Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Sir Denys Wilkinson FRS 1922–2016

I heard the news yesterday that Sir Denys Wilkinson died on 22nd April 2016, aged 93.  I can't (since I'm not qualified to) give much of a general obituary here.  They will presumably appear elsewhere in due course, written by those that knew him personally.  Though I met him once or twice at conferences when I was a graduate student, I know Denys more as one of the big names in UK nuclear physics, as well as through his rising up the ranks of research and higher education administration.  He was vice-chancellor of the University of Sussex between 1976 and 1987.  Preceding that, he was professor at the University of Oxford, and the building that used to be called the Nuclear and Particle Physics building during my time there is now called the Denys Wilkinson Building.  

Though I don't suppose he was very active at the Royal Society in recent years, he was a Fellow there, and one of the last remaining fellows whose science background was in nuclear physics.