Person: Kilmister, Clive William
Clive Kilmister was an applied mathematician who had broad interests including the history of mathematics, philosophy of mathematics and teaching of mathematics. He wrote several books on relativity, Arthur Eddington and Eddington's fundamental theory.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- William Kilmister, born in Harlow, Essex, on the 31 January 1898, became an engineers pattern maker, working in wood.
- After primary education in Epping, Kilmister, after taking the scholarship examination, attended Leyton County High School for Boys, a selective grammar school taking pupils from 11 to 18.
- Kilmister graduated from the High School in 1942 and gained entry to Queen Mary College, London.
- By the time that Kilmister began his university studies in 1942 the arrangement was working well with Queen Mary College students allowed to enter the King's College clubs and societies.
- Kilmister graduated in 1944 with first class honours having completed his studies in two years and at the same time having undertaken military service with the Royal Artillery.
- He was particularly involved in the training of scientists for radar work and he recommended Kilmister to the Plessey Company who, among many other wartime projects, were working on developing radar.
- Kilmister spent the three years, 1944-47, working on developing radar at Plessey before returning to Queen Mary College, now back in London, to continue his education which had been disrupted by the war.
- According to Kilmister, McVittie considered Eddington's last works "scandalous", and he hoped Kilmister would "get rid of this scandal" ...
- Also in 1948 Kilmister met Peggy Joyce Hutchins (1927-2012) who at that time was reading English at Queen Mary College.
- Let us return to Kilmister's research at Queen Mary College.
- A third publication in 1949 is a joint one by Kilmister and Edward William Bastin, namely the letter Physics Tomorrow.
- His interests were very similar to those of Kilmister and the two published joint papers and books for the whole of their careers.
- In 1950 Kilmister was awarded a Ph.D. for his thesis The use of quaternions in wave-tensor calculus.
- Kilmister was appointed as an assistant lecturer in King's College, London in the autumn of 1950.
- In 1954 Hermann Bondi joined the Department and, together with Clive and Felix Pirani, established the gravitational theory group.
- Kilmister was elected to the committee of the International Society on General Relativity from 1971 to 1974 but by then his many other activities were crowding out his interest in general relativity ..
- In many ways Eddington's Search for a Fundamental Theory is an account of a major aspect of Kilmister's life-long research.
- Research in mathematical physics was not the only thing to occupy Kilmister's interests.
- Kilmister participated in this project flying from Manchester, England, to New York on 5 December 1958.
Born 3 January 1924, Epping, Essex, England. Died 2 May 2010, Lewes, East Sussex, England.
View full biography at MacTutor
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Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive