Thomas Ferbel, a UMD visiting professor since 2013, died at his home on Saturday, March 12. He was 84.
Ferbel was born in 1937 in Radom, Poland. During the tumult of World War II, he and his family endured exile in a Russian gulag and later, a camp for displaced persons in Stuttgart. Eventually, Ferbel arrived in New York and received a B.A. in Chemistry from Queens College, CUNY, and his and Ph.D. in Physics from Yale University (where his favorite professor was Bob Gluckstern, later the chancellor of this campus and a professor of physics).
After a postdoctoral appointment at Yale, Ferbel accepted a faculty position at the University of Rochester in 1965. While there, he received an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship, a John S. Guggenheim Fellowship and an Alexander von Humboldt Prize.
He was elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society in 1984, and served as the U.S. program manager for the Large Hadron Collider from 2004-08.
In 2020, Ferbel described both his early years and his life as a physicist as part of the American Institute of Physics Oral History project. The transcript is available here: https://www.aip.org/history-programs/niels-bohr-library/oral-histories/46304