Earle B. Mayfield passed away peacefully in his sleep 28 May 2007 in Los Osos, near San Luis Obispo. He retired there to grow orchids, make wine and teach part-time at California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo (Cal Poly SLO). He was born in Oklahoma City in 1923. After his discharge from the Coast Guard he went to UCLA where he graduated in physics in 1950. He married Peggy Masterson in 1952 after they met while they both worked at the China Lake Test Station. He obtained a Ph.D. in physics in 1959 from the University of Utah.
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Leonard Searle, Astronomer and Director Emeritus of Carnegie Observatories, died at his home on July 2, 2010, in Pasadena, CA, in the midst of a busy retirement that followed a long, distinguished scientific career. Searle was born on October 23, 1930, in the London suburb of Mitcham to parents of modest means. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from University of Saint Andrews in Scotland, and his PhD from Princeton University, where he met his future wife, Eleanor Millard. They were married in Princeton in 1952. Eleanor, his lifelong companion, was a distinguis
Dr. Alan Dale Fiala, astronomer and expert on solar eclipses, died on May 26, 2010 in Arlington, Virginia, of respiratory failure after a brief illness. He was 67. Fiala had been a staff astronomer at the U.S.
Chushiro Hayashi, the greatest Japanese theoretical astrophysicist, died of old age at a hospital in Kyoto on 28 February, 2010; he was 89 years old. C. Hayashi was born in Kyoto on July 25, 1920 as the fourth son of his parents Mume and Seijiro Hayashi. His father Seijiro managed a small finance company and the family “Hayashi” can trace its history back to honorable master carpenters who engaged in construction of the historic Kamigamo-shrine and Daitokuji-temple in Kyoto.
Glenn M. Frye, professor emeritus of physics at Case Western Reserve University, died in January 2007. His research interests at Case centered on the detection and identification of cosmic rays at the top of the atmosphere.
Computer scientist and statistical astronomer Sam Roweis took his own life in New York City on 2010 January 12. He was a brilliant and accomplished researcher in the field of machine learning, and a strong advocate for the use of computational statistics for automating discovery and scientific data analysis. He made several important contributions to astronomy and was working on adaptive astronomical data analysis at the time of his death.
Martin F. McCarthy, S.J., astronomer at the Vatican Observatory from 1958 until his retirement in 1999, died peacefully on 5 February at the age of 86 years at the Jesuit Campion Health Center in Weston, Massachusetts where he had resided since his retirement. McCarthy received his doctorate in astronomy from Georgetown University, Washington, DC in 1951. The study of carbon stars, stars whose atmospheres contain more carbon than oxygen, was a major interest for McCarthy. Carbon stars were originally discovered and studied in the 1860s by Fr.
University of California, Berkeley physicist Sumner P. Davis, a beloved teacher whose research centered on the optical spectroscopy of diatomic molecules found in the sun and other stars, died Dec. 31, 2008 in El Cerrito, CA after a brief illness. He was 84.
Nuclear physicist and astrophysicist John P. Davidson died at his home on January 10, 2010. He was born on July 22, 1924 in Los Angeles, California. Jack followed his high school interests in rocketry and physical science to the University of California, Berkeley, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in physics in June 1948 after serving a stint from 1943 to 1946 in the Army Signal Corps in the European Theater of Operations. Following the war and graduation, Jack embarked on a graduate career in nuclear physics at Washington University, St. Louis.
David L. Band, of Potomac Maryland, died on March 16, 2009 succumbing to a long battle with spinal cord cancer. His death at the age of 52 came as a shock to his many friends and colleagues in the physics and astronomy community.
The worlds of physics and astrophysics were stunned to learn on 22 January 2010 that Andrew Lange, the Marvin L. Goldberger Professor of Physics at Caltech, had taken his own life the night before. He had succumbed to the severe depression that he had suffered from for many years, unbeknownst to even his closest colleagues.
Roy Henry Garstang 84 passed away on November 1, 2009 in Boulder Colorado. He was born in Southport, England in September of 1925 to Percy Brocklehurst and Eunice (Gledhill) Garstang. He won a scholarship to Caius College in Cambridge University. Because it was wartime, he could spend only two years at his studies. However, he managed to complete three years of required work during that time, and then spent 1945-46 as a Junior Scientific Officer at the Royal Aircraft Establishment at Farnborough.