Norman Rostoker, UC Irvine professor and co-founder of Tri Alpha Energy (and an advocate of aneutronic fusion), passed away on Christmas Day, 2014, aged 89. See the UC Irvine website for his obitutary.
Rostoker’s research started with pure physics, including his important work in solid-state physics theory known as the KKR (Korringa-Kohn-Rostoker) method, which is still used widely. However, his forte was applying theory to physics and engineering technology at the forefront of fusion reactor development. Rostoker was among the first generation of fusion pioneers.
As soon as such research was declassified in the late 1950s, he and other elite scientists opened laboratories and centers where fusion research began to prosper. In the field’s early phase, Rostoker published seminal papers that underpin the theoretical foundations of plasma physics by applying the same masterful mathematical skills displayed in the formation of the KKR method.
I offer my sincere condolences to Professor Rostoker’s family, colleagues, and co-workers at Tri Alpha Energy. The quest for fusion power has been long, and many of the pioneers are now gone, but their work remains for those who are still here to build upon.