R.I.P. Jon Davies

Once again I find myself having to pass on some bad news. I was shocked and saddened last night to hear of the death of former colleague at Cardiff University, astronomer Prof. Jonathan Davies (shown left).  I understand he had been ill for some time, but had preferred to keep his illness private.

Jon followed an interesting route into astronomy. He left school at 16 to become an apprentice car mechanic and did a few other jobs before deciding to study for a degree in Physics at the University of Bristol in 1986, following that up with a PhD at Cardiff University where he spent the rest of his academic career teaching and doing research in extragalactic astronomy.

Jon’s main research interests involved low surface brightness galaxies and cosmic dust which he studied using observations at a range of wavelengths, using radio and infra-red as well as optical facilities.

Jon was always helpful and supportive to other staff in the School of Physics & Astronomy, especially new arrivals. For example, when I was arrived in Cardiff in 2007 I inherited a part of a module from Jon (the “Nuclear” part of “Nuclear and Particle Physics”) and he was very helpful in getting me started on it. I remember also having interesting discussions with him about the physics of the hyperfine transition in atomic hydrogen which produces the 21cm much exploited by astronomers but for some reason not covered in much detail by many quantum mechanics texts.

Jon Davies was a fine colleague and an excellent astronomer who will be greatly missed in Cardiff and beyond. I send my heartfelt condolences to his wife Anne and their family on their loss.


4 Responses to “R.I.P. Jon Davies”

  1. Simon Kemp Says:

    I read a lot of his and Steve Phillipps’s papers on low surface brightness galaxies when I was starting working on faint stuff around galaxies in the 1990s.

    • Jason Kirk Says:

      Jon was the very first lecturer who taught me when I arrived at Cardiff as an undergraduate (too many years ago to recount). He was always friendly and approachable, both as a lecturer and a colleague.

  2. Jon was my tutor when I studied at Cardiff a decade ago – Really sad to hear about this.

  3. Derek Ward-Thompson Says:

    I’ve just heard this terrible news. I must say I’m shocked. Jon was a much valued colleague during my 14 years at Cardiff. He will be much missed.

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