Harry Lee Morrison, a professor of physics at the University of California, Berkeley (UCB), for 22 years and an assistant dean of the College of Letters & Science, died following a heart attack on 14 January 2002 at his home in Berkeley.Born on 7 October 1932 in Arlington, Virginia, Morrison attended the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC, from which he received a BA in chemistry in 1955 and a PhD in chemistry 1960. His thesis, “Theoretical Investigation of Linear H3“ was prepared under the guidance of his adviser, Virginia Griffing, one of the few women in the US at that time to hold a senior faculty position in the sciences.In 1961, Morrison was called to active military service as a first lieutenant at the US Air Force Academy. As an assistant professor, he taught physics there until 1964, when he joined the staff of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) as a theoretical physicist, and worked on quantum fluids and statistical physics. He applied his knowledge to a direct derivation of the Landau theory of quantum hydrodynamics and interacting Bose systems. The UCB physics department added Morrison to its ranks as an associate professor in 1972; he became a full professor in 1977.Morrison chose a research area that was not particularly popular but was profound and fundamental: statistical mechanics and the many-body problem. He focused on the relationship between microscopic physics and macroscopic physics. In particular, he concentrated on the theory of superfluid helium, to which he devoted most of his research life. He was especially interested in the phenomenon of spontaneous symmetry breaking in superfluid helium. Morrison was fascinated by the deep connection between mathematics on the one hand, which seems to have nothing to do with the real world, and physics on the other hand, which does. He approached his research with a passionate curiosity that was contagious to his students and colleagues. He had deep physical insights into the meaning of mathematical structures and made explicit the many hidden connections between physics and mathematics.Perhaps his best-known contribution to physics was his 1972 demonstration of the absence of long-range order in quantum systems in two dimensions, such as in thin superfluid helium films, that resulted from the breaking of a continuous symmetry. He did this work in collaboration with John Garrison and Jack Wong, both of LLNL; it was one of the most successful applications of algebraic quantum field theory to the analysis of physical systems. Their analysis put the earlier work of Pierre Hohenberg, N. David Mermin, and Hermann-Friedrich Wagner for 2D phase transitions on a firm mathematical footing.During the late 1970s, Morrison applied the theory of current algebra, developed earlier by Roger Dashen and David Sharp for elementary particle physics, to the geometry of macroscopic quantum flows in superfluid helium. With his postdoc, James Lindesay, and student, Uwe Albertin, he showed that the excitations of the superfluid naturally divided into two types, a longitudinal type corresponding to quasiparticles associated with quantized sound waves and a transverse type corresponding to pseudoparticles associated with vortices, tiny quantum whirlpools in the superfluid. Morrison thus established a deep connection between microscopic and macroscopic physics. In 1970, Morrison helped to found the Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) program, which was created to boost minority undergraduate enrollment in science and engineering in the US. He also was one of the founding members (in 1973) of the National Society of Black Physicists and one of the first members to obtain the status of fellow in that organization. During the 1970s, Morrison served as a visiting professor at the University of Colorado, Howard University in Washington, DC, and MIT.In 1985, Morrison was appointed as assistant dean of the College of Letters & Science. He retired from the UCB faculty in 1994, but continued to serve as an assistant dean in the College of Letters & Science for 11 more years.Morrison was devoted to his family, the practice of theoretical physics, the development of scientific talent in the African American community, and the life of an intellectual. He strongly encouraged minorities and women to pursue math-based majors as undergraduates at UCB. He also contributed greatly to the physics department through his scientific achievements, leadership, and personal warmth.Harry Lee MorrisonU. OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEYPPT|High resolution© 2002 American Institute of Physics.

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