(Burkhard Schillinger, for ISNR)
I was a master student at the old FRM reactor in Garching, north of Munich, in 1992 when I first met Arif.
He was doing quantum mechanics with Roland Gähler, which would later lead to his neutron interferometer. I had just built my own camera for one of the first neutron imaging detectors. Arif was enthusiastic, and he invited me to travel to NIST and to Los Alamos with him – which was a big thing for me as a student. Much later I learnt that he had even wanted to invite me to NIST for a couple of weeks, all paid, which my former boss did not permit.
But we developed a friendship that would flourish for the rest of his life. Arif was always enthusiastic, ready to support and endorse young scientists. In no time, NIST took over electronic neutron imaging, and after a little collaboration in the beginning, NIST developed one of the most successful neutron imaging facilities worldwide.
Arif was proud of his work, especially on his neutron interferometer that he built with his own hands, but he was also a proud father of a beloved daughter.
I met Arif again and again at many conferences and meetings world-wide. He supported the decision to build the FRM II reactor as external international expert, and he was also an advisor for the ODIN imaging project at the European spallation source. But he was also guest at my home, not the least at the famous wine tasting where we drank more bottles than we had participants.
Arif loved Bavaria, and he was most happy when he was holding a Weissbier in hand in many a beer garden or on mountain tops, with the prospect of more to come.
My wife Vladimira and I shared a sincere and heartfelt friendship with him. We met him last in Vienna, and when we go next time, there will be a big, Arif-shaped hole at the table, and we will miss him dearly.
Pater Dr. Otto Schärpf, a Jesuit priest and physicist working long time at ILL and TUM, was once challenged how he could unite his faith and physics. He replied “I do not want to imagine a heaven without physics.”
Arif, my friend, by now you know.
Thanks for your love and friendship.