Obituaries in the News
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RANCHO SANTA FE, Calif. (AP) _ Oreste Piccioni, renowned for pioneering 1950s research in the elementary components of matter that helped bring a Nobel prize to two colleagues, died April 13 of complications of diabetes and lung cancer. He was 86.
At Brookhaven National Laboratory, Piccioni developed techniques that enhanced the research capabilities of particle accelerator work being done at University of California, Berkeley. He worked part-time in the landmark experiments, which used a Bevatron accelerator to detect positive and negative atomic components moving at speeds only a few billionth of seconds apart.
But the 1959 Nobel Prize for that work went to principal investigators Emilio Segre and Owen Chamberlain. A Nobel acceptance speech credited Piccioni’s contribution of use of magnetic lenses to concentrate the stream of particles under study.
In 1972, Piccioni filed a lawsuit seeking damages of $125,000 for wrongfully being left out of the Nobel honor for the discovery of antiprotons but a judge ruled two years later that the suit was filed too late.
Piccioni was awarded the prestigious Matteucci Medal from the Accademia Nazionale Delle Scienze of Italy in 1999 for his contributions to elementary particle physics. Previous recipients of the award included Albert Einstein, Pierre and Marie Curie and Niels Bohr.
Piccioni studied in his native Italy in the 1930s with Enrico Fermi, atomic theory patriarch and Nobel winner. During World War II Piccioni continued research underground in the basement of a Rome high school.
He came to the United States in 1946, to continue his research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and later at the Brookhaven National Laboratory.
Piccioni was a retired physics professor at University of California, San Diego.
Joseph P. Zabilski
BOSTON (AP) _ Joseph P. Zabilski, whose career as coach and athletic director at Northeastern University spanned 35 years, died Saturday after a brief illness. He was 84.
Zabilski coached football from 1948-71, compiling a school best 101-76-6 record. For the first 10 years of his tenure he also coached the men’s basketball team.
He was appointed assistant athletic director in 1958 and was promoted to athletic director in 1976.
During the eight years he was athletic director, the basketball teams made the move to Division I, Matthews Arena was renovated, the men’s basketball team earned its first two NCAA tournament berths and the hockey team won its first Beanpot tournament title.
The native of Providence, R.I., graduated from Boston College in 1941. He played guard for the Eagles’ 1939 team that went 9-1, and the 1940 team that went 10-0 and upset Tennessee in the Cotton Bowl.
Zabilski was a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy during World War II.