Saturday, October 8, 2011

Remembering Coulson

Charles Coulson is definitely one of my heroes and I found this nice memorial talk by Roy McWeeny on a history of quantum chemistry site. It emphasizes how Coulson made the transition from applied mathematics to theoretical chemistry:
The broadening of his philosophy is summed up in a sentence .... in a lecture on mathematical models, .... "It is likely that one cannot be a good applied mathematician unless one has the ability to simplify to the point of absurdity!" — recalling at the same time a remark by Eddington that "If the model is right, the rest is easy".
Two trivia about Coulson I also learned:
He was chairman of Oxfam from 1965-1971.
He was Ph.D supervisor of Peter Higgs (of Higgs boson fame).

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