Frederic John Eppling, a physicist at MIT’s Laboratory for Nuclear Science, died on July 16 of congestive heart failure at Emerson Hospital in Concord, Massachusetts. He was 95.
Eppling was born in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, on March 16, 1920. He was awarded BS (Phi Beta Kappa, Magna Cum Laude), MS, and PhD degrees in physics from the University of Wisconsin. He distinguished himself academically by designing and building a mass spectrometer.
During World War II, Eppling was assigned to Harvard University’s secret Radio Research Laboratory and helped to devise countermeasures against enemy radar. He also served with the U.S. Navy aboard the flagship USS Estes as lead radar officer during the battles of Iwo Jima and Okinawa. After 30 years, he retired as a captain from active Naval Reserve duty.
Eppling made significant contributions to particle, high-energy, and cosmic ray physics at MIT’s Laboratory for Nuclear Science. He worked there for more than 60 years, first as associate director of the laboratory, and later as a staff physicist in the Electromagnetic Interactions Group, where he was head of the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer Administration and Communications Group. Read more about Eppling’s legacy at the MIT News Office