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Sun May 2 21:51:39 PDT 2021

Volume XXVIII, Issue 26


Table of Contents

1. S. Peter Gary (1939 - 2021)


Announcement Submission Website: http://goo.gl/forms/qjcm4dDr4g


S. Peter Gary (1939 - 2021)

From: Dan Winske, Joseph Borovsky, Misa Cowee, William Feldman, Michelle Thomsen  (winske at lanl.gov)

Peter Gary, a highly regarded theoretical space plasma physicist, passed away on April 21, 2021 in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He was 81. 

Peter was well known for his study of plasma waves and instabilities in the space environment. Early in his career he was one of the first to use linear Vlasov theory to derive dispersion equations for wave properties and solve them numerically without approximations. It remains a well-known methodology.

Over the years Peter used this technique to investigate a wide variety of electrostatic and electromagnetic waves in space. Particularly, he was known for his studies of ion-beam driven instabilities in the Earth’s foreshock, various unstable waves in the solar wind and in the vicinity of comets, as well as low-frequency waves in the magnetosphere, especially the magnetosheath.

A summary of his methodology and early work are found in his monograph “Theory of Space Plasma Microinstabilities” published in the Cambridge Atmospheric and Space Science Series, in 1993. Overall, he authored and coauthored almost 500 journal articles.

Peter was born in Cleveland OH in 1939, graduated from Case Institute of Technology with a BS in Physics in 1961, and obtained a PhD in Physics from Washington University in St. Louis in 1967. He was on the faculty at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg VA for 6 years.

He spent most of his career at Los Alamos National Laboratory in the space physics group, starting in 1977 and retiring in 2012. He served as Group Leader from 1987-1992. For his many accomplishments he was named a Laboratory Fellow in 2002.

After retirement, he continued his work through the Space Science Institute in Boulder CO as a Senior Research Scientist. In these years he turned his attention to the global issue of solar wind turbulence, investigating plasma dissipation at short wavelengths.

He was named an AGU Fellow in 2018, with citation “For fundamental advances in space plasma physics and sustained contribution to understanding the implications of plasma physics in space observations”. He served as an Associate Editor of JGR Space Physics. He was also a Fellow of the American Physical Society.

Peter is survived by his wife Carol Ann Mullaney, his two children and two grandchildren.

Peter will be remembered for his sound theoretical work and physical insight as well as his boundless energy and enthusiasm. His legacy is reflected in the many students and postdocs he mentored, and the many colleagues and friends who benefited from his great generosity and kindness.

As in his work life, Peter was an energetic hiker, skier and member of several church choirs. He will be greatly missed by all of us here in northern New Mexico, as well as throughout the international scientific community.

Funeral arrangements are still pending. For more details on Peter’s life, visit the funeral home website: http://berardinellifuneralhome.com          


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