Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory

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In Memoriam

Honoring Los Alamos National Laboratory Fellows and their contributions to the institution.



Physicist James D. Louck passed away on November 21, 2018, just shy of his 90th birthday.

He was a staff member at Los Alamos National Laboratory, where he became a Lab Fellow in 1983. He retired from the Laboratory, but continued working there as a guest scientist in T- Division from 1963 – 2006. 

Jim held a great fascination in the field of combinatorics, writing a book titled Unitary Symmetry and Combinatories that has been described as a “masterpiece” by reviewers.  Conferences in this field have recently been held in his honor in Poland and China.  Gian-Carlo Rota called him a “gold mine for mathematicians.” 

Jim is well known by physicists as the editor with author Larry Biedenharn, of the classic book Angular Momentum in Quantum Mechanics, published in 1981.  Google Books describes this work as “developing the theory of angular momentum from the viewpoint of a fundamental symmetry in nature and shows how this concept relates to applied areas of research in modern quantum physics.”

Jim wrote that he:  “loved his family, his friends and colleagues, loved science and mathematics.”

(written with input from Peter Milonni, LANL T-4)

Full obituary can be found in the Santa Fe New Mexican:


In Memoriam Archive