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SOLOMON 5. BUCHSBAUM December 4, ~ 924-March 8, ~ 993 BY KENNETH G. MCKAY SOEOMON J. BUCHSBAUM IS DEAD. That fact is as shocking now as it was on March 8, ~ 993. It rattler! arounc! academia, government, en c! the AT&T Bell Laboratories where he was employoc! for thirty-five years. He was alert and insightful, with a broad range of knowledge. His inter- ests extenclec! from plasma en c! solicI-state physics en c! nuclear weaponry to clemonstratec! leaclership in determining en c! promoting public policy in science and technology. As se- nior vice-presiclent of technology systems at AT&T Bell Labo- ratories, he was responsible for product realization plan- ning en c! engineering, government systems, the architectural framework for AT&T products, systems en c! services, en c! R&D in support of manufacturing. He was a well-rounclec! man. So! (he was always caller! "Sol," en c! this usage will be followed throughout this memoir) was essentially a forward- Tooking incliviclual, he never Tookoc! back. So the facts about his extraordinary early life are largely gleaner! from his wife of thirty-seven years, Phyllis Isenman Buchsbaum, to whom I am extremely grateful. In 1941, two years after the Nazis invaclec! PolancI, Jacob Buchsbaum, Sol's father, was "removed" along with other 15
6 B I O G RA P H I C A L EMOIRS businessmen in the town of Stryj en c! never heart! from again. Two en c! a half years later, all the other Jewish resi- clents in the area inclucling thirteen-year-oIc! Sol, his mother, Berta, en c! one sister, Jucly-were roundly! up en c! jailecI. His mother toIc! them that if they hac! the chance they should run away. His sister refuses! to leave their mother, en c! So! never saw either of them again. But So! fleck bare- foot to a factory where his other sister, Dorothy, hac! been taken. There he obtainer! some money en c! supplies en c! took the train to Warsaw. He fount! refuge in a Catholic orphanage no questions were askocI. There he reciter! Mass every week en c! even became an altar boy. Without formal schooling, So! "react en c! survived." He learner! Latin, which prover! useful when he later stucliec! French en c! English. After the war, the Canaclian Jewish Congress helped him emigrate to Canada lust two weeks before his eighteenth birthday the age limit for accep- tance. Within a year So! taught himself English with a Pol- ish accent, obtainer! his high school equivalency, en c! fount! work in a hat factory. So! was always good with numbers and life in the hat factory was definitely limited, so, thinking that he might become an accountant, he applier! for en c! receiver! a one- year general studies scholarship to attenc! McGill University in Montreal. Later that year he won a full scholarship in mathematics and physics. McGill's curriculum for honors students was different. After one year of general subjects, the student received one course in physical chemistry, and all the other courses for three years were solely in math- ematics en c! physics. Clearly, this was no hindrance to any- one with Sol's breadth of interests, en c! he gracluatec! in 1952 with the Anne Molson GoIc! Mecial for Science, Math- ematics, and Physics. Professor Gar A. Woonton had estab- lishec! the Eaton Electronics Laboratory at McGill, so So!
SOLOMON J. BUCHSBAUM 17 continues! for a master's degree while working in the lab. At that time, the research in Woonton's group concentratec! on the theory en c! measurement of the electromagnetic fielcis that exist in an illuminates! aperture in a metal screen. So! clic! his master's thesis on the EM fielcis in an elliptical aper ture. With another scholarship, So! enterer! MIT aiming at a Ph.D. in physics. Unlike today, the MIT student was very much on his own. I enterer! MIT with a M.Sc. from McGill in 1939 en c! fount! it to be mysterious, not user friencITy. Tociay the student, upon entering, is given sheets of infor- mation, is assignee! a mentor, en c! is given assistance in se- lecting a thesis professor. It is more efficient, although we question whether it builcis self-conficlence. But clearly it clic! not affect Sol. Professor Will Allis, aiclec! by Professor Stanforc! Brown, was studying microwave plasmas in magnetic fielcis, So! eagerly plunged in. There followed a long-time fascina- tion with plasmas en c! the beginning of a substantial out- pouring of publications, some experimental, some theoreti- cal, which swellec! as he took on plasma research at AT&T Bell Laboratories. Meanwhile, cluring his first year at MIT, So! met Phyllis Isenman, a freshman at Simmons College. They were marries! in 1955 en c! both gracluatec! two years later. The following year So! was an instructor at MIT pur- suing his favorite research interest. Let us appreciate what So! had accomplished up to this point. He hac! no formal education until he arriver! at McGill University. However, within a relatively short time, he accu- mulatec! a B.Sc., a M.Sc., en c! a Ph.D., while later he hac! over fifty peer-reviewoc! technical papers to his name. In 1958 So! accepted a research position at Bell Labora- tories. He intended to stay but a few years and then return to academic research. However, every time the opportunity to leave arose, he fount! that he was involves! with more
