In memoriam: Physicist Manuel Martin Bretscher
Former Argonne physicist Manuel Martin Bretscher passed away on Sept. 3, 2017, at the age of 89. He worked at Argonne from 1967 until his retirement in 2004.
Bretscher earned his A.B. in physics from Washington University in 1950 and his Ph.D. in nuclear physics in 1954. From 1954-1956, he was an assistant professor of physics at Auburn University, Alabama and from 1956-1966, Bretscher served as professor of physics and co-chair of the physics department at Valparaiso University, Indiana. There he constructed the first subcritical nuclear reactor at a regional university, which he used to train a new generation of students in reactor physics.
At Argonne, Bretscher performed research for the liquid metal fast breeder (LMFBR) and later joined the Reduced Enrichment for Research and Test Reactor (RERTR) program, where he helped convert research reactors around the world to use low-grade nuclear fuel rather than weapons-grade uranium. Throughout his career, he authored or co-authored over 100 scientific papers.
Bretscher is survived by his wife Miriam, their five children and spouses, and seven grandchildren.
Funeral service will be held at Grace Lutheran Church, 7300 Division Street, River Forest, Illinois on Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017, at 1 p.m. Donations in lieu of flowers may be sent to Grace Lutheran Church, 7300 Division Street, River Forest, Illinois, 60305.