Engin Arik 1948–2007

We lost Engin Arik in a tragic plane accident on 30 November 2007. She was flying to Isparta to participate in a workshop about a possible Turkish accelerator design. Her two students, Ozgen Berkol Dogan and Engin Abat, accompanied her and her colleagues, Sener Boydag, Iskender Hikmet and Mustafa Fidan, from Dogus University.

Arik received her BSc in physics from Istanbul University in 1969. She started her career in science as a graduate student at the University of Pittsburgh where she received her MS (1971) and PhD (1976) degrees in physics. She participated in the E583 experiment at Brookhaven and wrote her thesis on Y* production in sigma-nucleus reactions.

During her postdoctoral study at the University of London, Westfield College, she participated in fixed target experiments using pion beams at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory and CERN. She contributed significantly to the measurement of observables in π+p → K+Σ+.

She joined Bogazici University Physics Department in 1979, where she was a faculty member until her untimely death, except for a brief period in industry in 1983–85. While teaching at Bogazici University, she also performed research with the very limited resources available for experimental high-energy physics in Turkey. At the beginning of the 1990s, she joined the CHARM II experiment at CERN and later participated in the CHORUS and Spin Muon Collaboration (SMC) experiments together with the group she put together from Bogazici and other universities in Istanbul. During this period, there was a movement for Turkey to become a full member of CERN instead of an associate member. From the beginning, Arik was a very strong supporter and she strove hard to achieve this goal. Turkey is still an associate member, but there are some hopeful developments in a positive direction and her contribution in this was significant.

Even though there were great difficulties in finding the necessary funds for the students and colleagues in her group to participate in experiments at CERN, she always had a very optimistic view and joined collaborations such as CHORUS, SMC, ATLAS and the CERN Axion Solar telescope at the earliest possible moment.

In addition to the experiments at CERN, Arik also participated in the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization as radionuclide officer while stationed in Vienna from 1997 to 2000. During weekends and holidays, she commuted between Vienna, Geneva and Istanbul, and continued her research. For the past few years, she was very active in a study to propose and design an accelerator facility in Turkey. Indeed, she had taken the fatal plane flight to attend the fourth workshop on this subject.

Arik was also mother to two children and a grandmother of two grandchildren. She was hopeful that her grandson, who often conversed with her about physics, would also become a physicist. With her untimely death, the Turkish experimental high-energy physics community has lost one of its most prominent senior members and one of its driving "engin(es)". We will sorely miss her.

Erhan Gülmez, Bogazici University.