University mourns death of noted physicist James Brooks

James Brooks

James Brooks, chair of the Florida State University Physics Department and director of the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory’s Condensed Matter Science Experimental Program, passed away last week.

“This is a great tragedy for us all personally and for the MagLab as an institution,” said MagLab Director Gregory Boebinger, who first met Brooks in 1982.

Brooks, a much-beloved teacher, mentor and friend, worked in experimental low temperature and high magnetic field physics for decades. A fellow of the American Physical Society, he pioneered the use of dilution refrigerators in high-field resistive magnets and held the record for doing an experiment in the largest steady state magnetic field (47.8 tesla).

“His affiliation with the MagLab and role as a physicist were key components to collaboration and interaction between FSU’s main and southwest campuses,” said Sam Huckaba, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “Jim was a bright, personable, well-rounded scholar with an infectious sense of humor. Our hearts are with the Department of Physics as it moves forward to recover from this loss.”

Memorial arrangements are still pending. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in James Brooks’ name to: WFSU and NPR, 1600 Red Barber Plaza, Tallahassee, FL 32310, or your favorite charity.