Prof. Odette Benary - Obituary
Odette was born on the 6.3.1938 in Bucharest, Roumania. Her father was a medical doctor, and they lived in the middle of town, close to various cultural centres. She particularly enjoyed visiting the musical centre, where she developed her love for classical music. She completed her studies for her first degree in Physics in 1960.
A year later she married Vili. The marriage had to be kept secret, to enable them to emigrate to Israel. Odette arrived in Israel in 1962, a year after Vili had emigrated. Odette and Vili both continued their studies for the second degree in Physics, Vili at the Technion and Odette at the Weizmann Institute. Odette obtained her doctorate in 1967 at the Weizmann Institute, under the supervision of Gideon Alexander.
Odette joined the faculty at the School of Physics and Astronomy at Tel Aviv University, after a period as a post-doc at the University of California, Berkley. She was the first, and for many years the only female faculty member in the Department of Particle Physics. Vili also joined the School of Physics and Astronomy, in the field of Medical Physics, and was active in research, until his untimely death in 1993.
Odette's field of research was experimental particle physics, she worked with data emanating from accelerators at Berkeley, Boston, Cern and Brookhaven. At Cern and Brookhaven she was a member of the group lead by Bill Willis. Other members of the group included her friends and colleagues Yona Oren, Samuel Dagan and David Lissauer. Her scientific interests were mainly connected to "hardware" e.g. mapping the magnetic field for Atlas, and building the muon spectrometer for this detector.
Odette and Vili had two sons. A few years after Vili passed away, Odette married Iulio Stumer, a physicist whose research interests were in the same field as Odette, and who had been a childhood friend of Vili and Odette. Iulio and Odette carried out research in the same scientific centres, and divided their time between New York, Geneva and Tel Aviv. Amongst the topics that they worked on together, was the mapping of the calorimeter of the Atlas detector. Iulio passed away in 2008.
Odette had six grandchildren whom she helped raise, and who provided her with a great deal of joy.
During the last period of her life Odette spent most of her time in Ramat Aviv, amongst her family and friends. She continued to contribute to research of the Atlas group, and enjoying discussions with her colleagues Yona Oren, Asher Gotsman, Samuel Dagan and Evgeny Levin.
Odette passed away on the 18.4.2016, she will be remembered by all those who were fortunate enough to know her, for her personal charm and gentle manner. May her memory be blessed.
Prof. David Horn
Tel Aviv University