Our friend and colleague, Miloš Lokajíček, PhD, CSc., long-standing staff member of the Division of Elementary Particle Physics at the Institute of Physics of the CAS, passed away at the age of 70 on Wednesday, June 14th. Miloš was involved in almost all the key experiments in which we participated and contributed significantly to them, especially in the field of acquisition and processing of experimental data.
He began his career in the mid-1980s participating in an experiment at the Serpukhov accelerator, investigating proton-proton and later deuteron-anti-deuteron collisions in the hydrogen bubble chamber LUDMILA. After obtaining the title CSc. in 1984, while still at SUJV Dubna, he joined the DELPHI experiment at the LEP collider at CERN. This experiment played a key role in the Czech Republic's entry into CERN in 1993. He participated in this experiment at CERN from 1990 to 1993.
After his return to the Institute of Physics, he was instrumental in initiating the participation of Czech physicists in the LHC experiment ATLAS, which was approved in 1994. Together with colleagues from the Institute of Physics and from the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics at Charles University, he initiated the construction of the TileCal hadron calorimeter for the ATLAS experiment and established a laboratory in the former garage of the Institute of Physics for the assembly and testing of calorimeter submodules. The TileCal hadron calorimeter is one of the three main components of the ATLAS detector and the submodules manufactured at the Institute of Physics are still working reliably today.
Since his participation in the Ludmila and DELPHI experiments, Miloš Lokajíček has also focused on computer data processing, which has become as an important part of the experiments as the detectors themselves. As early as the mid-1990s, he built in our institute a computer farm for data processing and modelling. Today this computing facility serves several large experiments in particle and astroparticle physics.
In 1997, together with colleagues from the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics at Charles University, Miloš initiated the participation in the D0 experiment at the Tevatron accelerator at FNAL in the USA. This involvement was significant for the training of young physicists for the ATLAS experiment, which was at that time still under the construction. After the shutdown of Tevatron in 2011, he was able to obtain funding for the Fermilab-CZ research infrastructure in 2016 with a gradual transition to the neutrino physics program. He worked on the NOvA experiment and used his experience and contacts at CERN for the future DUNE experiment in the USA.
The results of Miloš Lokajíček work are clearly visible in our institute, be it the aforementioned computer center or the laboratories for experiments at CERN and Fermilab. From 1993 to 2014, Miloš Lokajíček also served as the head of the Department of Data Processing and Detector Development, leading and coordinating our activities in these domains. The impact of his work extends well beyond our institute. Within the Czech Republic, it is the coordination of the activities of Czech institutions in Fermilab and the development of distributed large scale data processing in particle physics. Miloš was also a long-standing member of the Czech Republic's CERN Cooperation Committee. His international reputation is documented by his numerous memberships in the steering committees of experiments and projects and by the numerous conferences he has co-organised. Among the most important were ACAT 2014, CHEP2009, D0 Week 2008 and ATLAS Week 2003.
Miloš' collegiality and friendship will be deeply missed by all of us.