Published in The Washington Post on Jun. 20, 2020.
FRANCIS "Frank" ADRIAN
1929 - 2020
Dr. Francis John Adrian "Frank" (Age 90) Passed away on
Sunday, June 14, 2020, following a long illness.
Born on October 7, 1929, in Brooklyn, NY, Frank was the only son
of Francis L. Adrian and Helen (Hannon) Adrian.
He lived most of his life in Washington, DC., and Olney, Maryland.
He attended Wilson High School (1948), in Washington, DC,
received a Bachelor of Science degree from Catholic University and earned his PhD in
Physics from Cornell University.
In 1955, he was hired as a senior staff physicist at the research department of the Johns
Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL). He remained there until his retirement
in 1995. His research specialized in the theoretical and experimental investigation of
relationships between the structure and properties in molecules and solids, including
high-temperature superconductors. In 1994, he was the recipient of a Senior Humboldt
Research Award, for a year of independent study at the Technische Hochschule in Darmstadt,
Germany, where he continued his study of superconductivity and photochemical reactions in
condensed media, work that furthered understanding of the photosynthesis process in plants.
He published more than 100 articles in scientific journals and proceedings, and was a
distinguished member of the American Physical Society since 1975. He also taught graduate
classes in Physics at the Johns Hopkins University Department of Chemistry.
Frank married Patricia (Wood) Adrian in 1969. In addition to his beloved wife of 51 years,
Frank is survived by his children, Kathleen (Max) and Patrick (Rebecca); as well as
grandchildren Ronan, Ciaran, Declan and Maya, and a wealth of extended family and friends.
He will be missed by all those privileged to know him.
A funeral will be held at St. Peter's Catholic Church in Olney, Maryland, at a date to be
determined by the family.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in Frank's name be sent to Catholic Charities
of Washington, DC.