Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Simon van der Meer

We mourn the passing of another giant in physics, Simon van der Meer, who shared the 1984 Nobel Prize with Carlo Rubbia.

In a statement, current CERN boss Rolf-Dieter Heuer and the lab's director of accelerators Steve Myers describe Van der Meer as "a true giant of modern particle physics, though a gentle one [whose] contributions to accelerator science remain vital for the operation of accelerators such as the LHC today". He was, they say, "an incredibly inventive man [who] when confronted with a problem would sink into deep reflection, rarely emerging until he had a solution", adding that "stochastic cooling was typical of a Simon van der Meer invention: deceptively simple at first sight, but to anyone who truly understands accelerators it was nothing less than a stroke of genius".

You may read more of the statement from CERN here, including background on the work that he did.


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