AIP History Center Newsletter
Volume XXXVII , No. 1, Spring 2005


We Regret the Passing of Some Good Friends…

Malcolm Brachman (1926-2005), a Friend of the Center for History of Physics since 1987 and member of the Development Committee, was a Texas oil and insurance executive and onetime nuclear physicist. He died Tuesday, January 11, 2005 at his daughter's home in Chapel Hill, N.C. following complications of pancreatic cancer. With 18,000 master points, Malcolm easily qualified as a bridge Life Master _ a coveted designation that requires 300 master points earned by placing at tournaments. Malcolm was the first to consider hiring and underwriting competitive bridge teams.

D. Allan Bromley (1926-2005), a Friend of the Center since 1987 and member of the Development Committee, died of a heart attack Feb. 10, 2005 on Yale's campus in New Haven, Conn., shortly after teaching a class. Allan was a nuclear physicist, Yale University professor and an architect of U.S. science policy as science and technology advisor for former President George H. W. Bush from 1989 to 1993. Allan was the first Science Advisor to have this Cabinet-level rank. He received the National Medal of Science, the country's highest scientific award, in 1988, and also served as president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. His many books include A Century of Physics and The President's Scientists: Reminisces of a White House Science Advisor.

Melba Phillips (1907-2004), a Friend of the Center for many years, died November 8, 2004 after a period of failing health. Melba's long career in physics and education include quite a few notable achievements. In 1933 she became J. Robert Oppenheimer's first graduate student to receive a degree in theoretical physics. Together with Oppenheimer in 1935, Phillips developed the Oppenheimer-Phillips Process, describing the behavior of accelerated deuterons in reactions with other nuclei. Melba's strong stand on scientific and academic freedom and sense of justice and fairness placed her firmly in the camp that opposed the career-ending tactics of MacCarthy in the early 1950s. Melba co-authored textbooks in physics and wrote an extensive history of AAPT. In her retirement she put in many hours editing two popular volumes of reprints of historical articles from Physics Today. Please visit our tribute to Melba, who was a member of our Legacy Circle, at

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