Professor Tara Prasad Das passed away

posted in: Obituary | 31

August 22, 2017 Update – A memorial function scheduled for September 30, 2017

A memorial event celebrating the life of Late Prof. Tara Prasad Das is planned on Saturday, September 30, 2017 at the Alumni House of the University at Albany, Albany, NY.  On behalf of Professor Das’s family, we would like to request you to attend this function.

Tentative program schedule on September 30, 2017 is –
9 AM to 12 Noon – Professor Das as a scientist and academician: Remembrance by his former students, associates and colleagues.

12 Noon to 1:30 PM – Lunch

1:30 PM to 3:30 PM – Professor Das as a man and mentor: Tributes by students, friends, colleagues, and family members

4 PM to 5 PM – Greeting friends and family of Professor Das

5 PM to 7 PM – Open house and reception

Please RSVP to Dr. Narayan Sahoo by Wednesday, August 30, 2017, if you plan to attend this memorial function and would like to speak, either during the morning or afternoon session. If you are unable to attend, you are welcome to e-mail your thoughts about Professor Das to Narayan Sahoo or (comment on this post by 8/30/2017), and it will be read during this function.

Yours sincerely,
Dr. Subhendra D. Mahanti,
Dr. Purosottam Jena,
Dr. Narayan Sahoo.

July 18, 2017 Post

India/Odisha lost a reputed internationally famous physicist Professor Tara Prasad Das.  We were told that he passed away today (July 18, 2017), Tuesday peacefully following a small accident in home a few weeks back and was given therapy to which he was responding well. At this time we do not have any details to report.  Born on July 7, 1932 in Cuttack, Odisha, India to Radha Krishna and Krishna Priya Das, one of seven siblings.  This sad news brings a feeling of loss and grief to a worldwide community of family, friends, students and colleagues.  Although best known for his distinguished and prolific 60 year career in theoretical physics, Prof. Das’ greatest accomplishments were as a devoted and fiercely loyal son, brother, father, grandfather, uncle, cousin and friend.  His greatest joy was attending the many academic, sporting and social events of his four grandchildren; he truly delighted in their accomplishments.

He was a brilliant student, entering college at age 13 and receiving his PhD degree from the Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics in 1955.

Tara Orasad Das married Basanta Manjari Mahanti in Bhubaneswar, India in 1958. The family ultimately settled in Guilderland, NY in 1971 where Prof. Das began a career in the physics department at SUNY Albany that culminated in his retirement in 2013 at the age of 81.  Their 3 children represent different stages of Prof. Das’ academic career – Puspa Manjari Das, PhD  born in Champaign, Illinois; Shankar Prasad Das, MD in Oxford, England; and Surjya Prasad Das, MD in Riverside, California. Tara Prasad and Basanta Manjari have five grand children.

Through his life, Prof. Das travelled extensively, visiting more than 40 countries and frequently included his family, fostering an enduring appreciation for the closeness of family and the unity of humanity. He treated everyone he met with dignity and respect, providing an enduring example for all around him.

(Source: Professor Purusottam Jena, Richmond, Virginia) This was a statement he had dictated in the last Ravenshaw University Sequestential event in 2016.

(Source: Dr. Narayan Sahoo) Biosketch of Professor Tara Prasad Das_v1

(Source: from the bereaved family) ProfessorTaraPrasadDas_Shanti_Final

(Source: Times Union, Albany)

Note from the family

In lieu of flowers, contributions are invited to the University of Albany Foundation, Professor T. P. Das Physics Endowment.


Professor Das has had total publication in Refereed Journals of about four hundred  (400), review articles numbering 10, and three Books, on: (a) Nuclear Quadrupole Resonance Spectroscopy (1957) (Academic Press) (b) Nuclear Induction (1957) (Saha Institute Press) and (c) Relativistic Quantum Mechanics of Electrons (1973)  (Harper and Row).

Total number of Ph.D. Degree Students


31 Responses

  1. Subhas Mohapatra

    I am very sorry to hear about this Odia giant. May his oul rest in peace. He was inspiration to all academicians (like me) of Odisha Origin, who either knew him personally or have heard about him.I have heard a lot about him from his own father-in-law who was a very close friend of my father. Then I got know him personally when I came to USA in 1965.

  2. Ajaya Mohanty

    Very sorry to hear this sad news. A physicist of immense fame and strength of character, he loved his students dearly. He will be remembered always fondly by all of us.

  3. Deepa Parija

    So sorry to hear this. May his soul Rest In Peace!

  4. Swadhin Pattanayak

    Very sad. My deepest condolence it may please be conveyed to the bereaved family.

