Apr 30, 2003
Faces and Places (page 4)
William T Kirk 1927-2003
In 1956 Edward L Ginzton, the then director of the Microwave Laboratory at Stanford University, advertised for an assistant. William "Bill" Kirk, a history graduate of Cornell in 1952, who was working in industry after graduation, responded to the ad and moved to Stanford. He remained there until his death, from cancer, on 14 February 2003.
Kirk became much more than an administrator and assistant to SLAC's directors. He was a problem solver, a mediator, a guardian of the Queen's English, and an invaluable bridge between all members of the SLAC community - technical workers, administrators and scientists. He later ably directed all of SLAC's information activities.
Kirk is probably most widely remembered for creating SLAC's particle-physics magazine Beam Line in 1974. Until 1988 he was the Beam Line, performing all the work from writing to composition, layout and typesetting. After 1988 he remained as co-editor until his retirement in 1993, when he continued as an informal advisor to the editor.
While Kirk was a history major and novelist, he understood high-energy physics and high-energy physicists. His writings on high-energy physics, such as the article "High Energy Physics - An Introduction" that among other topics compared the technology and purpose of storage rings and fixed-target machines, have become classics in popular science writing. Kirk also wrote lucid articles on the operation of PEP, the discovery of the J/Psi particles and many others. He became very much in demand as an editor of the many international conference proceedings of meetings in high-energy physics, a task he always undertook with great skill and a drive for perfection.
Bill was a very humble person, notwithstanding his major contributions to high-energy physics. Most of the verbiage in the 1957 proposal to government agencies, which led to the creation of SLAC, largely originated from Kirk's pen, yet his name does not appear among the profuse acknowledgments in the document.
Throughout his career, Kirk divided his interests in high-energy physics and writing with a dedication to athletics. He was a member of several of Cornell University's successful football teams, an avid golf player, and the instigator of and slugger in the annual baseball game between theorists and experimentalists at SLAC. Kirk's contributions to SLAC and to high-energy physics will be long remembered. He was a great man, always available, always constructive and always helpful. We will miss him.
Pief Panofsky, SLAC.
Viktor S Rumyantsev 1945-2003
Viktor Rumyantsev, who died on 28 February 2003, began his scientific career at the Institute of Physics, National Academy of Sciences in Minsk, Belarus, where he performed experimental research in the field of particle physics. In 1974 he started working in close collaboration with colleagues from the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR) in Dubna, Russia, where he investigated multi-particle production in pion-nucleus collisions.
In 1994 Rumyantsev was elected deputy director of the Dzhelepov Laboratory of Nuclear Problems at JINR, and became active in the ATLAS Collaboration, especially in the construction of the Tile Calorimeter Barrel, and also the Liquid Argon Calorimeter and the MDT chambers. He also contributed to the WA-102 experiment at the OMEGA spectrometer at CERN, in the search for exotic mesons in double pomeron exchange processes.
From 1999, Viktor headed the Particle Physics Laboratory of the National Centre for High Energy and Particle Physics in Minsk. His scientific activity here, with the exception of the ATLAS project, essentially concentrated on the application of micro-channel aluminium oxide plates in particle detectors.
For all his colleagues he was, and remains, a beloved and admired scientist and friend.
Nikolai A Russakovich, JINR.
Aris Angelis 1954-2003
On 5 February, our colleague and dear friend Aris Angelis left us at a moment when we all believed he could win the battle for his life.
Aris graduated from the University of Athens in 1975. He went on to Oxford University where he received his doctorate in 1984. During this period he suffered his first attack of the illness that was eventually to claim his life, which he saw off through a combination of aggressive treatment and the determination that was so much a part of his character. As a result of the treatment at the time, his doctors told him that he would not be able to take part in competitive sport again. However, he went on to represent Oxford at karate in the varsity match against old-rivals Cambridge, and was a regular performer in mountain marathons around Switzerland.
Aris worked on several experiments at CERN, starting at the ISR. He developed a taste for heavy-ion physics through the experiments NA34, WA93/98, SIGAPO, ALICE and finally CMS. He had a nomadic career, holding positions at University College London, McGill University, the University of Geneva and CERN. Since 1997 he had been attached to the University of Athens.
Aris left his mark on CERN's heavy-ion programme from the early days at the SPS to the very end, preparing for the future at the LHC within ALICE and CMS. Those of us who knew and worked with Aris appreciated him both as an enthusiastic colleague and as a warm and helpful friend. Younger colleagues thought of him as their mentor during their crucial and difficult first steps in science. Others looked forward to working with him at the LHC.
Aris was also an effective communicator. Very aware of the need for the public communication of our field, he became a CERN guide in 1999 and was consistently voted one of CERN's best. His explanations of the science in English, French, Italian and Greek were greatly appreciated and the CERN visits service received many complimentary letters following his tours. He also took part in many special events, such as CERN open days and the Oracle of Delphi theatrical event staged in an experimental hall, and always with the same enthusiasm, dedication and competence. Aris was also an active and enthusiastic member of the European Particle Physics Outreach Group, where he represented ALICE, and he acted as secretary of the LHC Outreach Group.
Aris's dogged determination, his sense of right and wrong, and his stubborn persistency left no-one indifferent. These characteristics earned him respect and made him a reliable friend, who was always ready and willing to help. His untimely and unjust departure came as a shock to us all - Aris was not the kind to give in. To suffer a life-threatening illness once is cruel, twice is a tragedy. On both occasions, however, Aris faced his illness with a courage and dignity that set an example for us all.
Apostolos D Panagiotou, University of Athens, and James Gillies, CERN.
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