Reflections on the Life and Career of Myron Strongin
Myron Strongin, Senior Physicist Emeritus, in the Condensed Matter Physics and Materials Science Department at Brookhaven National Laboratory and a Fellow of the American Physical Society, passed away on October 8, 2013 at 77 years of age. Although Myron retired in 2005, he continued to pursue his research at BNL full-time until his death.
After earning a B.S. in physics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1956, Myron earned an M.S. and Ph.D. in physics in 1962 from Yale University. After two years as a researcher at the MIT Lincoln Laboratory, Myron joined BNL’s Physics Department in 1963 where he remained for the rest of his career, serving as Associate Chair of the Physics Department from 1986 to 1993, and head of the Solid State Physics Group from 1986 to 2004. He served as Associate Editor of the Physical Review from 1986 to 2004, and was a very important member of the editorial board during the exciting period following the discovery of high-temperature superconductivity in 1986.
From his earliest days in research on superconductivity, Myron was very active in studying thin-film superconductors and surface superconductivity. In the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, Myron and his collaborators started to investigate the adsorption of hydrogen in metals. Further, in the early 1980’s, Myron was one of the first researchers to perform experiments at the ultraviolet ring of the National Synchrotron Light Source (NSLS). In the mid 1990’s, Myron and BNL colleagues developed a proposal that led to a new initiative at BNL to study the optical properties of high-temperature superconductors, and along with photoemission, transport measurements, neutron scattering, and theory, the program has made BNL one of the major centers for high-temperature superconductivity research.
Myron was the holder or co-holder of six patents and the author or co-author of 259 well-cited published papers in the physics literature, the most cited of which was on the destruction of superconductivity in disordered near monolayer films. His infectious enthusiasm, his high standards in scientific research, and his passionate assessments, pro and con, of prominent figures in areas of science with which he was familiar made him a delightful and inspiring conversationalist. Myron will be deeply missed and long remembered by his many friends at BNL, where he spent 46 years as a member of the scientific staff, and in the wider world of condensed matter physics.