Malcolm Nicol (1939-2009)

Malcolm Nicol passed away on May 7, 2009. This is a very sad and big loss to the High Pressure community. To all of us, Malcolm was known for his warm and kind character and for his deep scientific insight. He was a great supporter of AIRAPT, serving 4 terms as treasurer from 1999 till the last meeting in Catania in 2007. Malcolm Nicol got his Ph.D. in Chemistry in 1963 at the University of California, Berkeley and was professor at the University of California, Los Angeles until 1999 and since then at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He was Director of the High Pressure Science and Engineering Center (HiPSEC) bringing together scientists from many fields of research, in particular from shock laboratories at Livermore and Los Alamos and the Sandia National Laboratory.

Malcolm Nicol was the first to develop Raman spectroscopy in the diamond cell in the late 60s and early 70s. Starting 30 years ago, he made numerous significant contributions to the expansion of the oxygen phase diagram and pioneered the study of reaction kinetics of organic materials in shock experiments. Personally, I worked with him at UCLA on spectroscopic temperature measurements in the diamond cell in the mid 80s and I remember great times during our first synchrotron measurements at the HASILAB in Hamburg. This collaboration with him shaped my career significantly.

We will miss a great leader in High Pressure Chemistry, his stimulating activity at meetings and a very good friend.

(Contributed by Reinhard Boehler)