Fermilab user and UIUC professor emeritus James (Jim) Wiss died at his home July 12. From the 1970s through the 1990s, Wiss worked on a string of heavy quark experiments in Proton Area, E87, E400, E687 and FOCUS. He was a leader of the proposed BTeV experiment. Wiss received UIUC awards for his teaching. In 1982, he received a Sloan Research Fellowship for early-career researchers and was named an American Physical Society fellow in 2000.
Below are remembrances from his friends and colleagues.
One time, it seemed, the University of Illinois wouldn’t reimburse Jim for the chains that the car rental company made him purchase. He had to walk to the nearest Sears or K-Mart through a snowstorm to buy the chains before they would give him the car. Jim tried a few times to get reimbursement, even trying to give the chains to U of I, to no avail. He then decided just to mount them on the office wall as a souvenir.
Jim came out the worst for wear giving a lecture at Fermilab. He started perfectly attired, suit and tie, and all that. A few minutes in, the tie loosened. Then the jacket came off, then the tie was further down, then off completely. Finally, his white shirt was completely out of his pants hanging down, completely disheveled, all the while, talking away, a mile a minute.
Rest in peace.
—Peter H. Garbincius, Fermilab retiree