John C. Wheatley, a world-recognized scholar in the area of low-temperature physics, the study of how matter behaves at extremely low temperatures, died of a heart attack Monday while riding his bicycle in Los Angeles.
The UCLA physics professor was 59 and had joined the faculty in 1985 after teaching at UC San Diego and the University of Illinois.
Wheatley, recipient of the two most important awards in his field--the Simon Memorial Prize in 1966 and the ninth Fritz London Memorial Award in 1975--was the only foreign natural scientist named an Academician of the Academy of Finland. He also was a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a Fulbright Research Scholar in the Netherlands and Argentina, a Guggenheim Fellow and a Sloan Fellow.
At his death he had been nominated as the first recipient of the UCLA President's Chair.
He is survived by his wife, Martha, and two sons.