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Nuclear physicist Mahir Saleh Hussein dies at age 74

by Richard Meckien - published May 17, 2019 09:45 AM - - last modified May 17, 2019 11:14 AM
Rights: Original version in Portuguese by Mauro Bellesa.

Mahir Saleh Hussein - 2019
Mahir Saleh Hussein during an international workshop at the IEA on April 2019

Nuclear physicist Mahir Saleh Hussein died yesterday, May 16, at the age of 74, as a victim of kidney failure due to cancer. Considered one of the country's leading physicists, he was a retired full professor from USP's Institute of Physics (IF) and a senior lecturer at the IEA, where he coordinated the Unconventional Nuclear Astrophysics Research Group.

Born in Baghdad, Iraq, Hussein graduated in physics from the University of Baghdad in 1965. He became a doctor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1971, same year he started his career at the IF-USP. In 1987, he became a full professor at the IF-USP, position from which he retired in 2007. In recent years he has also been an adjunct professor at the Michigan State University, and an advisor to the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) and the Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq).

Hussein's research projects were mainly focused on reaction theory, Bose-Einstein condensate, quantum chaos, and dynamical systems. He has published more than 320 papers and got over 4,200 citations. He has collaborated with more than 300 researchers during the last 40 years, and has organized numerous national and international scientific events.

The physicist has been principal investigator in several binational projects, besides having spent periods as a visiting professor at the University of Wisconsin, MIT and Harvard University. In 1987 he was granted the Guggenheim Fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. He was awarded the 2007/08 Martin-Gutzwiller-Fellowship by the Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems.

His last contribution to the IEA was to organize and coordinate the 6th International Workshop: Physics of Cold Atom Gases: Ordered and Chaotic Aspects, from April 15 to 18.

Photo: Leonor Calasans / IEA-USP