8 B I O G RA P H I C A L EMOIRS anct more interesting things where he was. So he continues! studies in plasma research, branching out into solicI-state physics. Within three years he became heat! of the SolicI- State en c! Plasma Physics Research Department. Research Vice-Presiclent Arno Penzias saicI, "The work that was clone in Sol's lab in quantum electronics, which lee! to lasers en c! the whole era of lightwave communications, influencec! not only Bell Labs, but pretty much the whole worIcI." So! left Bell Labs in 1968 to become vice-presiclent of research at Sanclia National Laboratories in Albuquerque. Sanclia is responsible for the design of the nonnuclear com- ponents of our nuclear arsenal, en c! its research effort lies on the cutting ecige of technology. In 1971 So! returnee! to Bell Labs and, after a series of promotions, became respon- sible in 1979 for product realization planning en c! engi- neering, government systems en c! the architectural frame- work for AT&T products, and systems and services. Again to quote Penzias, "He became what I wouIc! call 'Executive Vice-President of Everything Else.' John Mayo (ax-President Mayo) heaclec! the part of Bell Laboratories that server! the telephone companies, everything else computers, informa- tion systems (which later became American Bell), the com- munication products folks who make the phone you buy at Sears these clays, government work that clealt with uncler-water souncI, the architecture area all nestler! un- cler Sol. More recently, he trier! his hanc! at new things, like high-definition television." If all this action were not enough, So! expanclec! his in- terests into the scientific en c! political life of the nation. He was an associate editor of Physics of Fluids (] 963-66), Journal of Applied Physics (1968-70), and the prestigious Review of Modern Physics (1968-76~. His participation in professional societies was impressive. For example, in 1973 he was electec! to membership in the National Academy of Engineering
SOLOMON J. BUCHSBAUM 19 en c! in 1975 to the National Academy of Sciences the top scientific en c! engineering bellies in the country. Also in 1975 he became a fellow of the American Academy of Arts en c! Sciences, the American Association for the Acivance- ment of Science, en c! the American Physical Society. In 1972 he became a senior fellow of the Institute of Electrical en c! Electronics Engineers, in 1968 he was chairman of the Ameri- can Physical Society's Division of Plasma Physics en c! a mem- ber of its council in 1973. As far as universities are concerned, So! was a member of the School of Engineering Advisory Boarc! of Stanforc! Uni- versity, which took the boarcl's recommendations very seri- ously. At MIT he was a member of the Lincoin Laboratory Advisory Board, the Corporation Development Committee, en c! the Physics Visiting Committee. He was also on the boars! of two non-profits: the Ran c! Corporation ~ ~ 982-) en c! the Charles Stark Draper Laboratories (member, 1983-, director, 1984-~. I was chairman of Draper Laboratories when So! joiner! the boars! with a minimum of arm twisting. He was a most effective member always asking pertinent en c! sometimes embarrassing questions en c! at the same time having relevant answers. For all of these activities, So! was given substantial public recognition. As mentioner! earlier, he receiver! the Anne Molson Goic! Mecial upon graduation from McGill Univer- sity. In 1987 he was given the IEEE's Freclerik Philips Award. In 1977 he receiver! the Mecial for Outstanding Public Ser- vice from the Secretary of Defense, en c! four years later the Award for Exceptional Public Service from the Secretary of Energy. In 1986 President Reagan presenter! him with the National Mecial of Science. Much of Sol's work never appeared in print. Five U.S. presidents en c! their administrations benefited! from Sol's personal scientific en c! technological course! cluring the
20 B I O G RA P H I C A L EMOIRS past three clecacles. In aciclition to his rigorous service on more than a clozen advisory councils concerned! with cle- fense, energy, en c! the state of American science, So! was frequently caller! on by congressional committees to com- ment on matters of technology. His expert testimony in- cluclec! such recent subjects as the role of American corpo- rations in supplying high-definition television systems, research into high-critical-temperature superconductivity materials, en c! the health of the semiconductor industry in the Uniter! States. His promotion of better unclerstancling of technology in the government was matcher! by his active coordination of communication between inclustrial, univer sity, en c! government policymakers, who knew him best for his twenty-two years of service on the Defense Science Board, where he was chairman from 1972 to 1976. An overview of Sol's national advisory activities follows. · Energy Research and Development Advisory Councit's Fusion Power Coordinating Committee. So! server! as a consultant on this committee from 1972 through 1978. The council was establisher! to provide acivice on the overall direction of the federal energy research and development effort, to suggest new energy research en c! clevelopment programs, inclucling technical approaches that may contribute to the solution of energy-related problems, and to examine specific recom- menciations by fecleral agencies regarding energy-relatec! research en c! clevelopment. · Naval Research Advisors Committee. So! server! on this committee from 1978 through 1981. The committee is the senior scientific advisory group to the Secretary of the Navy, Chief of Naval Operations, Commandant of the Marine Corps, Chief of Naval Research, en c! the Chief of Naval Develop- ment. It is the task of the committee to know the problems of the Navy en c! the Marine Corps, to evaluate the current
