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Ronald Louis Cappelletti Obituary

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Ronald Louis Cappelletti

Gaithersburg, Maryland

September 26, 1940 - July 6, 2024

Ronald Louis Cappelletti Obituary

Ronald Louis Cappelletti, born September 26, 1940 in Waterbury, CT to an Italian immigrant family, passed away on July 6, 2024. He was professor of Physics Emeritus, Ohio University, retired Physicist, NIST Center for Neutron Research (NCNR), President Emeritus, Italian Cultural Society (ICS) of Washington, DC, long-time chorale and board-member of the National Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorale (NPOC).


At Ohio University beginning in 1968, Cappelletti along with 12 Ph.D. students focused on experimental work in superconductivity, new material discoveries, properties of the fullerenes and forms of amorphous carbon, the vibrational properties of exotic glasses, including establishment of the floppy to rigid transition predicted by Michael Thorpe, and collaborations on amorphous materials with colleague Prof. David Drabold.


In 1999 he was recruited to work at NIST where he continued his work on fullerenes and amorphous materials as well as experiments in magnetism, and finally on the properties of neutrons themselves with colleagues including Sam Werner. His responsibilities included producing the Annual Report for the NCNR and a history of that Center with Jack Rush. Later work using optical methods focused on the properties of twisted light as an analog for twisted neutrons. Cappelletti retired from NIST in 2014 and published his last paper in 2021.


As board member and later president of the ICS, Cappelletti focused on expanding the language program and social activities of the organization, including presentations to the Society by two Nobel physicists with Italian connections, and developing a competition for an annual award for young Italian scientists presented each year at the ICS Gala held at the Italian Embassy.


With the National Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorale, Cappelletti traveled the world singing choral classics at a variety of venues, including the Sydney Opera House.


He is survived by a brother, Fred (Elaine), of Stony Brook, NY; four children: Christina Cappelletti (Colton Boyd) of Columbus, OH, Eva Cappelletti Chao (Philippe and their children Coltin and Annalyn), Giovanni Cappelletti all in the Washington DC area, Alexandra Cappelletti in LA; and Julia Friend, loving friend for a quarter of a century.


Family gatherings including nieces and nephews celebrating Italian food and culture along with playing instrumental music together and singing were a treasured part of his social life.


A long-time member and chorister of St. Rose of Lima parish in Gaithersburg.


Friends may call at DeVol Funeral Home, 10 East Deer Park Drive, Gaithersburg, MD on Monday July 15, 2024 from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM.


Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church 11701 Clopper Road, Gaithersburg, MD 20879 on Tuesday July 16, 2024 at 10:30 AM.


Interment will follow at St. Rose of Lima Cemetery.


In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Professor of Physics Ronald L. Cappelletti Young Scientist Award of the Italian Cultural Society (https://italianculturalsociety.org/awards-scholarships/).

To share a memory or send a condolence gift, please visit the Official Obituary of Ronald Louis Cappelletti hosted by Devol Funeral Home.

Ronald Louis Cappelletti, born September 26, 1940 in Waterbury, CT to an Italian immigrant family, passed away on July 6, 2024. He was professor of Physics Emeritus, Ohio University, retired Physicist, NIST Center for Neutron Research (NCNR), President Emeritus, Italian Cultural Society (ICS) of Washington, DC, long-time chorale and board-member of the National Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorale (NPOC).


At Ohio University beginning in 1968, Cappelletti along with 12 Ph.D. students focused on experimental work in superconductivity, new material discoveries, properties of the fullerenes and forms of amorphous carbon, the vibrational properties of exotic glasses, including establishment of the floppy to rigid transition predicted by Michael Thorpe, and collaborations on amorphous materials with colleague Prof. David Drabold.


In 1999 he was recruited to work at NIST where he continued his work on fullerenes and amorphous materials as well as experiments in magnetism, and finally on the properties of neutrons themselves with colleagues including Sam Werner. His responsibilities included producing the Annual Report for the NCNR and a history of that Center with Jack Rush. Later work using optical methods focused on the properties of twisted light as an analog for twisted neutrons. Cappelletti retired from NIST in 2014 and published his last paper in 2021.


As board member and later president of the ICS, Cappelletti focused on expanding the language program and social activities of the organization, including presentations to the Society by two Nobel physicists with Italian connections, and developing a competition for an annual award for young Italian scientists presented each year at the ICS Gala held at the Italian Embassy.


With the National Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorale, Cappelletti traveled the world singing choral classics at a variety of venues, including the Sydney Opera House.


He is survived by a brother, Fred (Elaine), of Stony Brook, NY; four children: Christina Cappelletti (Colton Boyd) of Columbus, OH, Eva Cappelletti Chao (Philippe and their children Coltin and Annalyn), Giovanni Cappelletti all in the Washington DC area, Alexandra Cappelletti in LA; and Julia Friend, loving friend for a quarter of a century.


Family gatherings including nieces and nephews celebrating Italian food and culture along with playing instrumental music together and singing were a treasured part of his social life.


A long-time member and chorister of St. Rose of Lima parish in Gaithersburg.


Friends may call at DeVol Funeral Home, 10 East Deer Park Drive, Gaithersburg, MD on Monday July 15, 2024 from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM.


Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church 11701 Clopper Road, Gaithersburg, MD 20879 on Tuesday July 16, 2024 at 10:30 AM.


Interment will follow at St. Rose of Lima Cemetery.


In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Professor of Physics Ronald L. Cappelletti Young Scientist Award of the Italian Cultural Society (https://italianculturalsociety.org/awards-scholarships/).

To share a memory or send a condolence gift, please visit the Official Obituary of Ronald Louis Cappelletti hosted by Devol Funeral Home.

Events

Event information can be found on the Official Obituary of Ronald Louis Cappelletti.