Category Archives: Obituaries

Michael Atiyah 1929-2019

While away on vacation, I heard last week the sad news of the death last week of Michael Atiyah, at the age of 89. Atiyah was both a truly great mathematician and a wonderful human being. In his mathematical work … Continue reading

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Roy Glauber 1925-2018: Notes on QFT

I saw today that Roy Glauber has passed away, at the age of 93. John Preskill speculates that Glauber was the last living member of the wartime T division at Los Alamos. My only interaction with him was that he … Continue reading

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Tim May 1951-2018

I was sorry to learn yesterday of the death of Tim May, who had been a frequent commenter here on the blog. For more about his life, see here and here. One can find his comments here for instance by … Continue reading

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Heinz-Dieter Zeh 1932-2018

I was sorry to learn today of the death on April 15th of H. Dieter Zeh, one of the major figures responsible for improving our understanding of the physics involved in the measurement problem and related interpretational issues in quantum … Continue reading

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Stephen Hawking 1942-2018

Front-page on every news source today is the sad report that Stephen Hawking died yesterday at the age of 76. For the best description of his scientific accomplishments, I recommend the obituary in the Guardian written by his sometime collaborator … Continue reading

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Vladimir Voevodsky 1966-2017

I was very sorry to hear yesterday of the announcement from the IAS of the untimely death of Vladimir Voevodsky, at the age of 51. Last year I had the chance to meet Voevodsky and talk with him for a … Continue reading

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Bertram Kostant 1928-2017

I was sorry to just hear via a comment here about the recent death of Bert Kostant, at the age of 88. MIT has a story about him here. Kostant was a major figure in the field of representation theory, … Continue reading

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John Nash 1928-2015

I was sorry to hear this morning that John Nash and his wife Alicia died yesterday in a car crash (news story here). They were in a taxi on the New Jersey Turnpike, heading home from the airport after a … Continue reading

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Alexander Grothendieck 1928-2014

I just heard that Alexander Grothendieck passed away today, at the age of 86, in Saint-Girons. For a French news story, see here. Grothendieck’s story was one of the great romantic stories of modern mathematics, and many would consider him … Continue reading

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Pierre van Baal 1955-2013

I only recently heard about the death late last year of Dutch particle theorist Pierre van Baal. Pierre was my office mate when we were both postdocs at Stony Brook during the mid-eighties, and he was one of the people … Continue reading

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