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In memoriam Arne Johnson

Publicerad 2023-10-30

Arne Johnson, professor emeritus in nuclear physics at the Department of Physics, KTH, passed away on October 23, 2023 at the age of 79, after a brief period of illness.

Arne Johnson, foto: privat

Arne Johnson was an outstanding scientist and a prominent profile in Nuclear Physics, internationally and in Sweden. He is most well-known for the discovery of the "backbending" effect[1] in deformed rotating atomic nuclei, an expression of the superfluid character of such systems and a concept that is covered in most undergraduate textbooks on nuclear physics.

Arne Johnson was a strong driving force behind several highly successful international experimental collaborations in accelerator-based nuclear science, starting with the Nordic NORDBALL multidetector array placed at the Risö Accelerator, Denmark, followed by the Nordic-UK-German ESSA30 collaboration at Daresbury laboratory, and leading up to the pan-European EUROBALL project.

Arne Johnson studied Engineering Physics at KTH 1963 -1967. He received his PhD degree at KTH in 1973 after graduate studies at the Nobel Institute for Physics. He continued his career as researcher at the Institute (later named Research Institute for Physics and the Manne Siegbahn Institute of Physics).

In 1986 Arne Johnson became an adjunct professor in Nuclear Physics at KTH and in 1997 full professor of Physics at KTH. Arne made a strong imprint during his long career at KTH, as a much appreciated teacher, and through numerous other contributions. During 1997-98 he was Vice Dean of the Engineering Physics (TFY) faculty, KTH for which he took over as Dean in 1999. During 1999-2004 Arne Johnson was Dean of the Faculty of Computer Science, Electrical Engineering and Engineering Physics (DEF), KTH. Arne Johnson was Vice Dean at the School of Engineering Sciences, KTH 2005-2008.

Arne Johnson is survived by his wife Kerstin, his son Magnus, his daughter Åsa, and their families. He will also be deeply missed by his many friends and colleagues, and especially remembered for his characteristic warmth, kindness, and human interest.

Bo Cederwall

[1] Nuclear moment of inertia at high rotational frequencies. A.Johnson, H.Ryde and S.A.Hjorth, Nucl.Phys. A179 (1972) 753