Arthur A. Broyles, Professor Emeritus at the University Of Florida Department Of Physics, passed quietly away on Friday, January 23, 2009

Above: Arthur A. Broyles, Professor Emeritus at the University Of Florida Department Of Physics, passed quietly away on Friday, January 23, 2009. He was 85 years old.

Arthur Broyles Arthur and Jenna Broyles Arthur Broyles (center) with Edward
Teller (the H-bomb father) on the left Arthur Broyles with the author, Sergei Shabanov Arthur Boyles
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In Memory: Arthur Broyles

Arthur Broyles, UF Professor Emeritus of Physics, was born May 16, 1923, in Atlanta, Georgia, to Richard J. and Mary Jones Broyles. His family moved to Gainesville when he was in the 5th
grade. He was a distinguished graduate of the P.K. Yonge School.

His father was a minister, which, in his own words, contributed to Arthur's desire to become a physicist. He received his BS in Physics from the University of Florida in 1942 and was directly commissioned into the US Navy. He was trained at the MIT Radar School and became a radar officer at the USS Baxter, a large troop carrier in the Pacific. His warship participated in three invasions. During one of the invasions, radar skills of the officer Broyles saved his ship from a collision with another warship in the fog.

Arthur met Jenna Schneider (Broyles) in Cambridge, Massachusetts, during his radar training at MIT and married her on December 25, 1943, 11 months after their first dance. Last Christmas they celebrated their 65th anniversary. Arthur was younger than 21 years old and had to get consent from his parents to get married. A similar rule existed for girls too, but the age was 18. The young couple moved to San Francisco, California, where Arthur served as a navy radar officer.

He could have had a great navy career, but there was a small problem. He would often get seasick. So, after the war ended, Arthur resigned from the navy and went to the University of Wisconsin where he received his MS in Physics after one year of study. He continued his education at the Physics Department at Yale University and received his PhD in Theoretical Physics in 1949. Shortly after, Dr. Broyles worked with the world renowned physicist, Edward Teller, on research projects involving the hydrogen bomb at Los Alamos, New Mexico. Later in his career, he performed research at the Rand Corporation in Santa Monica, California. The Rand Corporation was formed to offer research and analysis to the United States armed forces. Arthur's research projects involved studies of nuclear weapons and effects of nuclear fall off. The latter knowledge contributed greatly to Arthur's decision to become a Professor of Physics at the University of Florida in the early 1950's. Gainesville was supposed to be one of the safest places in the United States in case of any nuclear conflict at the time.

He became a vice chairman of the Florida Civil Defense Council and, in his spare time, built a nuclear shelter in his Gainesville home in which his son, David, played drums to avoid complaints from neighbors. Professor Broyles had a vision for the UF Department of Physics to create a strong High Energy Physics group. In the 1970’s he put his energy and willpower into realizing his vision. Now the High Energy group of the Department is widely recognized and participates in various national and international projects.

During his tenure at UF, Arthur continued his collaboration with Edward Teller who was at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. He spent many summers there as a research fellow as well as a sabbatical year. He authored about 70 research articles. After his retirement in 1989, Arthur remained active in research and the Department life as Professor Emeritus. His recent research work was devoted to foundations of quantum mechanics and quantum field theory. He was writing a book on the subject which, unfortunately, he did not finish.

Arthur and Jenna were blessed with four children, three daughters, Rhea, Bonnie, and Frances, and a son David. Arthur is survived by his five grandchildren, one great
grandson and numerous nieces and nephews. Arthur Broyles will be remembered by his colleagues as a man of principles, a devoted researcher, and a kind and caring
friend, and by his family as a loving husband, father, grandfather, and great grandfather. He made a difference in the lives of many people.



Sergei Shabanov


Courtesy Physics Department

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