2020 Volume 18 Pages 8-11
Peter Varga has passed on October 27, 2018. His pioneering discoveries of chemical resolution at the atomic scale on surface alloys, atomic resolution of ultrathin alkali halides, nucleation of bcc iron in ultrathin films, and the microscopic structure of ultrathin alumina films stimulated worldwide research. In recognition of his outstanding scientific contributions, in December 2017 the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) awarded him a prize for his distinguished contribution on the clarification of surface phenomena by atomic level investigations and the development of novel functional materials. This contribution highlights the life of Peter Varga as a scientist and as a person. With his elegance, his energy, his wit, and his generosity he was a close friend and role model to many of us, and showed us how to combine scientific curiosity and creativity with the lightness of being.