  5. Pratap Das

    I am very sorry to hear the news of Dr. Das. Apride of Odisha and teacher of thousands of Physicists. His contributions to education and teaching will be remembered forever.

  6. Dr. Swoyam Prakash Rout

    Professor Das was a renowned international physicist and achieved outstanding laurels in his subject. He studied in Stewart School and Ravenshaw College Cuttack. May his soul rest in peace.

  7. Sikhanda Satapathy

    I am sorry to hear about Prof. Das’s passing away. His support of many Odia students will be remembered by Odias here. May his sole rest in peace.

  8. Bhakta Rath

    It is truly a very sad day for the Odisha community. Tara Prasad was a long time dear friend to me and we have travelled to India together on couple of occasion. He was truly a scientific genius, a great teacher and one of the most caring human beings I have known. He treated his students like his own children and his students respected him as their father figure. I have personally experienced this relationship when I visited him in New York.

  9. Mina Samii

    I am so sad about this news…Professor Das was so much more than a Professor and a thesis advisor to many of us, including me.

  10. Mina Samii

    Such a sad news. Dr. Das was so much more than a professor and a thesis advisor to so many of us, including me.

  11. Prof. Prafulla Kar

    We are shocked to know that Dr. T P. Das is no more. He has left behind a large number of students and colleagues who worked with him. His contributions to physical sciences have been immense. The gap that he has left behind will be difficult to fill. I vividly remember all the details of our association with him in Salt Lake City and Albany. We pray for the heavenly peace for his soul.

    Prafulla Kar

  12. Tina Marie Briere

    I was very lucky to spend time with Professor Das as a student and also later in Japan when he would go on sabbatical. Even now I often think of him, and I have many happy memories.

    I remember when I gave my first talk at a conference, and I was very nervous. He gave me a pep talk and pulled out the cardamon seeds he always kept in his pocket. Such kindnesses I will never forget.

  13. Michael Thompson

    So sorry to hear of the passing of Professor Das. His enthusiasm for physics was contagious and inspiring to me as his PhD student in Albany and stayed with me through my career in the research labs at Xerox. My sincere condolences to the family.

  14. Michael Thompson

    Sad news, but what a productive life he lived. He was an inspiration to me throughout my career and I will remember him always.

  15. Bhanu Pratap Das

    I was overwhelmed with grief after getting the news that Professor Tara Prasad Das had passed away. I was in the middle of preparing my lectures for an international school on superheavy elements when I heard this very sad news. The conceptual foundation of these lectures is largely based on relativistic many-body theory, a topic which I learnt from Prof Das while I was his PhD student in the late 1970s.
    Prof Das’ ability to lucidly explain complex physical phenomena was stupendous. I remember being awestruck by his exposition of the interplay of different many-body effects in hyperfine interactions in alkali atoms in one of our discussions when I was a graduate student. I immediately rushed to my room after talking to him and made notes on what I had learnt from him so that I would not forget it in the future. Indeed, many of my papers on hyperfine interactions in subsequent years and decades reflect the deep influence he had on my approach to this subject. I am proud to say that one of my former students, Bijaya Sahoo is now widely considered to be one of the world’s leaders in the theory of hyperfine interactions in atoms — he is a true inheritor of the tradition of analysing hyperfine interactions by rigorous many-body theory that had been set by Prof Das.
    My last meeting with Prof Das was in February 2014 in Bangalore. It was as always a privilege for me to talk about new developments in physics with him. His passion for physics was still palpable even though he was above 80 and had officially retired from the University at Albany.
    No tribute to Prof Das would be complete without mentioning his truly admirable human qualities. His deep concern and care for his students and all his co-workers clearly stood out. I shall always remember with profound gratitude his help and moral support to me at critical stages when I was his student at Albany.
    My heartfelt condolences to Prof Das’ family.

  16. Bhupendra N. Dev

    Dear Masima,
    We were deeply saddened by the death of Prof. Das (Professor Dadu to our daughter Sonata). This must be very difficult for you. Words cannot express the sympathy we feel. It is difficult to lose someone who has played pivotal roles not only in your life but also in many people’s life.
    In my each trip to the US, I stayed with you and enjoyed the care and affection you both had given to me. During our last trip in 2014 Sushmita was also with me and we had a memorable time together along with my student (Sekar) and his daughters staying in your house.
    I will always remember the advice of Prof. Das in important turns of my life. My decision to come back to India and join Institute of Physics also happened with his advice during the time when you were in Darmstadt and I was visiting the university there for a colloquium, but stayed in your house.
    We want to extend our deepest condolences to you.
    Bhupen and Family

  17. Frank B. Hagelberg

    Thank you so much for sharing the very sad news about the passing of Professor Tara Prasad Das who touched our lives so profoundly.
    I think of him and his family.

