JLab, Physics Community Mourns Death of Jean Mougey, First Hall A Leader

JLab, Physics Community Mourns Death of Jean Mougey, First Hall A Leader

Physicist Jean Mougey JLab, Physics Community Mourns Death of Jean Mougey, First Hall A Leader
(Expanded obituary: Posted Nov. 12, 2015)

Jean Yves Mougey, an eminent nuclear physicist who was the initial leader of Hall A at Jefferson Lab, and a director of the Nuclear Physics Division at CEA Saclay, passed away from a heart attack on Nov. 5, 2015, in Grenoble. 

Jean was born in the French town of Angers, by the Loire River in western France.  After graduating from the prestigious Ecole Polytechnique in Paris, he spent two years as an officer in the French army in Algeria.  His military service accomplished, Jean joined the Nuclear Physics division at Saclay in 1960.  He quickly became one of the main designers of the "HE1", one of the experimental halls of the Saclay Linear Electron Accelerator (ALS).  Early on he expressed a strong interest for studying the single hole-state momentum and energy distributions in nuclei. Following this idea, Jean developed an extensive (e,e'p) experimental program at Saclay. The success of this program culminated with a review article written in collaboration with S. Frullani (INFN) and published in 1984.  As Rolf Ent noted:  “For many of us raised in the electron scattering community the words ‘Frullani and Mougey’ were magic words; they referred to an excellent review in Advances in Nuclear Physics that many of us used extensively.”

In the beginning of the 1980s, Jean moved to Grenoble to work at the local Institut des Sciences Nucléaires.  With his group there, he took part in the first studies of the properties of antiproton-nucleus interaction at the CERN low-energy antiproton ring, LEAR, using a spectrometer built at Saclay. 

In the mid-eighties serious planning began for CEBAF, a next generation high-energy electron accelerator with a very high beam intensity and 100% duty cycle.  It was clear that this machine would provide the ideal tool for the kind of (e,e’p) experiments Jean had mounted at the ALS.  Naturally, Jean expressed a strong interest in participating in the definition of the physics program for CEBAF. He was appointed as Hall A leader in 1986 and in that role he was responsible for assembling the future Hall A team and designing and building the experimental equipment for the Hall.  He successfully led this effort; nearly all magnets and detectors built during this period are still in use today.  While any such project requires concerted effort from a large team, it is nonetheless the case that Jean is considered by all to be the father of the Hall A High Resolution Spectrometers.

Before the first CEBAF beam was delivered in the Hall, in 1992, Jean was called back to France to become Director of the Nuclear Physics division at CEA-Saclay.  In that position he structured and re-enforced the French participation in the forthcoming data taking in all three (at that time) Halls of JLab.  Despite a substantial load of administrative tasks, Jean continued contributing directly to the physics program in Hall A.

In 1996 Jean decided to retire from his official duties, turned Emeritus, and became a collaborator at the Laboratoire de Physique Subatomique et Cosmologie in Grenoble.  As a member of the Grenoble group, he continued working on the analysis and interpretation of the JLab experiments for several additional years.

Jean was also a talented piano player and gifted in caricature drawing and painting.

He will be remembered as a passionate physicist, a spectrometer designer, a warm and sensitive person to work with. He was also an efficient union member in his early career and had a life-long engagement in humanitarian activities.

Jean's funeral took place on November 9, 2015 in Autrans, France. 

Jean leaves behind a wife, Christiane, four children and eight grandchildren.  Condolences may be sent to the family c/o his wife:
Christiane Mougey
28 rue Félix Esclangon,
Portes Du Vercors bât. 8,
38000 Grenoble, France