Malcolm Herbert Mac Gregor

Malcolm Herbert Mac Gregor

Malcolm Herbert Mac Gregor, a former Lab physicist, died April 19. He was 92.

Mac Gregor was born on April 24, 1926, in Detroit, Michigan, as the oldest of three sons born to Herbert Mac Gregor and Mary Horvath. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, and then enrolled at the University of Michigan in 1946, where he graduated in 1953 with a bachelor of arts in mathematics, and an master of arts and Ph.D. in physics. During those years he met his wife, Eleanor, and married her in 1943.

In 1953 the family moved to Walnut Creek before settling in Livermore, where he joined Lawrence Livermore Laboratory and became the first physicist to run experiments on the Laboratory's variable energy cyclotron. From 1960-61 he held a North Atlantic Treaty Organization fellowship at the Neils Bohr Institute in Copenhagen, while at other times teaching several physics courses and becoming a thesis adviser at University of California, Berkeley.

In 1966 he was accepted as a fellow of the American Physical Society. Between the years 1970–72, he delivered invited colloquia on particle physics at more than 20 universities in the United States and Canada. His publications include more than 100 referred papers in experimental and theoretical physics, and sole authorship of numerous books, including “The Nature of the Elementary Particle” (Springer 1978), “The Enigmatic Electron” (Kluwer 1992 and Springer 2013, followed by a self-published second edition in 2017), and “The Power of Alpha” (World Scientific 2007, which was featured by the Scientific American Book Club). He retired from the Laboratory in 1995, and within a few years moved with Eleanor to Santa Cruz, where he continued working diligently on his final book, “The Alpha Sequence,” which is being reviewed for publication.

Mac Gregor is survived by his wife Eleanor, children Robert, John and Elise, younger brother Donald, youngest brother Bruce, grandchildren Marisol, Katrina, John Jr., Jeremy, Ayla and Ariel, and two great grandchildren.