Sandi Miller | MIT Department of Physics Professor Emeritus Ulrich Becker, who made major contributions to particle physics, dies at 81 April 9, 2020 2
As a child during WWII, and raised in post-war Germany, Ulrich was strongly affected by the horrors and aftermath of the war. He found solace in the Christian faith with a high standard of integrity and charity. 3
Longtime MIT physicist and mentor created instruments that advanced high-energy physics, including the Nobel Prize-winning discovery of the J particle. Becker became emeritus in 2011 after 42 years with MIT, but he never really retired; he continued to mentor students in his fourth-floor Grad Lab until shortly before he died.
Known to many as Uncle Bravo, Becker used his engineering talents and endless curiosity to discover elementary particles in his pursuit of the secrets of the universe. Becker’s career in experimental high-energy physics included key contributions to the 1976 Nobel Prize in Physics for the discovery of the J particle. He was also a major contributor to the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) on the International Space Station, the advancement of international collaborations in high-energy physics, and other instruments and discoveries that impacted high-energy physics research.
“Ulrich Becker was a gifted physicist who made major contributions to particle physics,” says Samuel C.C. Ting, the Thomas Dudley Cabot Institute Professor of Physics at MIT. “Over more than half a century of collaboration, I found him to be an exceptional physicist not only in the invention of precision instruments but, most importantly, in that he had good taste in physics.”
He found solace in the Christian faith with a high standard of integrity and charity. 1
LNS 1992 Symposium: On the Matter of Particles - Ulrich J. Becker - L3 at LEP