William (Bill) Charles Turner died on April 10, 2022, at the age of 79 in hospice care at the home of his eldest son Luke Turner and his granddaughters, Carmen and Alma.
Bill graduated from Bellevue High School in Bellevue, Washington in 1960. He attended Stanford University and graduated in 1965 with a BS in physics. He received a PhD in physics from Yale in 1973. After completing his PhD, Bill worked at SRI Energy Lab for a year and then embarked on a 30-year career at Department of Energy National Laboratories; Lawrence Livermore National laboratory (LLNL), 17 years (1974 - 1991), Superconducting Super Collider Laboratory (SSCL) 3 years (1991 – 1994), and Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory (LBNL), 10 years 1994 – 2004. He retired in 2004. At the DOE (Department of Energy) laboratories Bill worked in the fields of high-energy physics, accelerator physics and magnetic confinement fusion plasma physics. On the basis of his work in these fields he was elected Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS) and Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). He was as senior scientist at SSCL and LBNL. Bill felt privileged to have received his education and to have worked in challenging and interesting areas of science. The work in all three of the above-mentioned areas is internationally collaborative, and Bill felt grateful for the many friendships he made with scientists from Europe, Asia, Russia, and a few, but not enough, from Africa and South America. These friendships transcend the cultural boundaries that one sees in today’s tribal political climate. Bill was a fan of globalization. Bill was hopeful that the international cooperation seen in science, and indeed in the instance of climate change science, will transfer to the political and technology sectors in ways that will end global conflict and limit carbon in the atmosphere and the ensuing greenhouse effect. Bill would argue that it is much more important that humankind learn to live peacefully and to be good stewards of the Earth than it is to colonize the Moon or Mars. After all, he would say, we have evolved as earthlings and are ill-suited for survival elsewhere without tremendous expense.