|Savitribai Phule Pune University||All Models Are False, Some Are Useful|
I was saddened to learn of the recent death of Professor P.V. Panat. He was obviously a valued and productive member of the physics community in Pune. My own connection with Dr. Panat goes back several decades when he was a graduate student in theoretical physics at UC Berkeley. He worked with me on a problem involving Bose-Einstein condensation of charged particles. This was about 15 years before Bose-Einstein condensation was observed experimentally; it is now a huge experimental research endeavor in low-temperature physics. As a student, he was very lively and energetic and constantly coming up with new ideas in the work we were doing. He made great use of the opportunities in Berkeley to explore several topics in condensed matter physics, many of which he pursued productively in his research career. I had only occasional contacts with him after he finished at UC Berkeley, but I knew that he had become a first-class teacher of physics at the undergraduate and graduate level and the author of excellent text-books. I understood that although he was now emeritus from Pune he remained intellectually active and inspiring up to the day of his untimely death. He will be missed.
Professor DeWitt's permanent position was and is at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
In the late 1960s, he taught at the Physics Department of UC Berkeley, and at that time he met Professor Panat.
Professor DeWitt formally retired in 1995, but still continues to do research at LLNL.
February 27, 2009