Professor Mambillikalathil Menon FRS
Mambillikalathil Menon was renowned for his contributions to nuclear emulsion techniques, elucidation of the properties of strange particles, and cosmic ray studies near the geomagnetic equator. He was principally responsible for demonstrating the existence of muons of varying energies and of monoenergetic high-energy pions in K meson decay, thus establishing the Kmu3 and Kpi2 decay modes respectively (with Cormac O’Ceallaigh); for discovering the F beta-decay mode; for first demonstrating scattering phenomena involving K mesons; for showing that slow K– mesons are much less abundant that K+ mesons. He contributed considerably to the extension of emulsion work to large stacks like the 15-litre G-stack. He and his group developed the technology of fabricating and flying large plastic balloons under tropical conditions. The feasibility of using high-pressure gas Cerenkov counters for primary cosmic ray studies such as the helium-3/helium-4 ratio has been demonstrated. Experiments by him and his group performed at the greatest depths underground established the feasibility of making observations connected with natural neutrinos.