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Ladislav Sandor (1941–2019)

Portrait of Ladislav Sandor
(Image: CERN)

Ladislav Sandor, one of the founders of the ALICE collaboration and leader of the ALICE-Košice team in Slovakia, passed away on 23 May, two days after his 78th birthday.

Ladislav was born in the heart of a multicultural region called Spiš in north-eastern Slovakia, with plenty of historical monuments and areas of natural beauty. His interest in mathematics and physics started during his secondary-school years, at a time when nuclear physics had become a very attractive branch of science. He completed his graduate studies at Košice University in 1967 and worked at JINR, Dubna on the Hyperon experiment from 1969 to 1976. In 1977, he became the Leader of the Nuclear Physics Department at the Institute of Experimental Physics of the Slovak Academy of Sciences in Košice. He successfully led the Košice group into the field of ultra-relativistic nuclear collisions, first at the SPS (in the Helios, WA94, WA97 and NA57 experiments) and then in ALICE. As the leader of the Košice team, he contributed to the development and building of the electronics for the silicon pixel detector (SPD) of the ALICE inner tracking system (ITS), as well as to the software developments for the central trigger processor. Ladislav was a very gifted experimental physicist, who contributed significantly to several key measurements in nuclear collisions, and always maintained a passion for diving first-hand into physics analysis.

In 2002, Ladislav received an award from the Slovak Academy of Sciences for his role in the discovery of the hyperon enhancements, and in 2010 he was awarded a Štúr Medal from the President of the Slovak Republic for his scientific achievements. He had a pivotal role in the negotiation of the Slovak Republic’s CERN membership and so naturally became the first Slovak delegate to the CERN Council.

Ladislav was a passionate photographer and enjoyed gardening, reading, playing the piano and listening to music. He was fascinated by the natural beauty, history and art of eastern Slovakia. Our warmest sympathy goes to his wife Anna, his daughter Daniela and his son Peter, together with their families. He will be immensely missed by all of us.

His colleagues, collaborators and friends