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June 22, 2009
Contact: Brendan M. Lynch, University Relations, (785) 864-8855.

KU mourns longtime physics professor Raymond Ammar

LAWRENCE — University of Kansas Chancellor Robert Hemenway; Joseph E. Steinmetz, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; and Stephen J. Sanders, chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, issued the following statements today regarding the death of Raymond Ammar, professor of physics, who died over the weekend. Ammar, 77, taught at KU for more than 40 years and was chairman of the Department of Physics and Astronomy from 1989 to 2003.

Hemenway:

“Colleagues across the university had great admiration for Ray Ammar, his important research and the passion for teaching he brought to his students at the University of Kansas. He will be missed sorely by the entire KU community and physicists all over the world.”

Steinmetz:

“Professor Ammar made many significant research, teaching and service contributions to the University of Kansas and his field of high-energy physics over the 40 years he was a member of this community. He will be missed by his colleagues inside and outside of the Department of Physics and Astronomy.”

Sanders:

“Professor Raymond Ammar was a tireless advocate for the university and the Department of Physics and Astronomy. He was responsible for bringing a high-energy physics program to the department. More recently, as department chair, he marshaled many of the personnel changes that have occurred during the past 20 years, including the re-staffing of an applied physics group that had largely disappeared through retirements. During his leadership, research funding in the department more than tripled. Since stepping down from the chair position, Professor Ammar had focused his efforts on teaching and had been notably successful in presenting introductory physics to a broad range of students. He was a great friend and colleague and will be sorely missed.”

Ammar received his undergraduate training from Harvard University and was awarded his doctorate from the University of Chicago in 1959. After developing a high-energy physics program at Northwestern University, with short stays at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory and Argonne National Laboratory, he was appointed professor of physics at KU. His research career involved the ARGUS collaboration at the Deutsches Elektronen Synchrotron and the CLEO collaboration at the Cornell Electron Storage Ring. He was a fellow of the American Physical Society.

Funeral services will be at 2 p.m. Friday, June 26, at Trinity Episcopal Church, 1027 Vermont St. There will be a family visitation following the service.

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