SOLOMON J. BUCHSBAUM 21 solutions, en c! to suggest appropriate means for improve ment. · White House Advisory Group on Technical Advances. So! was a member of this group from 1975 to 1976. · President's Science Advisory Committee. So! functional! on this committee from 1970 until it ceasec! to exist in 1973. The committee acivisec! the president on matters relating to science en c! technology, en c! it clevelopec! a national policy on space in light of the Russian Sputnik launchings. · Energy Research Advisory Board. So! chairec! this boars! from 1978 to 1981 en c! continues! as a member until his cleath. The boars! consists of twenty-five members who rep- resent a cross-section of industry, local en c! state govern- ments, en c! utility commissions, as well as resiclential, com- mercial, en c! inclustrial users. It advises the Secretary of Energy on energy policy en c! on scientific en c! technical matters of interest to the Energy Department. Specifically, the boars! provides acivice on overall research en c! clevelop- ment being concluctec! in the department en c! provides Tong- range guidance in these areas. · Defense Science Board. So! chairec! this boars! from 1972 through 1976 en c! was a senior consultant since 1978. The board consists of ~ 50 civilian members representing the inclustrial, academic, en c! scientific communities. It advises the Secretary of Defense and the director of defense acqui- sitions on overall scientific en c! technical research en c! en- gineering and provides long-range guidance in these areas. · White House Science Council. So! chairec! this council since its inception in 1982. Its thirteen members advise the clirec- tor of the Office of Science en c! Technology Policy on sci- ence en c! technology issues of national concern. The coun- cil studies issues assignee! by the director to keep him informed of changing perspectives in the science and tech- nology communities.
22 B I O G RA P H I C A L EMOIRS · President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. President Bush namer! So! to membership in this group in 1990. The other sicle of these extraordinary activities was that So! was often late for scheclulec! meetings en c! was clifficult to locate. However, a very efficient secretary easer! this situ- ation, he trier! to be and, usually was, accessible. Sol's other worIc! was his home, family, en c! synagogue. In aciclition to his wife, Phyllis, en c! sister, Dorothy, he hac! three chiTciren Rachel, David, en c! Aciam, en c! three grancI- chilciren, Hannah, Jacob, en c! Joshua. He was an avic! tennis player, he went west for a skiing vacation every spring, en c! he was competitive at the bridge table. This enthusiastic en c! competitive spirit permeated Sol's entire life except with his family. There he relaxer! en c! shower! a softer sicle of his personality, that of a loving husbanc! en c! father. While he was often asker! to relate his wartime experiences, he preferred not to cowers on the painful part but rather to enjoy the present en c! anticipate the future. Now we come to the unusual circumstances concerning his cleath, an event that was anticipates! yet unexpected. Several years before he cliecI, a routine examination by the Bell Laboratories doctor disclosed that So! had developed multiple myeloma, a cancer of the bone marrow. He uncler- went treatment while, in typical fashion, he performec! just as usual without clisclosing the situation to anyone but his immediate family. However, his condition worsened, until finally he hac! to make the ultimate decision concerning treatment: whether to undergo a bone marrow transplant. Sol, as usual, agrees! to proceed. After the arduous treat- ment, he hac! to remain for a month in isolation until his white corpuscle count regenerated. Meanwhile, he was equippec! with a telephone, a facsimile machine, en c! all the equipment that enablec! him to carry on "business as
SOLOMON J. BUCHSBAUM 23 usual." In fact, I attenclec! a meeting in the auditorium in Holmclel, New Jersey, at which So! was expecter! to partici- pate en c! so he clicI, via a microphone en c! loucispeaker system while in his Boston germ-free room. He sounclec! as cheerful en c! as smart as ever. Finally, he was releasecI. His platelet count was still far below normal, but it was increas- ing. He was overjoyoc! en c! continues! to work at home. How- ever, cluring the post-transplant period, he cliec! suciclenly of complications. It seemec! particularly ironic that, after he hac! survives! so much, the enc! came just as he was celebrating another victory. So! left behinc! eight patents, over fifty technical publica- tions, a large hole in governmental advisory committees, an unusually large range of friendships, en c! a loving fam- ily. He is sorely missecI. WISH TO EXPRESS my appreciation to John S. Mayo, Ian M. Ross, A. Penzias, and Dan van Atta of AT&T Bell Labs, whose words I have woven into this memoir.
