SSL Community Mourns Astronomer Garrett Jernigan

Astronomer Jesse Garrett Jernigan, Jr., known to all as Garrett, passed away unexpectedly on May 9, 2022 in Petaluma, California. He was 71. Jernigan’s work in high energy astrophysics and related instrumentation led to noteworthy discoveries involving cataclysmic variables, X-ray and gamma ray burst sources, quasars and pulsars. After moving to California in 1981, Jernigan […]

P. Buford Price (1932-2021)

We have sad news. Former SSL Director P. Buford Price passed away on Dec. 28, 2021.  Buford Price received his BS in Physics from Davidson College in 1954, and a PhD in Physics from the University of Virginia in 1958. After receiving his PhD, he was a Fulbright Fellow at the University of Bristol, then […]

SSL Mourns the Passing of Dr. Kevin Hurley (1942-2021)

Dr. Kevin Hurley, 79, of Berkeley, passed away on December 24, 2021 after being diagnosed with incurable cancer. Kevin was a prominent astrophysicist and devoted husband, father and grandfather. Kevin was born in 1942 in New York. He and his mother, Anitra, moved to California, where he attended Lick Wilmerding High School in San Francisco […]

Charles “Chuck” W. Carlson (1942-2020)

Charles W. Carlson – known as Chuck by his legion of friends and colleagues — passed away peacefully on November 12, 2020. Chuck lived with Alzheimer’s disease and he was fortunate to have his loving family by his side during his more than15 years of decline. Chuck was born on December 31, 1942, in Cambridge, […]

Stuart Bowyer (1934-2020)


Stuart Bowyer passed away at his home in Orinda, California, on September 23, 2020, from complications associated with Covid-19.  He is survived by his wife, Jane, his sons, William and Robert, his daughter, Elizabeth, and five grandchildren. Stuart was born on August 2, 1934, in Toledo, Ohio.  He attended grade school at a one-room facility […]

Mario Marckwordt (1957-2020)

All, I got a call from Mario’s wife Annette this morning telling me the sad news. Mario had a heart attack last night and died suddenly.  The family is in shock, as am I. He was a good friend and colleague. We worked together for over 20 years. Mario was a happy and funny guy. […]

Frances Townes

We mourn the passing for Frances Townes, wife of Charles Townes, on her 102nd birthday. You can read her obituary Berkeleyside.

Bill Donakowski (1956-2017)

Bill Donakowski, mechanical engineer, runner and a quick wit… Remembering Hall of Fame Distance Runner Bill Donakowski By Kyle Terwillegar The University of Michigan cross country and track and field programs are mourning the death of Hall of Famer Bill Donakowski, who passed away Sunday, Oct. 15, at the age of 61. One of the […]

A Centennial Celebration of Charles Townes

There’s nothing like a spring day to clear the little gray cells and let the imagination wander. In fact, a spring day in 1951 in Washington, DC, helped lead to the development of the laser. Charles Townes was a physicist at Columbia University. He’d been trying to develop powerful beams of radiation, but he wasn’t […]