjoyed singing in the choir for several years during his retirement.
Tom died on November 20th in his home with family due to complications of Alzheimer’s disease. He was preceded in death by his parents and his nephew, Tom Wangler. He is survived by his wife Julia of 46 years, his son Michael his daughter Annie Blank and her husband Andrew, 5 grandchildren Samuel and Claire Wangler and Marissa, Devin and Isaac Blank, his brother Frank and his wife Kim, his nephew Steve and Steve’s family, and nieces, Lynde and Jessica. The family would like to thank Damian Tapia of Egis for his excellent and caring home health care.
A funeral mass in celebration of his life was held at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church on December 11, 2021.
(November 14, 1925 - December 1, 2013)
Laboratory Senior Fellow and longtime Laboratory scientist Stirling Colgate of Nuclear and Particle Physics, Astrophysics and Cosmology (T-2) died Sunday (Dec. 1) at his home in White Rock. A co-founder of the Santa Fe Institute, Colgate, 88, also was president of the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology in Socorro from 1965 to 1974 and a professor emeritus of physics at the school.
A gathering, "Remembering Stirling," open to colleagues and friends is scheduled for 5:45 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 15, at Fuller Lodge.
"Los Alamos has lost a tremendous scientist, colleague, mentor and friend," said Director Charlie McMillan. "His contributions to physics and national security science, including some very recent work, are broad, deep and exceptionally creative. On behalf of the Lab, I offer our deepest condolences to Stirling's family."
"He was an incredibly nice guy. It was a quality most people didn't see in him," noted Laboratory Fellow James L. Smith of Materials Technology/Metallurgy (MST-6). "[Stirling] really loved having young people around who wanted to talk to him. He really cared about helping young people."
"I think Stirling was a fantastic mentor to students and postdocs," said Theoretical (T) Division Leader Tony Redondo. "His office was always full of young people who were very excited to have discussions with him. Stirling always had very interesting ideas."
Colgate was born Nov. 14, 1925 in New York City. He attended the Los Alamos Ranch School until 1942 when the school closed in the run-up to the Manhattan Project. Colgate served two years in the Merchant Marines before attending Cornell where he earned bachelor's (1948) and doctoral degrees in physics (1951). He worked at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory from 1952 to 1965; his career at both LANL and LLNL totaled 50 years.
Colgate came to then Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory in September 1976 where he worked in various groups in Theoretical (T) Division. He was named a Senior Laboratory Fellow in 1987. From late 2008 to the present, Colgate was a Lab associate Fellow in T-2. Colgate was a member of the National Academy of Sciences. More recently, Colgate and Hui Li, of T-2, were co-principal investigators of a LDRD project that involved experimental work at New Mexico Tech involving astrophysical phenomena and turbulence.
Colgate is survived by his wife Rosie; a son and a daughter; four granddaughters; a great-grandson; and sister Anne Sutton of Honolulu.