Juliet Lee-Franzini received her Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1960 and was Research Associate at the Nevis Lab of Columbia University for two years. Her early research was mostly on mu-mesons, obtaining the first significant limit on the absence of μ → e γ decays, her thesis project. Measurement of the muon helicity and a precise determination of the muon beta spectrum followed. In 1962-1963 she held a post-doctoral theoretical research fellowship from the National Research Council of the National Academy of Science, pursuing her interest in the origin of very high energy cosmic rays.
In 1963 she joined the faculty of SUNY at Stony Brook as the first high energy physics experimentalist and was intensely active in the department’s effort to establish a strong particle physics group there. She was Professor of Physics at Stony Brook since 1974, and Visiting Professor at Cornell in 1980-1981. Her research work also used the Berkeley Cyclotron and the AGS of the Brookhaven National Laboratory where emphasis was on kaon and hyperon weak interactions. She then did a series of experiments at Fermilab where the main interest was on proton-proton inelastic diffractive scattering. From 1979-1991, her research was mainly at the Cornell Electron Storage Rings (CESR), as co-spokesperson of the Columbia-Stony Brook (CUSB) experiment which made dozens of significant contributions in the area of Upsilon (a heavy atom composed of a beauty quark and its antiquark) spectroscopy, such as discovering six P-wave hidden beauty states, and in the understanding of the strong and weak interactions of the beauty quark. She also participated vigorously in the design of the DØ detector at the TEVATRON.
In June ’91 she joined the Laboratori Nazionali di Frascati (LNF), while still being adjunct professor at SUNY, Stony Brook. In ’91 she co-founded the KLOE Collaboration with the scope of designing and building the KLOE detector to study the KL, S system at the Frascati φ–factory DAΦNE. Beginning on 24 April 1999, KLOE proved its superior capabilities, observing CP violating events, in the first few minutes of e+e− collisions in DAΦNE. The performance of DAΦNE has been vastly below expectation. She was the Physics Analysis Coordinator of KLOE, continuing the education and maintaining the enthusiasm of the dedicated young people in the KLOE collaborations, until her death in 2014.
The results of these efforts are evident in presentations at International Conferences and in the publications which have been produced. They deal in particular with radiative φ-decays and precision measurements of KL, S-decays, achieving improvements of an order of magnitude on previous efforts. KLOE has measured all the kaon parameters necessary to determine Vus. The KLOE results are extensively quoted in the Reviews of Particle Physics of 2001 through 2012.
During 2000-2001 she co-organized the XXth Lepton-Photon Symposium with P. Franzini, which took place in Rome during July 2001, held in Italy for the first time. She spent 4 months in 2001-02 and 4 months in 2002-03 in Karlsruhe, Germany, teaching on current topics in particle physics and on the evolution of experiments and theory in the past 55 years. From 1991 to 2014, she actively contributed to the life of the LNF Laboratory through conferences, schools and educational programs. In 1984 she was elected Fellow of the American Physical Society. She was a member of the Executive Committee of the Division of Particles and Fields, APS, 1987–1989. She was a member of the APS nominating committee, 1989–1991. She was a Director of the Research Foundation of the State University of New York, 1986–1991. She was VIP physicist of the INFN, 1991-96.