  18. Jitendra Roy

    My Friends,

    I am so lost for words today to express my feelings. My wife has been telling me to visit Albany, and I was planning to see Professor Das. He is not only my teacher and adviser, he is the guiding light of my life. I treasure so much fond memory of him that he will be in my mind forever.

    I remember a time in my life, when I was about to turn into a wrong lane, and Professor Das was there to put me back on the right track. Without him being there for me, at the time, my life would have been quite different today. So, whatever success I have in my life today, I owe all to Professor Das. I am forever indebted to him for all he has done for me and my family. He will be in my memory all my life.

    May God bless his departed soul with eternal peace and tranquility, and may God give strength to his family to cope with the loss of such a blessed personality. It’s an unfathomable loss for all of us.

    Please convey my condolences to the bereaved family.

    Jiten Roy & Family

  19. Rajendra Parajuli

    I am very very sad from this news.

    Dr. Rajendra Parajuli
    Department of Physics, Amrit Campus
    Tribhuvan University, Thamel, Kathmandu

  20. Pantelis Kelires

    I am truly shocked by the death of Prof. Das, a great man and a great physicist. He was not only my PhD advisor at SUNY Albany but also a father to me and a close friend. I remember the many discussions we had, beside the scientific ones, on every possible subject, especially on international relations and socioeconomic matters. I am grateful to him for the invaluable guidance he offered me through the PhD years and for the help to move on after my PhD to IBM Watson Research Center. My wife and my parents, who visited me at Albany for the PhD graduation and were hosted at Prof. Das’s house, always speak with the warmest words about him, his beloved wife and their wonderful children. May his soul rest in peace. My condolences to the family.

    Pantelis Kelires and family.

  21. Bijaya Kumar Sahoo

    I felt extremely sad hearing the news of Professor Tara Prasad Das’s demise. I was visiting my family in India from China where I am on sabbatical and it was raining heavily early in the morning morning in Ahmedabad, India when I heard this distressing news.

    Though I have never met Prof. Das, I am proud to mention that I have immensely benefited from his research contributions. During my Ph.D. I worked on parity non-conservation (PNC) in atomic systems and this involved understanding the behavior of electron wave functions in the nuclear region of atomic systems and its vital role in determining atomic PNC amplitudes accurately. In this context, I came across Prof. Das’s many research works on hyperfine interactions where he had analyzed the behavior of different electron correlation effects and compared his results with experimental values. His papers were so informative and scholarly that I could grasp the underlying role of electron correlation effects for different states of atomic systems discussed using a perturbative analysis. Though I was using an all order perturbative method in the relativistic coupled-cluster (RCC) framework in my study, I could easily make the connection between these methods and was able to explain the RCC results in a manner similar to that used by Prof. Das in his diagrammatic approach. In fact, my first Rapid Communication paper in Phys. Rev. A was highly motivated by his research where I have cited his paper Phys. Rev. A 25, 2923 (1982). Later I have also cited his other works reported in Phys. Rev. A 52, 197 (1995); Phys. Rev. Lett. 49, 1800 (1982); Phys. Rev. Lett. 49, 1466 (1982), J. Phys. B 15, L379 (1982) etc., while trying to determine nuclear electric quadrupole and magnetic dipole moments of Sr and Fr atoms.

    With deepest sympathy, my heartfelt condolences and thoughts to Prof Das’ family.

    Bijaya Kumar Sahoo, Associate Professor, Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad-380058, Gujarat, India.

  22. Shashdhar M. Mohapatra

    I got this sad news from Bhaina (Dr. Surendra Ray) in the late afternoon. I was speechless. He was my Ph.D. advisor at SUNY, Albany, NY. I graduated in the summer of 1988 and was his 35th Ph.D. Student then. It is said: “The path of good has not many travelers”. But, certainly he was one of those travelers. He was a GREAT human being, very kind, of course smart and intelligent, a true friend, philosopher and guide. I will be indebted to him for my next seven births at least. He will be badly missed by many for sure.

    My deepest condolences go to his family, friends, relatives & students. I pray Lord Jagannath for his departed soul to rest in peace. God bless his family !

  23. Narayn Sahoo

    I am deeply saddened by the passing of Professor Tara Prasad Das. I had the honor and privilege of interacting closely with him for more than thirty years. He was a passionate and highly accomplished academician, a revered teacher and a very caring person. He was a guru in true sense and took genuine interest in the well-being of his mentees both during their training and after. Everyone who was associated with him will surely miss the presence of a truly lovable and compassionate person. Professor Das will remain immortal in the hearts and minds of many people like me who have benefitted from his wisdom and generosity. All of us in the Sahoo family offer our heartfelt sympathies to his grieving family and pray for his eternal soul to reach its ultimate destination and rest in peace.

