Art Poskanzer, June 28, 1931 – June 30, 2021
Arthur Poskanzer, an early and consistent Berkeleyside supporter, died on June 30, two days after his 90th birthday. He was surrounded by his loving family and the end was peaceful. The cause was pulmonary fibrosis, which affected him for 19 years.
Art and his family moved to Berkeley in 1967 during an exciting time, and they never left. He joined the nuclear sciences division of the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, where he remained for over 50 years. He was named Distinguished Principal Scientist and became Emeritus after his retirement.
Art was a pioneering nuclear physicist in the field of high-energy relativistic nuclear collisions, a co-discovery of collective and elliptical flow, essential experimental evidence leading to the discovery of Quark-gluon plasma.an ephemeral state of matter that would have existed in the first microseconds after the birth of the universe. “During his early scientific career, he was noted for the discovery of far-stable isotopes that were predicted not to exist.
He has received numerous awards and honors, including the 1980 Glenn T. Seaborg Award for nuclear chemistry from the American Chemical Society and the 2008 Tom W. Bonner Prize in Experimental Nuclear Physics of the American Physical Society for his “Experimental studies of flow in relativistic heavy ion collisions”. He is one of the few scientists to have won awards from both organizations.
Art was known for the rigor and excellence of its scientific articles, some of which have become fundamental in its field, with very many citations.
But despite all the accolades, Art was modest and humble, always ready to encourage and talk to young scientists. They were impressed with his computer skills, code writing, and program development until he was 80 years old.
Art loved Berkeley. He was an early supporter of the Berkeley Path Wanderers Association and enjoyed the programs and neighborhood walks of the Berkeley Historical Society. He spent many hours hiking and biking in Tilden Park.
He and his wife, Lucille, along with their sons, created a guide to restaurants in Berkeley and Oakland which was available to everyone for free online. They maintained this site until recently, and it was a great resource for the community.
Art leaves Lucille, his wife of 67 years; children Deborah (spouse, Alan Meier), Jef (who is a frequent contributor of photographs to Berkeleyside) and Harold (spouse, Marjorie Wechsler); and four grandchildren.
He had a wonderful life.