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Dr. Martin Schaden, theoretical physics professor, dies at 60


Dr. Martin Schaden, a resident of Rockville Centre, noted scholar of theoretical physics and quantum field theory, and professor at Rutgers University-Newark, died suddenly while on vacation in Italy on July 14. He was 60.

Born in Vienna on March 17, 1956, Schaden enjoyed a peripatetic childhood and adolescence in Turkey, Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Philippines and New Orleans.

Schaden earned his doctorate at the University of Vienna in nuclear physics in 1982. Afterwards, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Regensburg and completed his habilitation at the Technical University of Munich. His research appeared in 63 peer-reviewed publications, eight of which have been cited more than 50 times. His fields of research included nuclear and medium energy physics; quantum chromodynamics and gauge theories; Casimir Effect and atomic physics. Profound insight illuminated his conversation.

In 1995, he married Carmela Romanello and began a long love of Italy, returning almost every year.

In addition to teaching at Rutgers-Newark, Schaden also taught at New York University and Union College. He was affiliated with the Graduate Faculty in Physics at the New Jersey Institute of Technology and used to be the Director of the Graduate Program in Applied Physics at Rutgers-Newark.

An internationally-known scholar respected for and beloved for his outgoing, enthusiastic personality, Schaden presented his work at Harvard University’s Institute for Theoretical Atomic and Molecular Physics, Texas A&M, Tufts University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) and many other national and international venues. He was a collaborator or principal investigator of three National Science Foundation awards and a grant from the Deutsche Forschungs-Gemeinschaft.

Generous as a scholar and mentor, Schaden advised the doctoral work of several students in Germany and at Rutgers. A physicist for whom science was a form of humanism, he insisted in his teaching that students not just understand and follow scientific reasoning, but enjoy it as well. Conveying the aesthetics of natural science and its theories —enabling students to boil scientific phenomenon down to their basic, elemental forms —was his teaching philosophy. “Science is a manifestation of the inquisitive nature of humanity, and thus an integral part of our condition,” he once wrote.

In addition to his wife Carmella, Schaden is survived by his children, Marco and Arianna, his mother Margarethe Schaden, a brother, Peter Schaden, and devoted nieces and nephews.