R.I.P. Tom Kibble (1932-2016)
Yet again, I find myself having to use this blog pass on some very sad news. Distinguished theoretical physicist Tom Kibble (below) passed away today, at the age of 83.
Sir Thomas Walter Bannerman Kibble FRS (to give his full name) worked on quantum field theory, especially the interface between high-energy particle physics and cosmology. He has worked on mechanisms ofsymmetry breaking, phase transitions and the topological defects (monopoles, cosmic strings or domain walls) that can be formed in some theories of the early Universe; he is probably most famous for introducing the idea of cosmic strings to modern cosmology in a paper with Mark Hindmarsh. Although there isn’t yet any observational support for this idea, it has generated a great deal of very interesting research.
Tom was indeed an extremely distinguished scientist, but what most people will remember best is that he was an absolutely lovely human being. Gently spoken and impeccably courteous, he was always receptive to new ideas and gave enormous support to younger researchers. He will be very sadly missed by friends and colleagues across the physics world.
Rest in peace, Tom Kibble (1932-2016).Follow @telescoper