Aditya Sambamurti, an Assistant Physicist at Brookhaven National Laboratory, died on March 18, 1992 after a valiant battle against cancer. He was 31 years old. Adit graduated from Indiana University with a degree in experimental High Energy Physics in August 1988 and came to BNL as a Research Associate with the Physics Electronic Detector Group (EDG). He participated in the rare kaon decay experiment, E787, at the Alternating Gradient Synchrotron.
Adit was born in Washington D.C. and raised in New Delhi, India. He graduated with a Masters of Science in Physics from the Indian Institute of Technology in 1982. In the course of his Master's Thesis work at IIT he helped to construct a conversion electron detector for Mossbauer Spectroscopy. His primary career goal was already established by this time, he intended to study experimental high energy physics. He was particularly interested in the design and operation of particle accelerators.
Aditya began graduate school in Physics at Indiana University in 1982. He started research with the HEP group shortly thereafter, under the direction of Prof. R.R. Crittenden. His PhD thesis experiment was a study of High transverse energy and high mass di-muon events in pA collisions, E672, at Fermilab. He participated in all aspects of the experiment, from hardware development to the final analysis which in 1988 resulted in his thesis, "Event Structure of Proton-Nucleus Collisions with High Transverse Energy", and several publications.
In his post-doctoral work Adit established a record of significant accomplishment. He made many contributions to E787, which is a search for K+ => pi+,nu,nubar and other rare decays. He was instrumental in work on higher-level triggers and data acquisition. He also suggested new physics opportunities for the detector such as the use of tagged pi0's from K+ => pi+,pi0 decay to search for the previously unprobed decay pi0 => gamma + X. He was also one of the originators of a proposal for an experiment to study total cross-sections at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC). He was very imaginative and highly dedicated to his work. Personable, articulate and kind, he took pains to encourage students and younger staff.
Adit was a warm and humble person. All that met him admired his broad smile and his optimistic enthusiasm for life. Adit was very active in the social life at Brookhaven, joining the local theater group and the concert committee. He was also a founding member of the Toastmasters Club.
Adit was always eager to encourage cooperation among his colleagues, preferring it to the unforgiving competition so often practiced in the community. Never too harsh in a criticism, he would rather diminish his own contributions than discourage someone else. He was endowed with a delightful sense of humor, well supported by a broad based education. Well read and ready with an appropriate quote, he was a most welcome partner to any conversion. Even in his fatal illness, Adit remained hopeful until the very end. Battered by numerous unsuccessful treatments, he was always looking forward to the chances offered by a new day. His courage was an inspiration to those of us who had a privilege if visiting him at his bedside. Adit's death was particularly tragic because of his youth and his great promise as a physicist. He is remembered and sorely missed by all his friends and colleagues. He is survived by his parents Uma and M.K. Sambamurti, and his sister Nitya Sambamurti Ghotge.
- Mirek Fatyga, Chip Stewart and Andrzej Zieminski