Alper Garren 1925–2017

13 October 2017

Alper Abdy Garren was born on 30 April 1925 in Oakland, California, and died peacefully on 25 June in the same place.

Al attended the US Naval Reserve Midshipmenʼs School at the University of Notre Dame in 1945 and served as a commissioned lieutenant in the US Naval Reserve through 1947. By 1950 he had received undergraduate and masters degrees from the University of California, Berkeley, and in 1955 he completed his PhD at the Carnegie Institute of Technology.

A career particle physicist at Berkeley Lab, located on the hill above the UC Berkeley campus, Al wrote his first paper for what was then the Radiation Laboratory in 1949. He wrote his final paper in 1991 at what had become the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBL).

Al was a brilliant scientist who designed the accelerator lattice for the Superconducting Super Collider (SSC), in particular inventing the “diamond bypass” to allow two beams to be injected and aborted from just one straight section. His career also included work on the Tevatron, the asymmetric B-Factory at SLAC’s PEP-II accelerator and SYNCH – a computational tool used extensively at particle-physics labs around the world and for which he held a patent. He contributed to the design and orbit theory of the following machines: the Bevatron, Magnetic Mirror Fusion Reactors, 88-inch Cyclotron, Advanced Light Source (ALS), Fermilab Proton Synchrotron, the Large Proton–Proton Storage Rings LSR (CERN), ISABELLE (BNL), and the High Energy Heavy Ion Facility SUMATRAN (Japan).

Al was a sweet, kind, generous man who made friends easily and kept them for life. He loved to travel and was especially drawn to the culture and people of Asia. He loved the performing arts and was a patron of the San Francisco Opera, the San Francisco Symphony and the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra. He was a dedicated philanthropist, supporting some 200 environmental, human-rights and performing-arts organisations in his later years.

Physicist, teacher, mentor, world traveller, sailor, philanthropist and above all a dear friend, Al enriched many lives during his 92 years.


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