Friday, 17 January 2020

Paul-Henri Heenen 1947–2019

I received the latest copy of Nuclear Physics News today and was saddened to read of the death of Paul-Henri Heenen.  I knew Paul-Henri mainly through his work on building the Generator Coordinate Method on top of the nuclear mean-field to give a rather complete model of nuclear structure starting from an effective interaction and giving results at the bulk level (nuclear masses, sizes, and shapes) and spectroscopic level (details of excited state energies and transition rates) all in one picture.  I cite his review, co-authored with Michael Bender and P.-G. Reinhard in practically every paper I write. 

I met Paul-Henri many times at different conferernces and meetings.  I was particualrly struck by his humility when discussing his work, partly because it is an all-too-rare trait.  Despite the fact that his work was heroic in its sophistication and completeness, he was honest about the deficiencies.  Many people I know are quick to point out only the good points of their own work, and the bad points of others'. 

RIP Paul-Henri.  The picture is taken from the website.

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