Obituary : Paolo CARRA


It is with great sadness that we inform you that Paolo CARRA passed away on the 18th of October 2005. He had a cardiac arrest while sleeping.

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Paolo Carra

Paolo Carra was a very bright theoretical physicist in condensed matter physics. He joined the ESRF in 1990, and since then he worked on problems requiring the deepest understanding of the interaction of condensed matter with the electromagnetic field, and in particular with X-rays. His work, carried out on his own behalf, with his team, and in collaboration with other renowned theoreticians including the late T. Thole, and with experimentalists, gave milestone results. This work is internationally recognized as being one among the most important theoretical achievements in X-ray physics during the last 10 to 20 years. The derivation of new optical sum rules, applicable to the X-ray region, have had, and continue to have, a major impact to the understanding of subtle magnetic, electronic and structural properties of the most advanced and complex materials. Its relevance goes well beyond the simple theoretical understanding of a subtle physical phenomenon - this is demonstrated in the way in which X-ray spectroscopy and scattering analytical techniques have served the material science community to understand and design new advanced materials since the discoveries of Paolo and his co-workers. This work was internationally recognized in year 2000 when Paolo Carra was awarded the Agilent Technologies Europhysics Prize for "the pioneering work in the development of the field of X-ray magnetic dichroism". The prize was shared with G. Van der Laan and G. Schutz.

Paolo Carra has been appointed as Head of the ESRF Theory Group in 2000.

He leaves his wife, Antonella, and two sons, Lorenzo and Enrico, 19 and 8 years old respectively.

His funeral was held in Felino (Parma, Italy)