24 B I O G RA P H I C A L S E L E C T E D EMOIRS B I B L I O G RAP H Y 1957 With S. C. Brown. Microwave measurements of high electron densi- ties. Phys. Rev. 106:196-99. 1960 Resonance in a plasma with two ion species. Phys. Fluids 3:418-21. Ion resonance in a multicomponent plasma. Phys. Rev. Lett. 5:495- 97. With L. Mower and S. C. Brown. Interaction between cold plasmas and guided electromagnetic waves. Phys. Fluids 3:806-20. 1961 With E. I. Gordon and S. C. Brown. Experimental study of a plasma column in a microwave cavity. 7. Nu cl. Energy, Pt. C, Plasma Phys. 2:164-68. With P. M. Platzman. Effect of collisions on the Landau damping of plasma oscillations. Phys. Fluids 4:1288-93. With J. K. Gait. Alfven waves in solid-state plasmas. Phys. Fluids 4:1514- 17. 1962 With W. P. Allis. Coupling between electromagnetic and electron waves in a plasma. Nu cl. Fusion 2:49-53. With others. Containment of plasmas by high frequency fields. 7. Appl. Phys. 33:2429-34. With L. Mower. Interaction between cold plasmas and guided elec- tromagnetic waves. II. Phys. Fluids 5. With G. E. Smith. Microwave induced a.c. voltage in bismuth. Phys. Rev. Lett. 9: 342-43. 1963 With G. E. Smith and L. C. Hebel. Hybrid resonance and "tilted- orbit" cyclotron resonance in bismuth. Phys. Rev. 129:154-68. With W. B. Cottingham. Electron ionization frequency in hydrogen. Phys. Rev. 130:1002-6. With G. A. Baraff. Anisotropic electron distribution and the dc and
SOLOMON J. BUCHSBAUM 25 microwave avalanche breakdown in hydrogen. Phys. Rev. 130:1007- 19. With P. M. Platzman. Transmission of electromagnetic waves through plasma slabs. Phys. Rev. 312:2-9. 1964 With P. M. Platzman and N. Tzoar. Light-off-light scattering in a plasma. Phys. Rev. Lett. 12:573-75. With C. S. Roberts. Motion of a charged particle in a constant mag- netic field and a transverse electromagnetic wave propagating along the field. Phys. Rev. 135:A381-89. 1965 With A. G. Chynoweth and W. L. Feldman. Microwave emission from indium antimonide. Appl. Phys. Lett. 6:67-69. With W. B. Cottingham. Diffusion in a microwave plasma in the presence of turbulent flow. 7. Appl. Phys. 36:2075-78. With G. A. Baraff. Surface wave instability in helicon wave propaga- tion. Appl. Phys. Lett. 6:219-21. With P. A. Wolff. Effect of open orbits on helicon and Alfven-wave propagation in solid-state plasmas. Phys. Rev. Lett. 15:406-9. 1966 With A. G. Chynoweth and W. L. Feldman. Low-field microwave emission from indium antimonide. 7. Appl. Phys. 37:2922-24. With A. Hasegawa. Longitudinal plasma oscillations near electron cyclotron harmonics. Phys. Rev. 143:303-9. With G. A. Baraff. Surface-wave instability in helicon-wave propaga- tion. Phys. Rev. 144:266-76. 1967 With P. M. Platzman. Nonlocal damping of helicon waves. Phys. Rev. 154:395-98.