Tuesday, 25 May 2021

RIP Steven Moszkowski 1927–2020


I just heard the news that Steven Moszkowski died in December.  I heard of his death from my PhD supervisor, Jirina Stone, who has been working with him in recent years (with a highly-cited paper co-authored by Moszkowski, Jirina Stone, and her husband Nick Stone published in 2014).  I met Steven once, as far as I can remember, but I knew his name for his work on effective interactions for use in nuclear structure calculations - particularly the surface delta interaction (SDI).  I was reminded of him recently when a final year project student I've been working with this semester was working on a solvable model of octupole states in lead-208, as worked out by Piet van Isacker.  It made use of this SDI interaction, since although it is not a fundamental nucleon-nucleon interaction, still captures enough of the correct physics to be very useful, and is conceptually and mathematically simple.

Like my meetings with many of the older generation of nuclear physicists, I felt a bit inadequate to collaborate with them, and have clearly now missed my opportunity.  As I say, I only met Moszkowski one time (that I recall).  From the short memorial page to him at his institution, UCLA, it sounds like there were a lot of interesting stories he could have told me.  RIP, Steven.

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