Dr. Selove, Physics

Dr. Walter Selove, professor emeritus of physics, died August 24, 2010 at the age of 88. Born in Chicago, Dr. Selove received his bachelor’s, master’s and PhD all from the University of Chicago in the 1940s.

He began teaching at Penn in 1957. Prior to that, he worked at the MIT Radiation Laboratory and the National Laboratories at Argonne and Livermore, and taught for six years at Harvard University.

Dr. Selove was a National Research Council Fellow, and NSF Senior Postdoctoral Fellow and a Guggenheim Fellow. He is credited with building the first “fast-chopper” neutron spectrometer, which measures neutron cross-sections in the “resonance” region for separated isotopes. He also detected, along with others, the third meson resonance, which he named F-zero in honor of his wife, Dr. Fay Ajzenberg-Selove, professor emerita of physics. Dr. Selove, along with his colleages, started the high energy physics grant at Penn around 1957. He is credited, along with Howard Brody, with discovering the first evidence of Regge-pole behavior of nucleons. He developed the first two-dimensional particle calorimeter and observed the first hadron jets from quark-quark scattering. Dr. Selove has patents on aspects of radar and has published hundreds of articles. He was the vice-chairman of the Federation of American Scientists and a member of the first two Pugwash Meetings. He was also a consultant to the Joint Committee on Atomic Energy of the Congress for five years.

Dr. Selove was accorded emeritus status in 1992. He is survived by his wife, Fay.