Category Archives: Obituaries

Friedrich Hirzebruch 1927-2012

The German mathematician Friedrich (Fritz) Hirzebruch passed away a couple days ago, at the age of 84. Hirzebruch was perhaps the most important mathematician in the Germany of the postwar period, responsible for the founding of the Max Planck Institute … Continue reading

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John Wheeler 1911-2008

News of the death of John Wheeler came yesterday, and many people have already written detailed, touching and informative pieces about the man, his life and scientific achievements. See for example here, here, and here. With Wheeler gone, physics loses … Continue reading

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Sidney Coleman 1937-2007

I just learned today the sad news of the death of Sidney Coleman, yesterday at the age of seventy. Coleman had been in quite poor health in recent years. I wrote about him here back in 2005, after attending a … Continue reading

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Yuval Ne’eman 1925-2006

Yuval Ne’eman died yesterday, from a brain hemorrhage caused by a recent fall. Science magazine has a story about this. Together with Murray Gell-Mann, in 1961 Ne’eman co-discovered the SU(3) classification of strongly interacting particles. At the time he was … Continue reading

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George Mackey 1916-2006

It was sad to see an announcement today on the Harvard math department web-site of the death earlier this week of emeritus Harvard professor George Mackey. Mackey’s mathematical work is dear to my heart, since its central concern is the … Continue reading

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Raoul Bott 1923-2005

I was deeply saddened to hear this morning that Raoul Bott died a couple days ago, on December 20th, in San Diego, of cancer. Bott was one of the greatest mathematicians of the twentieth century; for some details about his … Continue reading

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Serge Lang 1927-2005

I just heard that mathematician Serge Lang passed away this past Monday. Lang was a well-known number theorist and algebraist, a member of Bourbaki and recipient of the 1960 AMS Cole Prize. He was a professor here in the Columbia … Continue reading

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Hans Bethe 1906-2005

Hans Bethe died at home in Ithaca, New York on Sunday. There’s an extensive obituary in the New York Times. I believe Bethe was the last remaining figure still alive from the generation of physicists who came of age with … Continue reading

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Shiing-Shen Chern 1911-2004

Shiing-Shen Chern, one of the great geometers of the twentieth century, died last Friday at Nankai University. He was 93 years old. An article about his life is posted on the web-site of MSRI, the mathematics institute in Berkeley of … Continue reading

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Hidenaga Yamagishi

A special issue of Physics Reports has appeared entitled “Hidenaga Yamagishi’s World”. Unfortunately it’s only available online if you are paying Elsevier, so I won’t post a link (it’s volume 398, issue 4-6). This issue is a memorial to the … Continue reading

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