Amherst Magazine

Kwang Yu
Kwang Yu

I am saddened to report the loss of our classmate Kwang Yu. He died last August in a car accident in California.

After Amherst, Kwang did his graduate work at Princeton and Brandeis and until his retirement in 1987 he worked at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory as a technical consultant. He was a nationally recognized authority on nuclear weapons effects for his work on system design and analysis studies performed at the Applied Physics Laboratory.

He is survived by his wife Eleonore, two sons, a daughter and five grandchildren.

I first met Kwang in 1944 as my classmate at Kyunggi High School in Seoul, Korea. It never occurred to me then that we would meet again ten years later in America, at Amherst College. As a transfer student to our sophomore class, Kwang already had a definite future plan to pursue a career in theoretical physics. Kwang was a great admirer of late Professor Dudley H Towne whom he considered as his intellectual mentor at Amherst. Kwang was a serious and hard working student of physics and especially his command of mathematics was already well on the graduate student level. I still remember his impish grin when he showed me a reply from the famous English physicist P.A.M. Dirac in which he acknowledged the error in his book “The Principles of Quantum Mechanics” which was pointed out by Kwang.

Kwang and I spent many hours together working on a physics project in the old physics building, exchanging our Korean War experiences and talking about our futures. Many of my fond Amherst memories are intimately woven with my friend Kwang Yu. I dearly miss him.

-Kongki Min '57

 

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