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John N. Bahcall, President Elect of the American Physical Society (APS) and pioneering neutrino physicist, passed away on August 17, 2005 in New York City. Bahcall was 70 years old and had been professor at the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) in Princeton since 1971. He received the National Medal of Science in 1998.
College Park, MD - APS President Marvin Cohen expressed his great sadness at the loss of one of the Society’s most distinguished members.
“John Bahcall was one of the masters of theoretical astrophysics, and we were very fortunate that he decided to devote time to serve in the presidential line of APS. Last spring, due to declining health, he announced his intention to step down as President Elect, but his death only a few months later comes as a great shock. His loss will be keenly felt, both as a physicist of outstanding achievements and ability, and as a leader in the scientific community. On behalf of all the members of the APS, I want to express my deep sympathy to his wife Neta and his family.”
Bahcall’s work led to a deeper understanding both of stellar physics and of fundamental particle physics through his studies of solar neutrinos. In recent years, he was instrumental in unraveling the mystery of solar neutrino distributions and their origins in neutrino oscillations.
The American Physical Society is a nonprofit membership organization working to advance and diffuse the knowledge of physics through its outstanding research journals, scientific meetings, and education, outreach, advocacy, and international activities. APS represents over 55,000 members, including physicists in academia, national laboratories, and industry in the United States and throughout the world. Society offices are located in College Park, MD (Headquarters), Ridge, NY, and Washington, D.C.