Albert Overhauser, 86
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Prof. Albert Overhauser passed away peacefully in West Lafayette, Indiana December 10, 2011. He was born August 17, 1925 in San Diego, California to his parents Clarence Overhauser and Gertrude Pehrson. Thanks to an inspirational high school teacher he chose to major in physics and mathematics at University of California, Berkeley. His studies were interrupted for several years while he served as a radar specialist in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He received his BA, Magna Cum Laude in 1948 and continued at Berkeley to receive his Ph.D. in Physics in 1951. It was at Berkeley where he met and married his loving wife Margaret in 1951. After beginning his career at the University of Illinois in 1951, followed by Cornell University in 1953 and Ford Motor Company in 1958, he joined the faculty at Purdue University in 1973. In 1974 he was named the Stuart Distinguished Professor of Physics, a position he held for 30 years.
Prof. Overhauser is best known for his fundamental work that revolutionized Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) that has had far reaching applications in chemistry, biology and medicine. His fundamental contributions to understanding the physics of solids and theoretical physics resulted in him being awarded the National Medal of Science in 1994 from President Clinton. This is the highest honor bestowed by the United States Government on scientists. He has also been honored internationally with membership in the National Academy of Science, fellowship in the American Academy of Arts and Science, the Oliver E. Buckley Solid State Physics Prize and the Russell Varian Prize. He has also been awarded Honorary Doctors from the University of Chicago, Simon Fraser University and Purdue University. He was an active member of The Church of the Blessed Sacrament.
Prof. Overhauser is survived by his wife, Margaret, his daughters Alova, Catherine (and husband Eamon Ansbro), Joan (and husband Marko Radic) and Susan (and husband Patrick Golden), his sons Paul, John (and wife Jolene), David (and wife Hong Li) and Steven, and his grandchildren, Elizabeth Overhauser, Daniel Overhauser, Arianna Golden, Allison Overhauser, William Overhauser, Tatiana Golden, Melani Radic, Henry Overhauser, Ingrid Radic, Isabella Overhauser and Enrique Golden, as well as more treasured friends and colleagues than you can shake a stick at. Mass will be at The Chuch of the Blessed Sacrament, Wednesday December 14th, 2011, at 10:30 a.m. with a calling one hour prior to the mass. Interment following the service in St. Boniface Cemetery.
Published in the Journal & Courier on Dec. 12, 2011