R.I.P. Freeman Dyson (1923-2020)

I was just about to leave work last night when I heard via social media the sad news of the death at the age of 96 of the theoretical physicist Freeman Dyson.

Overnight the regular media have been running tributes to him, and various friends and colleagues have been posting their own personal recollections of a remarkable scientist who also seems to have been a kind and generous human being.

I never had the opportunity to meet, or even correspond with, Freeman Dyson myself but I do recall from Nottingham times being told that both Dyson and Julian Schwinger visited and gave lectures for the bicentennial celebrations of the birth of George Green. People there remembered him with fondness.

Please feel free to share any personal reminiscences through the Comments Box below.

Freeman Dyson was an original and creative thinker who was by no means always right but I’ve always felt that scientists should be judged by their best work rather that their worst, and Dyson was a wonderful generator of ideas and made important and influential contributions across a wide range of fields from Quantum Electrodynamics and Solid State Physics to Astronomy and Cosmology.

Rest in peace, Freeman Dyson (1923-2020).

4 Responses to “R.I.P. Freeman Dyson (1923-2020)”

  1. Anton Garrett Says:

    I was at that George Green symposium and remember well Schwinger speaking about Green’s functions in quantum field theory in which they are called propagators. I know I’ve heard Dyson but I’d thought that was in Cambridge; perhaps I heard him twice. That’s a long life!

  2. Sad news. I knew Freeman well, always a true gentleman. He was a great supporter of the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies and my dad’s work, and always maintained that the well-known Coleman-Mandula theorem should be known as the O’Raifeartaigh theorem! He remained an agw sceptic right up to the end, but we always had amicable conversations!

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