NATHAN MARCUVITZ

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MARCUVITZ--Nathan, 96, died peacefully at home in Naples, Florida, on February 14, 2010. He was an internationally recognized electro-physicist. During WWII he did ground-breaking work at MIT RadLab when a national priority was the rapid development of microwave radar. During that time, he authored the Waveguide Handbook which is still considered a classic work characterizing microwave behavior and is well known to anyone working today in the fields of microwaves or optics. He was a key member of the faculty of Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn, later renamed Polytechnic Institute of NY. His primary love was his research in electrodynamics, plasma physics and the supervision of the many graduate students who did their doctoral work with him. From 1963-1964, on leave from Polytechnic, he served as Assistant Director of Defense Research and Engineering for the Department of Defense, under Robert McNamara. At Poly he served in several administrative capacities, as Director of the Microwave Research Institute, Chairman of the Department of Electrophysics and as acting Dean of the Graduate School, but was always drawn back to his research and graduate teaching activities. In 1965 he became an Institute Professor, the first appointment of this kind at Polytechnic. In 1966 he joined the faculty of the School of Engineering and Science at New York University as a Professor of Applied Physics. He returned in 1973 to the newly-merged Polytechnic Institute of New York with the same position and became an emeritus professor in 1979. He was the author of numerous technical papers, book chapters and reports in electromagnetic and plasma wave dynamics. In addition to authoring the Waveguide Handbook he coauthored, with Leo Felson, Radiation and Scattering of Waves, published in 1973. He was a member of the National Academy of Engineering and was the recipient of the Microwave Career Award of the IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques Society in 1985 and received the IEEE Heinrich Hertz Award in 1989 for fundamental theoretical and experimental contributions to the engineering formulation of electromagnetic field theory. He received an honorary degree from the Politecnico Di Torino in 1993 and an honorary degree from Polytechnic University in 2000. He is survived by his beloved wife of 63 years, Muriel (Spanier), his adoring children Andrew (Eileen), and Karen Levy (Paul) and the true joys of his life his grandchildren, Rebecca (Darren), Charlotte, Alexis and Adam and great-grandchildren, Hannah and Olivia. Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, February 17, at 10am at Plaza Jewish Community Chapel, 630 Amsterdam Avenue.

Published in The New York Times on Feb. 17, 2010