CSUDH Physicist Kenneth Ganezer, 65, Dead from Vascular Dementia in Los Angeles
An author of many physics papers, Ganezer was regarded as the father of Grand Unified Field Theories.
November 25, 2018
Professor Kenneth Ganezer died Thursday of complications from Vascular Dementia. He was just 65. He was a kind and gentle man and teacher, who will be missed by his many friends and students.
Ken was a physics professor at California State University Dominguez Hills from 1990 to 2016. He was renowned for his research into particle physics, and is credited with devising an experiment to prove the existence of Strange Particles.
His research into Grand Unified Field theories proved central. "The Grand Unified Field theory is the theory that the 4 fundamental forces of physics are not in fact, separate forces, but are part of the same force at a subatomic level," he once told me. He added that among scientists, "Physicists are the Deists," because "we seek to understand how God put together the universe."
Ken Ganezer graduated from University High School in 1970, where he was on the track and cross country teams. Ken loved Westwood, where he spent almost his entire life. After earning his doctorate in Physics from UCLA in 1983, Ken Ganezer worked for a time in private industry. But he came back to academia, his true passion, and is listed as the co-author of more than 200 published papers.
Ganezer co-authored the study "Search for n−n(bar) oscillation in Super-Kamiokande," which was published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Physical Review D in April 2015. Super-Kamiokande is a neutrino detector in Japan, where Dr. Ganezer spent several summers performing research.
"One of the most important goals of modern physics is to unify the basic laws of physics into a few simple equations," he told a reporter for a CSUDH publication. "Our findings are important for physics research and physics research planning in the world, including what is going on at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN [the world's largest and most powerful particle accelerator]. The results in this paper supersede measurements that have not been updated in about 25 years and were not official until this paper was published in April."
"One of my professors who specialized in gravity asked me to comment on a new paper on supersymmetry and supergravity. I responded by writing a paper myself on the consistency of supersymmetry and supergravity theory. This was my first physics publication and my first direct experience with theories of everything," he said. "At the time, I was impressed by the beauty of the equations for supergravity, but I wondered-as did most physicists at that time-how supersymmetry and supergravity could ever be tested experimentally."
Ken was a life long vegetarian. He was an avid marathon runner who competed in 100's of races and marathons, including the Los Angeles Marathon as recently as two years ago.
In May 2016, Professor Ganezer wandered onto the graduation stage at CSUDH through the wrong door, at the wrong time. Hundreds wondered, who is this confused older man in street clothes? Questions were asked, and he was forced into early retirement with a diagnosis of progressive cognitive decline.
Ken Ganezer was later diagnosed with vascular dementia, which he fought for several years, most recently at an assisted living facility in Van Nuys. In the last several months, Ken could not dress or undress himself, or get out of bed or into it without help. Though he could still walk.
At our father Max Ganezer's funeral in 2005, Ken put his hand on my shoulder and said, "Do not be troubled. Everything that has ever existed, continues to exist at specific space time coordinates." An article of faith that theoretical physics has proven.
Ken leaves behind a wife and daughter, and six siblings. His funeral is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2018 at 11 am at Hollywood Forever Cemetery, 6000 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles CA.