Geoffrey B. "Geoff" Mills (1955 - 2017)

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It is with heavy hearts that the family of Geoffrey B. Mills announces his passing on July 3, 2017 after a truly courageous 18 month battle with pancreatic cancer. Geoff is preceded in death by his father, Frederick Eugene III. He is survived by Ellen, his wife of 39 years, his sons Jonathan and Alex of Albuquerque, his mother Joyanne of Oro Valley, Arizona, and his sister Debbie and his brother Dan, both of Illinois. Geoff was born in Ithaca, New York on July 31, 1955. Soon after the family moved to Madison, Wisconsin where his father had taken a professorship in the Physics Department at the University of Wisconsin. Geoff always called Madison the town where he grew up.
Geoff earned his bachelor's degree with a double major in Physics and Math from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Geoff completed his Ph.D. in 1985 at the California Institute of Technology mentored by Dr. Barry Barish. Immediately after completing his degree at Caltech, Geoff began his postdoctoral work at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland, where he worked on the L3 project at LEP as a member of the University of Michigan research team. This is the same facility where the LHC detector is located.
Geoff then returned to the United States to work on the Superconducting Super Collider as a staff member of Los Alamos National Laboratory with his family that now included his two sons, Alex and Jonathan. After the disappointment of the SSC cancellation, Geoff started working on LSND. Fortuitously, this work would become his most influential work in the field of Particle Physics. LSND was one of the follow-up projects to confirm the existence of neutrino oscillations, a phenomenon beyond the Standard Model of Physics. The discovery of neutrino oscillations won the 2015 Nobel prize in Physics. Geoff continued work on the elusive neutrino with the Mini-BooNE project. At this point in his career, Geoff had become a leading authority in the field of experimental neutrino detection. He worked from LANL on several related projects, including DUNE and Shine (NA61). Geoff was the American Spokesperson for the NA61 Collaboration at the time he took leave from his position at LANL.
His love of family, friends, sport, and music was truly inspirational and he will be missed intensely by those who knew him.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Geoff's memory to the Pancreatic Cancer Network,, or a .
Published in Los Alamos Monitor on July 12, 2017
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