Jabus (Jay) Roberts, 76, professor of physics and astronomy at Rice University, died November 22. Roberts, who joined Rice in 1975, was a core member of the University's Tom W. Bonner Nuclear Laboratory and became a full professor in 1985. A native of Dothan, Alabama, he earned a bachelor's degree from Columbia University in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1969. Roberts' research included work with detectors at both the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider at Brookhaven National Laboratory and the Compact Muon Solenoid detector at CERN, directly contributing to both the quark-gluon plasma and the Higgs boson discoveries. Over the years he taught at all levels of the curriculum and had advised undergraduate, doctoral, and postdoctoral researchers. Most recently Roberts had been overseeing the senior honors thesis course and providing support to the 100-level general physics courses. "Jay had an encyclopedic knowledge of the history of both the field in general and the Bonner Lab in particular, and was always ready with a kind word to pitch in and help out," said Douglass Natelson, chair of the physics and astronomy department. Outside the department, Roberts had served as the faculty sponsor of the Rice rugby club for the last 36 years. Roberts was predeceased by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Jabus Bridges Roberts, and his daughter, Clara Katharine Roberts (Rice class of 2015). He is survived by his wife, Sue Ellen Roberts; his daughters, Tiffany Roberts and Traci Roberts Capesius (Jacques); two sisters, Agnes Donalson Roberts and Martha Anne Roberts Gardner (Bill); two granddaughters, Camille and Lucy Capesius; two nephews, Judson (April) and Weslely (Nikki) Chason. Details on a memorial at Rice are forthcoming. Remembrances can be given to the American Heart Association, www2.heart.org or Rice University, Development Relations-MS81, P.O. Box 1892, Houston, TX 77251. firstname.lastname@example.org
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