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Tag archives: obituary

Former Indian president APJ Abdul Kalam was a ‘scientist and a statesman’

A. P. J. Abdul Kalam

Missile Man: APJ Abdul Kalam delivering a speech in 2010.
(CC BY 3.0/Pushrakv)

By Tushna Commissariat

This week, India is mourning the loss of an esteemed leader – the country’s 11th president APJ Abdul Kalam, who died on Monday. Kalam was in office from 2002 to 2007 and enjoyed country-wide popularity, even post his presidency. Described by US president Barack Obama as a “scientist and a statesman” in his eulogy, Kalam was a physicist and an aeronautical engineer before he turned to politics, first acting as a science administrator and adviser for nearly four decades before his office run. Indeed, he was heavily involved in India’s nuclear tests and its military missile programme, earning him the moniker of “Missile Man”. In 2007 he was awarded the Royal Society’s King Charles II Medal, which is “awarded to foreign heads of state or government who have made an outstanding contribution to furthering scientific research in their country”.

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Australian science communicator Peter Pockley dies

Peter Pockley (right) in Sydney in 2011 with Matin Durrani

Peter Pockley (right) at his his home in Sydney in 2011 with Matin Durrani.

By Matin Durrani

Physics World was saddened to learn today – via a Tweet from the Australian Nobel-prize-winning astronomer Brian Schmidt – of the death of veteran Australian science journalist Peter Pockley.

Peter, who was 78, had contributed numerous articles to Physics World over the years, focusing mainly on the ups and downs of science policy in Australia, of which he had an in-depth knowledge. He died peacefully at his home in Sydney on 11 August 2013.

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Don Glaser: 1926–2013

Don Glaser

Don Glaser giving a talk at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in 2010.
(Courtesy: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory)

By Michael Banks

The US physicist Don Glaser has died at the age of 86. Glaser was instrumental in inventing the bubble chamber – a vessel filled with a superheated transparent liquid such as liquid hydrogen that can be used to detect electrically charged particles moving through it. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics for this work in 1960, aged just 34.

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