Friday, July 19, 2013

We are saddened to give you the news of the passing of our colleague Edwin Norbeck from the University of Iowa. Ed suffered a heart attack and passed away on July 13, 2013 at the age of 83.

Ed, the son of Johan Edvin (John Edwin) Norbeck and Rosella Ann Wellington, was born on June 10, 1930, in Seattle, Washington. He received his BS degree from Reed College in 1952, and his MA and PhD from the University of Chicago in 1956. He was a post-doc at the University of Chicago and University of Minnesota before joining the faculty at the University of Iowa in 1960 as an assistant professor. Since 1967 he was a full professor until becoming professor emeritus at the University of Iowa Department of Physics and Astronomy in 2002.

Ed spent most of his career in nuclear physics. He did pioneering work in using computers to record data from nuclear physics experiments. He was awarded inaugural “Computer Applications in Nuclear and Plasma Physics” by the IEEE in 1987 for this work done in the early 1960’s. Ed designed and utilized a computerized data acquisition system to record events in collisions between accelerator beam particles and target nuclei. The event rate recorded was 55 events per second.

A Fellow of the American Physical Society, Ed was a leader of the Iowa van der Graff accelerator which he used to accelerate Lithium-7 for scattering experiments until the accelerator was decommissioned. He worked on experiments at the Michigan State Medium Energy Heavy Ion accelerator. Part of his work was to build a silicon tracker for an experiment in this facility. In 2000, he joined the UI high energy physics group, part of the CMS collaboration at CERN. He was very active on CMS, working on a small quartz fiber calorimeter ZDC (zero degree calorimeter) to be situated near the beam interactions at the Large Hadron Collider. He also did research on heavy ion physics and contributed to detector R&D for hadronic calorimeter upgrades. Our Iowa group will greatly miss his advice and expertise.

More information is available at