Note: The following is an expanded version of a memorial published in the Nov. 16, 2011, issue of PAW.
Scott Chubb, a widely respected physicist and leading proponent of cold-fusion theory, died March 25, 2011, after a battle with cancer.
Born in Manhattan Jan. 30, 1953, Scott enrolled at Princeton after graduating from the Lawrenceville School. Among his friends and classmates, he was well known for his gregarious yet humane character, abiding sense of humor, and devotion to his studies in physics and the humanities. During his senior year he was a member of Terrace Club. Though the diametric opposite of Shakespeare’s Iago, he was always one to “wear his heart on his sleeve,” a phrase he not only owned up to, but embraced. He also was a great fan of Princeton football, basketball, and hockey, as well as of the Mets.
After Princeton, Scott completed his master’s (1978) and Ph.D. (1982) degrees in physics at the State University of New York, Stony Brook, completing a dissertation on theoretical solid-state physics and surface science from work carried out at Brookhaven National Laboratory. He worked as a research associate at Northwestern University, then as a National Research Council Fellow at the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) in Washington, D.C.
In addition to solid-state physics, he began work on the application of microwaves in space technology. From 1989 to 2009, he was a research physicist at the NRL, where he received numerous awards, published more than 60 articles, and was cited by the American Geophysical Union as an outstanding reviewer for its journal. Scott will be remembered by colleagues for his engaging debates and challenging questions that often led to breakthroughs in research. He also held a patent for a device related to relative positioning in the Global Positioning System (GPS).
In 1999, Scott organized the first session on cold-fusion theory at an American Physical Society conference, and working closely with his uncle, Talbot Chubb ’45, he presented important papers on this area for years, becoming a leading authority on this new area of research in conferences around the world. He became an editor for Infinite Energy in 2004, wrote 11 editorials, and worked tirelessly to promote cold fusion as a significant field, bringing it into the mainstream of contemporary physics. He was well regarded among physicists not only for his knowledge of the history of science and his ability as “an extraordinary social-liaison builder,” but for his infectious enthusiasm and optimism.
Scott is survived by his wife, Anne Pond; his twin daughters, Kathleen and Lauren; son Scott Jr. and his wife, Sky Prince; his grandson, Tristan Chubb; and his brother, Charles Chubb ’73, and his wife, Alice Fahs ’73. In Scott’s memory, the New Energy Foundation has established the Scott Chubb Cold Fusion Fund to support researchers in this field.