PerspectiveRetrospective

Freeman Dyson (1923–2020)

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Science  15 May 2020:
Vol. 368, Issue 6492, pp. 715
DOI: 10.1126/science.abb8579

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Summary

Freeman Dyson, a towering figure in physics and mathematics, died on 28 February at the age of 96. During his long and vibrant life, Dyson explored both concrete and visionary technologies, ranging from safe, small nuclear reactors to proposals to genetically modify trees so they could grow on comets. He documented his adventures in beautifully written books and a marvelous collection of Web of Science video interviews. Dyson's most impactful contribution to physics was his fundamental work on quantum electrodynamics (QED), the theory of how matter interacts with the electromagnetic field. His synthesis of ideas completed the physical foundation for chemistry, materials science, laser physics, and electrical engineering.

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