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Heino Nitsche, 1949-2014

Heino Nitsche, a long-time senior scientist with the Nuclear Sciences Division and a professor with the University of California Berkeley Chemistry Department, passed away quietly and unexpectedly at home in his sleep on July 15, 2014. His death was reported by his wife Martha Boccalini. A native of Germany, Nitsche joined Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in 1980 after earning his Ph.D. in nuclear chemistry at the Free University of Berlin. The focus of his research has been on the synthesis and chemistry of superheavy elements and he is closely associated with the Berkeley Gas-filled Separator and the confirmations of superheavy elements 114 and 117. In 1993, Nitsche returned to Germany to direct a radiochemistry research institute in Dresden, but was back in Berkeley five years later to become the founding director of the Glenn T. Seaborg Center. At the time of his death he was serving as the leader of Nuclear Science Division’s Heavy Element Group.