George T. Reynolds, professor emeritus at Princeton and a leading physicist, died of cancer April 19 in Skillman, N.J. He was 87.
Reynolds graduated from Rutgers in 1939 and earned a Ph.D. in physics at Princeton. During World War II, he worked as a blast-effect specialist at Los Alamos.
In 1946, Reynolds returned to Princeton, where he laid the foundations for pioneering research as director of Princeton's High Energy Physics Program from 1948 to1970. Reynolds was uniquely able to recognize important scientific problems and the individuals who could solve them. Three scientists recruited to his laboratories subsequently won Nobel prizes. Reynolds' own contributions included the liquid scintillator, a device that made visible the track of an ionized particle. In the early 1970s he also opened up the new field of biophysics by applying image intensification techniques to biological and diagnostic observations.
Reynolds held several fellowships at major British universities and elsewhere. He served on advisory panels for American universities, government agencies, and laboratories. An amateur musician, he also played violin and viola. He retired in 1987.
Reynolds leaves his wife of 61 years, Virginia; four sons, three of whom attended Princeton; and six grandchildren.