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Kevin Strecker 

Kevin E. Strecker

Kevin Strecker, who earned his Ph.D. from the Rice University Department of Physics and Astronomy in 2004, died suddenly and unexpectedly Saturday, November 3.

Kevin’s thesis research, performed in the group of Prof. Randy Hulet, was entitled “Tunable Interaction in Quantum Degenerate Lithium”.  Kevin pioneered the Feshbach resonance in lithium to create novel states of matter including matter wave solitons of attractively interacting Bose-Einstein condensates and strongly interacting Fermi gases.   Kevin’s thesis research was published in Nature and in multiple papers in the Physical Review Letters.  Kevin was the 2004 recipient of the H.E. Wilson Award given by the Department for Graduate Research in Physics.

Following Rice, Kevin joined Sandia National Laboratories in Livermore, CA, where he worked on collisions of cold molecules and on nuclear non-proliferation.  The move allowed Kevin and his wife Michelle to join family already living in California.  They purchased a house in Oakland requiring restoration, a project that brought Kevin and Michelle much joy.

Those who knew Kevin at Rice remember him as masterful experimentalist, with incredible energy and enthusiasm.  At 6’5”, Kevin was an imposing physical presence, but he was a wonderfully kind, gentle, and humorous man.  He will be greatly missed by all those fortunate to have known him.