  24. Bimal Rath

    I am deeply saddened by the news of Professor Das’s passing away. He treated us like a family. I will never forget his affectionate smile and greetings whenever he saw us in SUNY Physics department hallway. He was so loving and caring! My deepest sympathies go out to his family and loved ones. May GOD bless his soul.

  25. Santosh Mishra

    With a very heavy heart and deep sadness I express my sincere condolence to Dr. Das’s family. He was one of the persons who made me who I’m today. A very concerned, caring, and helpful person for all. My prayers for the departed soul and may God rest his soul in eternal peace.

  26. Douglas MacLaughlin

    In 1968 I was encouraged by Professor Das to apply for a faculty position at the University of California, Riverside. We had a shared mentor in Professor Erwin Hahn, UC Berkeley, who was my Ph.D. advisor and with whom Professor Das wrote a seminal book. My time with him at Riverside was too short, as he left not long after for another position. But I continued to keep in contact with him over the years, particularly when our interests both turned to the use of muons for magnetic resonance experiments. He was a fine physicist and a warm, friendly person. I always looked forward to seeing him at conferences. He will be missed.

  27. Ayaki Sunaga

    I am sorry to hear that Professor T. P. Das passed away recently. Works by him especially related to many body, relativistic and nuclear size effects in hyperfine interactions lay the foundation for further research on this subject.
    I am a Japanese first year Ph.D. student and I have just started working on my thesis. Prof Das’ contributions to hyperfine interactions are very helpful for my research. One of his papers that I recently read was written by him about thirty years ago. His never fading work benefits young researchers like me beyond national borders. His work in the future will lead to new interpretations of nature and accurate theoretical reproductions of experimental values.
    I might be too you to evaluate his work. However, I make an assertion that his work will shed light on researches on hyperfine interactions forever.

  28. Kajal Lahiri

    Let Dr. Das rest in peace. What an accomplished life, yet maintained such modesty. We will miss him.

  29. Aparajita KC

    I would like to extend heartfelt condolences from KC family to the most humble, genuine and wonderful soul that have ever existed. Words are not enough to express his nature and kindness. He is the angel to our family. Love you always Aja and you will remain in our heart (Sarala, Aparajita and Shiva). We wish the Das family enough strength to deal with this sorrowful situation.

  30. Minakhi Pujari

    It has been very hard to accommodate in our hearts that our beloved Prof. is no more, but the treasure of all the finest qualities in life, he shared and left behind his students is unsurmountable. Always he cared about his students on a daily basis and valued each one of us as his own son and daughter and , our children as his own grandsons and granddaughters. He lived a spectrum of meaningful life involving components/qualities of kindness, honesty, simplicity, hard work, cheerfulness, unflappability and exceptional mentorship. Coming to lighter side …If I remember he loved ethnic food and specially fish a lot.
    The most memorable part for me… I used to commute one and half hour during my final thesis work .He used to accompany me everytime (no matter how busy he was) to school entrance and make sure that I take school bus to downtown trailway bus and give a call to him after I reach home safe. It so happened one day I forgot to call and he called back if I reached. That day was the most precious day for me to understand the depth of humanity in real life that he adored as a part of his responsibility towards all his mentees. I am missing him…..
    May his soul rest in peace and may he pour his blessings on all of us as always.
    I pray Lord to give enough strength to Madam Mrs .Das and the family,and near and dear ones to move forward embracing immortal memory of unfathomable cherished moments….
    My Pranam to Prof. Das
    Minakhi Pujari

  31. Dr. Chander Mohan Singal

    I am very sad and shocked to know the passing away of Prof. T. P. Das. I did my Ph. D. Thesis under his guidance at State University of New York at Albany, continuing from University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah. He has been my source of strength and confidence in Physics, permitting me to venture into Fundamentals of Physics. I frequently refer to his book on Relativistic Quantum Mechanics of Electrons, which he gifted to me in year 1973 when I completed my Ph. D. studies at SUNY-Albany. He has been our guardian and friend when myself and my family was at Albany. He made us feel at home in Albany. He and Bami Di were always helpful to us whenever we were in any difficulty. We pray to God Almighty to give strength to family (Bami Di, Illini, Surya, Shankar and Grandchildren ) of Prof. T. P. Das to overcome this loss. May his soul rest in peace in heaven.
    With Regards and Respects
    Chander Mohan Singal

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