Editorial: In Memory of Robert H. Siemann (October 7, 2008)
We deeply regret the passing of our friend and colleague, Robert H. Siemann, on September 16, 2008. He was the Editor of Physical Review Special Topics - Accelerators and Beams from its founding in 1998 through 2007, when he stepped down for health reasons—not without ensuring a smooth and efficient transition to his successors. During his nine years as journal editor he oversaw and guided PRST-AB’s astonishing growth in size and importance, providing the accelerator physics community with a unique journal. His vision and courage have made PRST-AB an innovator in scientific publishing: PRST-AB is one of the first open-access journals and, thanks to sponsors, it is provided free of charge to authors and readers. From early on Robert Siemann invited Europe to join the PRST-AB adventure, rendering the European Physical Society’s Accelerator Group and the American Physical Society’s Division of Physics of Beams jointly responsible for the vitality and health of the journal, and he introduced Associate Editors and later an Editor from Europe.
Robert H. Siemann earned a Sc.B. degree in physics from Brown University in 1964 and a Ph.D. in physics from Cornell University in 1969. He returned to Cornell in 1973 as a faculty member in the Physics Department after a postdoctoral appointment at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) and a staff position at Brookhaven National Laboratory. He rose through the faculty ranks at Cornell, and his professional interest shifted from experimental particle physics to accelerator physics, making major contributions to the theory and computer modeling of the beam-beam interaction and beam instabilities and to beam diagnostics. In 1991 he joined the SLAC faculty as Professor of Particle Physics and Astrophysics, as well as a Professor of Applied Physics, by courtesy. At SLAC he became the head of the Advanced Accelerator Research Department. His late research was in the areas of plasma and laser-driven acceleration. His pioneering work in accelerator physics and beam dynamics is widely cited and earned him great respect. In 1995 he was elected chair of the American Physical Society Division of Physics of Beams. He was Associate Editor of Particle Beam Physics for Reviews of Modern Physics from 2001 to 2004. He was a Fellow of both the APS and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Throughout his career he maintained the highest standards in research, publication, and mentoring. Under his caring guidance a large number of talented young accelerator physicists were recruited and trained at Cornell and SLAC. Robert Siemann’s passing is a tragic loss for the worldwide accelerator community.
All of us at Physical Review pass on our condolences to his family, in particular to his widow Hannah and his four children Francesca, Gabriella, Liese, and Evan. We will greatly miss the contributions he made to the journal and to our lives as a colleague and friend.