Pabitra Biswas In Memoriam
17 Jan 2023



We are sad to announce our friend and colleague Pabitra (Pabi) Biswas died on 17th December 2022 at the age of 39. He had been suffering from a brain tumour since 2020.



Pabitra BiswasPabi Biswas (right)​ joined ISIS in 2015 as an instrument scientist on the MuSR beamline, having previously gained experience as an instrument scientist at PSI from 2012. At PSI he was associated with the DOLLY spectrometer and was involved in its refurbishment; he was therefore well-placed to contribute to the scientific design of the upgraded MuSR instrument (Super-MuSR) during his time at ISIS. In both these roles, he was known for his thorough support of facility users, helping them to get the most out of their experiments.

Having grown up near Kolkata, Pabi studied at West Bengal University and Jawaharlal Nehru University before winning a Midland Physics Alliance Graduate School scholarship to undertake his PhD studies at Warwick University under the supervision of Profs Don Paul and Martin Lees. At Warwick his work was on the physics of superconductors using muons, neutrons, and other techniques, resulting in his thesis entitled 'Studies of unconventional superconductors'.

The investigation of superconductors, magnets, and topological insulators formed the basis of much of his subsequent, prolific research work. Over his career, Pabi published more than 115 papers, many of which were in high impact journals and have been highly cited. A recent example of this was his paper on chiral singlet superconductivity in LaPt3P that was published in Nature Communications in 2021. FeSe superconductors formed a thread running through his career from muon studies of single crystals he had made during his doctorate to recent work on buried ultrathin films and the details of its pairing symmetry.

At ISIS, Pabi co-organised the 2019 International Advanced School in Muon Spectroscopy, which trained 45 young scientists from 16 different countries and led to the textbook 'Muon Spectroscopy: An Introduction'. As a meeting jointly run by PSI and ISIS, this reflected Pabi's ongoing interest in the two facilities, continuing to make good use of both as he developed his scientific career. Pabi was always in demand to give seminars and conference talks, and through these and other contacts within the scientific community he built up an extensive network of international collaborators, particularly with colleagues in India and China. Recognising his contributions to the muon community, the International Society for Muon Spectroscopy will be renaming its Young Scientist Prize in his memory.

Pabi will be remembered as a wonderful colleague, for his warm-hearted and kind nature, his thoughtful approach to science, and his care for his family. He will be missed by his family, friends, and colleagues. He is survived by his wife Aparna and their two young sons, Ishaan and Srijan. ​

Contact: Fletcher, Sara (STFC,RAL,ISIS)