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January 18, 2021

Demise of Marc Lefort, first director of GANIL

It is with great sorrow that we inform you of the passing of Prof. Marc Lefort, who was the first director of GANIL (1975-1982) and who oversaw its construction. Marc Lefort was hired by the French Research Council (CNRS) by Irène Joliot-Curie in 1946 where he studied the effects of radiation on acqueous solutions. In 1957 he moved to the newly created Institut de Physique Nucléaire in Orsay where he initiated the division of Nuclear Chemistry which played a major part in the development of Heavy Ion Physics in France. He became a worldwide leader of the field and directed the construction of the Alice accelerator complex in Orsay and subsequently of GANIL in Caen.

Marc Lefort was Professor of Chemistry at the University of Orsay from 1963 to 1985 and authored several scientific books. He advised numerous doctoral students who remember him for his enthusiasm, his thoroughness and his humanity. Many of his students went on to play an essential role in the development and exploitation of GANIL.

His funeral will be held on Wednesday, January 20, at the crematorium of Aix en Provence.