The Max Planck Institute for Physics mourns the loss of Professor Roberto Peccei, who passed away on 1 June 2020 aged 78. Roberto Peccei conducted research at our Institute from 1978 to 1984, during which time he wrote outstanding and much-cited papers. Through his ideas and activities he had a lasting influence on the Theory Department at our Institute.
Peccei was a respected leader and a great role model for generations of doctoral students and postdocs – both in terms of his personal qualities and as a scientist. He was able to captivate his audience in his inspiring and very lively lectures: his enthusiasm for particle physics was contagious in the truest sense of the word.
As co-discoverer of the Quinn-Peccei symmetry, which predicts the existence of axions as candidates for dark matter, and as author of many other works, he made groundbreaking contributions to theoretical physics. Even after his departure, Peccei remained associated with the MPI for Physics. He was a participant and guest speaker at various Institute events, most recently at the symposium to mark the 100th anniversary of the MPI for Physics in 2017.
Roberto Peccei will be missed by the particle physics community. We will honor his memory.